Whenever I find myself with free time I go on a long walk through the streets of Dublin in the pursuit of a new and interesting sites or perhaps random and spontaneous activities that Dubliners do on a day to day or of occasional circumstance to hopefully leave with a broader image of Ireland from a cultural standpoint. On April 6th, I did just that.
Feeling caged in my apartment, I decided to go for a stroll through Phoenix Park. The Dublin Business School did already have a sponsored tour of the park, but that being nearly four months ago I decided to take a fresh look since it seemed like a good spring day. As I walked to the entrance I noticed dozens upon dozens of cars lined up on the streets; being from Hopkinton Massachusetts, the starting point of the Boston Marathon, I thought to myself, “is there a marathon going on?” As I continued to walk up through the park I noticed the Wellington Testimonial, completed in 1861, and designed by Robert Smirke as a tribute to Arthur Wellesley, the Duke of Wellington, who is reputed to have been born in Dublin. It was and is the tallest obelisk in Europe at just over 62 meters tall. I have noticed this monument from afar, though up close, it really is colossal structure to behold. Further on up the road, I began to notice hundreds of people and the distant echo of a microphone coming from nearly a mile away. For what seemed like ages of endless walking, I was confronted by the Spar Great Ireland Run. Ironically, nearly two weeks after this marathon, I will be watching the Boston Marathon start in my home town. The marathon was a 10 kilometer run, or a 10k, and took place entirely within the park! I thought to myself, “What am I getting into trying to walk the whole length of it!” Though I should not have been complaining, since I was not the one had to do any of the running. The runners consisted of well trained professional runners from all other the world including men and women from Kenya and others from across Europe. Other runners, though not professional, ran for their own sense of well-being and for the physical and personal triumph to finish such a great run.
When I soon return to my home town, I will most likely be the only person who had the opportunity to see two marathons in two different countries. This thought, is an interesting and new feeling to have.
Phoenixpark.ie. 2014. Phoenix Park – About. [online] Available at: http://www.phoenixpark.ie/about/ [Accessed: 15 Apr 2014].
SPAR Great Ireland Run. 2014. SPAR Great Ireland Run. [online] Available at: http://www.greatirelandrun.org/Default.aspx [Accessed: 15 Apr 2014].