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The Moodie Blog is in Dublin on a short tour to investigate the travel retail opportunities here in the Irish capital and, from later today, in Limerick.
Our tour just happens to coincide with the visit of the New Zealand All Blacks, who played Ireland on Saturday at the famous Croke Park and who take on Munster in Limerick tomorrow evening.
The latter match is being played to honour the 30th anniversary of Munster’s historic 12-0 defeat of the All Blacks on 31 October 1978 – the only time an Irish team has beaten New Zealand’s national side. “We were lucky to get 0,” said New Zealand winger Stu Wilson famously.
Saturday saw the All Blacks beat Ireland by 22-3 at Croke Park, a magnificent venue that is synonymous with Irish history – most notably the ‘Bloody Sunday’ massacre by British troops on 21 November, 1920, during the Irish War of Independence. To hear the Irish anthems (Amhran na bhFiann and Ireland’s call) belted out by over 80,000 spectators was an incredible experience. It was also wonderful to see the respect the Irish showed for the traditional New Zealand haka, which attracted a tremendous roar.
The game took place just one week before another important sporting occasion – The Miles for Smiles 10k and 5k run/walk in Dubai to raise funds for cleft charity The Smile Train. As readers of this Blog will know, sadly my training regime has come to an abrupt halt following the tearing of a calf muscle in a full-scale 10k recital a week ago in London.
For the past week the odds on me running, or even walking, have lengthened, as the injury, much to my frustration, failed to heal. But funny things happen in Dublin and I have become the latest in a long line to discover that there’s magic in the waters of the Liffey (above) that run through this great city.
The walk from my hotel in Dublin, The Morgan, to the ground took about 30 minutes outbound and about two hours back – the latter due to the need to take in some Liffy water (more of that later) along the way to celebrate victory. That probably constituted an 6k training walk, albeit of an unorthodox kind. Miracle of miracles, while waking up the next day with the kind of storming hangover that only a night in Dublin can generate, the leg was virtually back to normal.
“It’s the Liffey water (also known as Guinness),” an Irishman told me as I regaled him with the story the next day. “It cures everything.”
So there you have it. If you’e feeling a bit iffy, try the Liffey. No more Deep Heat rub, no more physio, no more ice packs of Petits Pois – no, The Moodie Blog urges all fellow runners in Dubai to get those hydration levels up with a pint or two of Liffey water each night this week. It’ll do you the world of good.
Next stop Limerick for another major travel retail report – and the small matter of a rugby match.