Adamstown is a newly created satellite of Dublin. Set on a greenfield site it has a railway station through which the Inter Cities blast through without a second glance, but the odd commuter train does stop. I and one other runner alighted from such a train this morning and made our way through the quiet town to registration.
Designed and half-built during the Tiger years Adamstown consists of scattered apartments and flatlets, one school, a few shops. There is no real downtown, no centre of activity. The Lord Lucan pub looks as if it might provide this function. Although nicely designed and well-built the town totally lacks soul. It is home to a large Afro-European population who at least came out and lent a little atmosphere to Bleaksville for the first Adamstown 8k.
At least the sun was shining and registration was slick. However I was banking on changing facilities, and there were none. Not good, and I managed to get my gear on al fresco behind the baggage van. A little warm-up down a mercifully undeveloped green lane and over to the start. My mood didn’t lighten to see that if I didn’t stand in the sub-40 zone I was considered a ‘jogger’. So, like a few others, I hovered in a make-believe zone between the two signs. Off we went and I knew immediately I didn’t have my race head on. My running in the last 10 days or so has been painful so I just settled in as best I could. Around traffic-free development-zoned land we went, past the railway station and out onto the road that links Adamstown to the main Dublin road. Flat and fast this course, no doubt about it. At the Dublin road the field turned around to head back to town and us laggards could see the race at the sharp end. One chap had broken away, possibly intent on picking up the €10,000 bonus for breaking the Irish record of 22-something. A couple of Raheny boys trailed about 40 metres behind. And after I made my turn I was able to take comfort from the fact that there are still slower runners than me in existence.
Back the same way, past the station and the undeveloped land, into town and across the line in 42.16. I should be able to break 40 on a course such as that but try telling my legs that. The course was bang on 8k per my Garmin. The goody bag consisted of a T-shirt (wrong size though I swapped it later) a banana and an energy drink. Me and the other girl were again the only runners to get the train back to Dublin.
Adamstown is as far away from the idea of traditional Ireland as you can get. You wouldn’t go there unless you had to. You have just got to hope that it builds some sort of of community spirit and gets some soul. As for me I’m now looking forward to Cork in eight days time.