My Marathon Journey (Gareth Rossi)

My Marathon Journey (Gareth Rossi)

Hi guys, my Dublin marathon 2018 journey is over, and what an amazing day I had on Sunday in Dublin city. Around 20,000 people took to the roads some running for charities, some running to test themselves. A few years ago I decided I was going to run a marathon to fundraise for the Irish Society of Colitis and Crohn’s. As a sufferer of colitis and crohn’s from the age of 22, I wanted to help them in any way I could as I know first-hand the support they give to those who need when they need it. With the help of family, friends, clients and others I have raised over €3,000 so far and I am overwhelmed with the generosity of everyone…. Thank you to each and every one for your support.

Before hitting the roads on Sunday I did a little research, I wanted to know where this marathon idea originated from and also wanted to know where the distance came from; 26.2 miles seems like a slight random number. So where does the marathon come from? Well, in a nod to Greek history, the first marathon ever run (Boston, 1987) commemorated the run (approx. 25 miles) of a solider named Pheidippides from a town named Marathon to Athens to announce the defeat of the Persians to the Athenians…. With little training done, he delivered the message “NIKI” meaning victory (this is also where Nike gets their name from) then sadly keeled over and died! And how did the race become 26.2 miles… well the Queen of England is to blame for that. At the 1908 Olympics, the course was laid out however, the Queen at the time decided she wanted the course to run past the royal families viewing box, so an extra 385 yards was added to keep the royal family happy and the distance remained the same ever since! History lesson over it was time to start really focusing on the task at hand and ensure I didn’t end up like poor Pheidippides!

Race Build Up

The build-up was pretty relaxed, I worked my normal working week including Friday and Saturday but tried to get off my feet as much as possible. I did an easy 2 mile run on Friday evening and had a flush out massage from Gravity Physiotherapist Nic Lalor. I consumed plenty of carbohydrates, eating pasta, porridge, bread, fruit and sports drinks on Friday and Saturday along with consuming 4 litres of water. The morning of the race I just topped up glycogen muscle stores through consuming some more carbohydrates eating porridge and toast with jam. Preparation done, ready to rock and roll!

The Race

At 9.31am, fellow IRFU colleague, Martin ‘The Guru’ Kennedy and I headed off on our 4 hour 30-minute marathon journey. We were very aware not to get pulled along with the crowd and go out too fast but we managed to compose ourselves well. We set into our pace very well, fuelling up with gels, banana’s, water and Lucozade’s along the route.  The crowds were amazing, encouraging you all the way as well as feeding us jellies, jaffa cakes and much more. All very welcoming to our tiring bodies! At mile twenty I started to hit that famous “Wall”. Even though my mile splits weren’t changing much I felt like I was barely moving, but I kept the head down and just kept pushing through. Martin pushed on ahead of me and if I’m being honest, the last 6 miles were hell on earth! With every step I took my body was screaming at me to stop but I kept going. Apparently I had a large grimace on my face for most of the race, I can assure you I enjoyed every bit…. Until mile 20…

The aftermath

My first thought past the line was WHY would you ever want to do that again. My body was starting to cramp up from head to toe, I was craving sugar and my body had nothing left. It took me about 20 minutes to get dressed, and about an hour before I could raise my arms over my head. A sorry sight but a proud one at what I had accomplished. Once I drank a Lucozade, I started to feel somewhat normal again. So off I went for a celebratory pint with family and friends, very well deserved.


Sleep, sleep and more sleep was the plan but with aching joints this wasn’t really achieved.  I ate away to my heart’s content and moved around as much as possible so I didn’t get to stiff. My chosen recovery was compression tights on the legs with a balance of nutritional food intake of protein, carbs, fats and water and plenty of movement.

All in all a great challenge and achievement and very enjoyable even though the last 5 miles were HELL…..!