We went to Galway last weekend for the 2010 Galway City Marathon. Sponsored by the Radisson Blu, the race brought enough visitors to the city that all the lovely B&Bs and guest houses in Galway played host to runners.
The morning felt crisp, but that quickly changed to warm sun then rain then more sun. The start of the race was delayed due to some logistical issue, but fitness leaders pepped the runners on until the race began. Runners definitely were faced with a challenge when it came to the weather, but also the course and vehicles. Yes, vehicles.
Overall, the race was decent, but compared to the Cork City Marathon, it missed a bit of decoration and road closures. Vehicles were still driving on the road beside runners and for the 50k competitors they had to contend with the crowded paths of the pedestrian lanes. In the instance of the latter, bicycles accompanied most individual runners along the path to clear the way ahead, but even that didn’t assure an empty course.
When we arrived in the city, we should have known vehicles would be an issue as few signs were posted within the city notifying drivers of road closures. There were some on the outskirts of town. Seeing that this race did not prohibit or discourage the use of MP3 players made us think that the course would be completely free of vehicular traffic, but this was definitely not the case. It was not horrible, but odd given how Cork City closes down so many roads completely for their annual marathon (on a Monday no less), why couldn’t Galway do the same on a late summer Sunday? As usual, the goody bag included a cotton tee which is nice to sleep in, but not good for running. The entry fee was €45-65 for the half-marathon. The event seemed to be heavily staffed by the army, or maybe that was just our perception.
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