Dublin Recap, Part 2

Yesterday I wrote about the first part of my recent trip to Ireland.

If you’re inclined, you can read about that here.

Quick recap: I went to Dublin last weekend with two friends to run in the Rock’n’Roll Half Marathon.

Sunday (August 2nd) was race day.

The weather for the prior day had been sunny and in the 60s, but as everyone warned us (repeatedly), it’s often raining in Ireland.

The starting line was almost exactly two miles from our rented apartment, and after considering options we decided to walk.

Temps were in the 50s and there was a steady pre-race drizzle.

We got there with just enough time to drop gear bags and hit the port-o-potties before taking off.

Fortunately, the rain abated and the race itself was dry, although I found the wet pavement a bit slippery.

I ran the whole course with my friend J. Our other friend, B., ran the race with an Irish friend.

Here’s a description of the course from the official website:

Race past Dublin’s famous sites including Ha’Penny bridge, Christ Church Cathedral, Brazen Head Pub (Ireland’s oldest pub), James Joyce Museum and the Guinness Brewery.

So, I guess we raced past all of those places but I was pretty focused on running, not sightseeing.

B. later told us that she had an ongoing commentary from her Irish friend and that we also passed the President’s House and the home of the U.S. Ambassador.

Huh.

The last part of the race went through Phoenix Park, which is more than 1700 acres and dates back to the 17th century.

J. and I finished the course in about 2:08, which is not my best time but also not my worst. 

One thing I loved about the race: salty bags of potato chips waited for finishers. 

One thing I didn’t love about the race: we had to wait about 45 minutes in freezing, drizzly weather (it started raining again) for a shuttle bus to take us back to City Center.

The rest of Sunday consisted of showers, hot coffee and then dinner with a group of B’s friends who live in Dublin.

And here’s a cool thing that happened: I posted a post-race photo on Facebook and another friend texted me during dinner that she was also in Dublin.

A quick look at the map showed that we were only five minutes apart, so I ducked out of the end of dinner to briefly meet up with her.

There was a great moon over St. Patrick’s Cathedral as we walked back to our apartment:

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On Monday we played tourist.

Stop one was the Guinness Brewery, which was a terrific tour that incorporated every sense, including smell (there was a room dedicated to smelling the major aromas in Guinness via large diffusers), sound (an electric harp you could play, a surround sound theater playing ads from all over the world), touch (piles of barley to rake your hands through), sight (art everywhere), and, of course, taste.

This is a sculpture that emulates a pint of Guinness:

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Two statues representing iconic ads:

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The fish on the bicycle was a kinetic piece that moved.

And while we were able to get a whole pint at the end, there was another spot on the tour where you could sample a tiny Guinness:

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This was adorable.

Next we went to the Old Jameson Distillery (Whiskey Tour #2 if you’re keeping track), and like Whiskey Tour #1, I didn’t like the whiskey. Again, sacrilege.

That evening we spent 45 painful minutes in a truly terrible tour of the National Leprechaun Museum, which was too bad to even discuss.

Dinner at Rustic Stone restaurant redeemed the night. This was an excellent meal, probably the best we’d had in Dublin and that is saying a lot.

Tuesday started early with a cab to the airport and the first of two flights home.

The best part is that the three of us unanimously agreed that we have to do this again. What great travel companions!

Here are a few more snaps:

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Colorful knitted trees on the grounds of St. Patrick’s Cathedral

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City view

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Wig shop!

 I couldn’t have made this trip any better.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dublin Recap, Part 1

After a very close call with getting my new passport, I made it to Dublin last week for a girls’ trip with my fun friends J. and B.

The trip went something like this: B. and I flew from Minneapolis and met up with J. at JFK – with a tight connection for us and and a nail biter for J. – and then took a red eye to Dublin.

With the time change (only six hours), we arrived in late morning.

B’s Irish friend generously picked us up at the airport and took us to pick up our race packets, which was an amazing help – especially since the race expo was located far away from where we were staying.

It was still too early to get into the Airbnb apartment we’d rented (this one; it was my first experience with Airbnb and it was great!), so we headed to brunch here.

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A word about the food we ate: it was across-the-board ah-ma-zing.

I’m not sure what I expected for Irish cuisine, but part of it was an outdated vision of baked beans/sausages/fried tomatoes for breakfast and some potato-centric pub food for dinner.

Shame on me. I got it totally wrong.

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These huevos rancheros were pretty insane.

After brunch, we met up with our Airbnb host, Wayne, and he acclimated us to our three bedroom apartment located around the corner from St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

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Street view

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My cute room with a sliding door

While the building was old – and charmingly so – the apartment was completely modern. It was a three bedroom, two bath place that we had all to ourselves.

The location was also unbeatable, since we could walk almost anywhere within the City Center within 10-20 minutes.

We were tired the first afternoon but decided to rally.

After showers and caffeine, we went around the corner to tour the Teeling Distillery, which makes small-batch whiskey.

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Full disclosure: I am not into whiskey and these samples went nearly untouched. Sacrilege, I know. 

I loved the Banksy-esque street art we saw in our neighborhood, too:

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That night we ate at a restaurant recommended by our Airbnb host called Darwins.

It had a funny nautical vibe and I loved the bread and butter they brought:

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Portrait painted to look like it was in a porthole on a door

We turned in early that night because we knew the race would come early the next day.

I’ll post about the race and the rest of the trip tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin Half Marathon

Last year my friend B. proposed that we run a destination race together, along with her sister-in-law J.

B. and J. are both totally fun and super cool, so my immediate response was “yes!”

Except that I didn’t quite imagine that the race would be here:

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This is Dublin, folks. As in Ireland.

B. suggested the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dublin half-marathon, which is scheduled for August 2nd, 2015.

As I’ve mentioned before, I love running destination races and the best way to see a city is on foot. 

Here’s a description of the course from the event website:

Starting in Dublin’s Docklands area, running along the north side of the Liffey River, runners are in for a treat as they pass all of the fan favorites!  After crossing over Memorial Bridge onto the south side, the route passes the famous Ha’Penny bridge (cue the photo opps!), Christ Church Cathedral, Brazen Head Pub (Ireland’s oldest pub), James Joyce Museum, and of course, no tour of Dublin would be complete without… the Guinness Brewery.  Although, the smell of hops and barley will be fleeting, as runners continue on past the Royal Hospital and Kilmainham Gaol into Phoenix Park, one of the largest walled city parks in Europe.   It’s there that the journey turns scenic as the route winds its way through the lush park, taking in the Wellington Monument, the Papal Cross, the President’s House (Áras an Uachtaráin) and the famous Dublin Zoo, finishing with a rockin’ concert in the park!

I’ve never been to Ireland so this is going to be a huge adventure. 

I’m hoping to kick my training up a notch and have a great race.

And I’m already starting to get excited.

P.S. If you’ve done this race or visited Ireland before, please send me tips!