Run this town

Going on a nice, long run is one of the first things I do when traveling to a new place. To me, running is one of the most exciting ways to discover a new city.  I’ve found that Dublin is an excellent city for runners. Because Dublin is so compact, many of the most iconic runs are easily accessible from the city center. Moreover, many of these scenic routes fall well within the 5km lockdown radial limit. 

On a good week, I run about 25 miles. But I usually try to run at least 15 miles.  Although Covid-19 has limited the ways for newcomers to familiarize themselves with Dublin, I’ve been able to explore this vibrant city with my running shoes on.

Here are some highlights from the runs I’ve been on this fall:

Stephen’s Green

I ran my first 5km at Stephen’s Green. Smack dab in the heart of the city, this beautifully designed park is a perfect spot for early morning runs. As you lap around the perimeter, it’s hard not to be distracted by warm hues of foliage at every corner. However, I soon learned that running at Stephen’s Green is a nightmare during the afternoon and early evening. At these hours, the park is teeming with your usual mix of school children on lunch break, elderly couples birdwatching, and herds of middle-age women speed walking. 

Dún Laoghaire

The longest run I’ve done was an 8-miler from Belfield to Dún Laoghaire. I ran it on a dewy Sunday morning, which is considerably decent weather for Dublin. This run puts you right along the coast. And on a clear day, the view of the harbor rivals my hometown favorite, Chesapeake Bay. This route has become my favorite–I try to follow it a couple times per week.

Galway

The highlight of my Halloween weekend in Galway was a 5-mile run I ran with Kyle, through the city center and along Galway Bay. Kyle and I are running buddies–two weeks ago he helped me set a new PR in the 10km. 

I think we’d both agree that Galway is not the most runner-friendly city. On our run through town, we paused several times to make way for vehicles and passersby. But once we got to the bay, the obstacles we faced earlier seemed worth it.  The bay was simply breathtaking. So much so, that Kyle and I both stood still for several minutes and watched in awe as the sunset. 

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Prior to moving to Ireland, I had been training for my first full marathon. But like almost everything else this year, the race was canceled due to Covid-19. With the help of Kyle and the Dublin gang, I hope to run a makeshift marathon sometime this winter.  Although I won’t have 5,000 fellow runners and 500,000 screaming spectators helping me along, I look forward to creating a crazy route winding past all the new and exciting places I’ve been able to explore in Dublin this fall.

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