Stablemate and Double Decker-destroyer Dermot “Sharknado” Cahill thwacked 12 minutes and 27 seconds off his best in Éire’s capital, Dublin. The Lucozade sales manager crossed the line in an epic 2:59:35, placing 725th overall and 218th in his age category (M40).
Ally “the Chin” Smith was blasting through the interviews as Sharknado came whirling into the stramash:
Ally: Phew, one in one out. The Stablemates are having a field day! How’s you, Dermy? Tell me all about your experience.
Dermy: I went in with a game plan of keeping the 3-hour pacers in view. I ran with them for the first couple of miles and then dropped back slightly, as Dublin is quite undulating.
Ally: Good plan.
Dermy: What kept me going was knowing I had nailed my two longest marathon-paced runs in training. I’d completed the “Stazza Special” of 2-mile warm-up, 18 miles at marathon pace, and 2-mile cool down, and knowing I had done that, and another very similar session, put me in good stead for the day.
Ally: Stazza always says the mental side of training (confidence) comes from the physical. Excellent for the head, knowing you had banked those two big sessions.
Dermy: I’d also listened to a podcast about pacing Dublin, and how you might be better off looking at a negative split. This is something I kept in mind as I went through halfway in 1:30:07, knowing that if I kept the same pace, I’d be in and around three hours. The longer I went on pace, the more I knew I was going to get a big PB. So I kept in tune, knocking off the 6:45 miles. I knew if I got up Roebuck Road on pace, I would look to push the last 4 miles, and this is what I did.
Ally: The stuff of dreams.
Dermy: With 3 miles to go, I started calculating a rough finish time. Going through mile 24, I knew if I sustained the same pace I had done for the previous 24 miles, I would be sub-3, so I did that. Coming up to the line and knowing I was going to break that barrier was an amazing feeling. I was able to take in the crowd, put my hands in the air and celebrate! I was absolutely ecstatic as the hard work in training paid off.
Ally: Like the ending of a movie, celebrating in style. Congratulations, Dermy.
Dermy: I’d also like to add a little bit about the camaraderie between myself and some of the Stablemates.
A few people befriended me through Strava and knew we were all gunning for the same targets. Delighted to say it was a pleasure watching their journeys, too, and it also kept me going. A shout-out to Barry, Cathal, Fran, Iain, & Darragh—to name just a few!
Ally: Fabulous, Derm; that’s what separates The Stable from the rest. Teamwork makes the dream work. Any winter races?
Dermy: I’m going to have a bit of downtime. I still plan to do some easy runs and a little speed work, but I’m done with road marathons. I committed and invested so much in this marathon block, and it was quite time-consuming. I also gave up my mountain running to spend the weekends doing tempo sessions on the road. This was a hard choice, but one which I agreed with the main man Stazza—thank you, John! I plan to get back up the mountains, maybe do some trail runs and and hopefully remain injury-free! Oh, and a nice, laid-back Christmas listening to new episodes of The Stablemaster Speaks.
Ally: Superb, mate; back to running for the sheer joy of it. I’ll see you soon once I’ve completed my own marathon. But, eh, maybe don’t hold your breath on the podcast.
The Stablemaster couldn’t believe what he was hearing; ‘mate after ‘mate breaking three hours in Dublin:
“Dun, dun, dun, Dublin bites the dust / And another one comes / And another one comes / Dublin bites the dust.
A sublime run from the mountain man … Flying up Roebuck Road as if it were a downhill piste … Those strong mountain legs stood you in good stead … Now it’s time to get back to them … Good man!”