I’ve rekindled that old longing, that’s gnawing in my head,
As I watch them shuffle past me, tired, weary, legs of lead.
Sodden vests and dirty singlets, numbers fastened on the front,
Beneath faces, drained of colour, mouths agape and features gaunt.
Heavy weights with light of stature, men and women, young and old,
Battling personal goals, ambitions, on Dublin’s streets in Autumn gold.
Twenty six long miles they’ve struggled, but the end is now in sight,
Every runner now a champion, who’ve achieved their personal height.
As I watch this long procession, I envy those who took the dare
and made myself a silent promise, maybe I might have a share
of this colourful procession weaving round the city sights
Could I ever hope to be there, could I reach these dizzy heights.
Six long months of running, diet, and daily training it would take.
Lonely miles, both wet and weary, a life style change I’d have to make
At an age for pipe and slippers, do I want to take this on
But it’s always been my one ambition that I’ve put off for far too long.
So yes, I’ve started, took my first step, two hours in the gym today.
Poured my red wine down the sink, with heavy heart I have to say.
Bought new trainers, on the salads, training plan all drawn up.
Need to lose two stone and then some, if I want to make the cut.
Sure the first step is the hardest, though it’s still a year away.
Plenty time to reach my target, maybe I might just delay
the training regime in the winter, after Christmas would be fine.
Or maybe Easter, longer evenings, warmer climate seems sublime
Sense prevails me, yes I’ll wait some, till the turning of the day.
Then I’ll hit the roads in earnest, mile on mile, I’ll swiftly slay
When October sunshine gilts the pavements, of Dublin City oh so fair,
I’ll be in that colourful procession, heading up the Merrion Square.
While I’d like to take credit for this poem, I can’t. It was written by my dad a decade ago.
I’m sure if he was still around, he’d be active on the blogosphere, sharing some of his short stories and poems.
The Dublin Marathon takes place on October 30th, although the Belfast marathon is happening in two weeks time.
To those who are taking place, best of luck! For those with ambitions to lace up their shoes and start training for the Dublin marathon – You can do it!