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  • ruairi505


In the last few years, I find myself watching more and more athletic events on TV. These can range from different events such as a Diamond league, a European championship or even the Olympics. Ireland over the years has gotten more completive at these events as this can be seen by the amount of top 10 places the Irish athletes are finishing in. It won’t be long till we are looking at RTE news and the Irish team arrive into Dublin Airport with a nice haul of medals About a year ago Jack Murphy, Jen O Donovan and myself were discussing going to the World Athletic Championships in Budapest. We were all quite keen to see the best in the world on the track and field

We all flew out on a Monday; Jack had found a wonderful apartment local to all the main sights and transportation hubs. We had booked Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday evening tickets. The tickets were 30 - 40 euro, pretty good considering you would be able to see the world’s best perform.

We got up early on Tuesday and headed to Margaret Island. It’s basically Budapest’s Regional Park. Fantastic place to go for a run with a 5.3km loop. It also has a track which is a big bonus. We thought we saw 1500m runner Jake Wightman so sprinted off after him. After killing ourselves to catch him, it actually wasn’t him at all. Still though, an incredible workout. Cue the iced coffees in McDonalds for hydration.

On our first night at the stadium, we were treated to an amazing performance by Ciara Mageean. I have always found Ciara to be an amazing athlete. No matter how many knocks or injuries, she keeps on fighting and is now in the form of her life. A very brave performance – it almost looked like she would get on the podium but she just missed out. It showed how far she has come when she stated that she was disappointed with being the 4th best in the world.

The gang outside the stadium before our first evening.

Wednesday morning we went to a beautiful area known as the Fisherman’s Bastion. The architecture was amazing. We had lunch there and had an incredible view of the Danube River and the city. Wednesday night we were treated to an amazing race for the men’s 1500m. It seemed like the world-class Jakob Ingebrigtsen had done enough to win the race but an amazing surge in the last 200m gave Josh Kerr a deserved win. P.S. I want his sunglasses!!!! Adeleke was amazing too - claiming a 4th place finish in the 400m. Quite an astounding achievement at 21 years of age!

Fisherman’s Bastion

Thursday morning, we got the inside scoop from David McCarthy's Instagram that Citius Mag (an American podcast, they’re kind of the wannabe Runners Diary podcast) would be hosting an organised 5km run. We headed there, did our run and were treated to an amazing free breakfast and got a free t-shirt as well. Quite happy with myself. We went for a nice walk around Buda Castle later that day. Our friend Jamie joined us at this stage and we went out for a night on the town. Jack and Jen were lucky enough to meet Alison dos Santos, 2022 World Champion in the men’s 400m hurdles.

Friday night we went on a night cruise to see all the different sights along the Danube. The highlight was the parliament building which looks majestic lit up at night.

Saturday morning we said goodbye to Jen as she was off to her cousin's 30th. We were going to give out that she would miss some amazing races, but she said they would be doing karaoke with ABBA songs so to be fair, that does sound amazing………. I mean I was jealous to be fair.

We headed off to the thermal baths. They were exactly what we needed from all the walking. Nice warm baths to relax in. 20 euro entry and there were some indoor pools too at a nicer cooler temperature. Highly recommend it.

The tram was packed each night bringing people to and from the stadium. To be fair we walked back some nights it was so busy. Thank god we are all fit athletes. That night we watched the Ireland women’s 4 x 400m relay team claim 4th position and get into the final. Our friend Jamie was mesmerised by some of the field events. We might have a future pole vaulter on our hands.

Sunday morning was race day and I was doing this one solo with Jack and Jamie acting as cameramen. My god, it was hot. Didn’t do too bad though - a 5.7km course reduced from a 10km course due to extreme heat. My pacing was just off 7:30 a mile and I finished 818th out of 3980. I’ll take it! Last night for the stadium and we were treated well. Some spectacular finishes for the medals. The Irish Women’s relay team finished 8th in the world. Pretty good going considering they had no Phil Healy or Rhasidat Adeleke. That was the last event of the night which the Netherlands Women’s team won thanks to an unbelievable final leg from Femke Bol.

All in all, a great trip was had by everyone. A few more points to note, I found the people very friendly. There are plenty of spots for sightseeing. The night cruise is a must-do. Metro and trams are very easy to use. The race started and finished in Heroes’ Square - this is the entrance to a beautiful park where the baths are. There are several places to eat around this location - plenty of international food choices too.

Even a glitch with English air traffic control didn’t hamper our spirits, then again, I was still star-struck from meeting the gold medallist in the high jump Yaroslava Mahuchikh. I think we will all be going to another championship soon.

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