Dublin: 11°C Sunday 3 July 2022

26 songs for 26 miles: Here’s your Dublin City Marathon playlist

A lot of people listen to music when they run so we’ve helpfully put together a potential playlist for tomorrow’s Dublin City Marathon. You’re welcome.

Keep on running.
Keep on running.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

SOME PEOPLE CHOOSE to run without music, for others, their headphones are as important as their shorts. If you do like to move to the music, it’s important to remember that music can influence the pace you run at, so if you’re looking to break the three hour mark for the first time, it’s probably best not to fill your MP3 player with Adele songs.

Likewise, if your goal is just to complete the course, no matter how long it takes, four hours of nineties techno won’t be for you.

Also, don’t be afraid of the cheese.

The distance – CAKE

Okay, it may be a song about motor racing but there aren’t many tunes that name check starting lines so this will have to get you on your way.

Source: CakeVEVO/YouTube

Pumped up kicks – Foster the People

You’ve got the adrenalin of the start line out of your system and now it’s time to settle into a steady rhythm. Try not to join in the whistling though.

Source: fosterthepeopleVEVO/YouTube

Island in the sun – Weezer

You’re still fighting the temptation to run flat out but you’ve got 24.2 miles to go so keep that pace steady and think of Weezer and their cute baby animals.

Source: WeezerVEVO/YouTube

Evil – Interpol

By now you should have settled into your race pace so the tempo of the music shouldn’t matter but still, it’s not a good idea to delve into Dragonforce just yet.

Source: ForJusticeAndPeace/YouTube

We are the people – Empire of the Sun

Five miles in and you’re probably still amazed by the number of people running alongside you. Make sure you ignore them and use the pacemaker.

Source: pommyone/YouTube

Born to run – Bruce Springsteen

At this stage, you’ll notice the people who haven’t trained properly starting to struggle but hopefully you have and you’ll realise you were born for this.

Source: BruceSpringsteenVEVO/YouTube

Running up that hill – Placebo

I know it’s a Kate Bush song, but I prefer this version; especially ahead of that monster of a hill you’re about to face.

Source: drklrd88/YouTube

Eye of the tiger – Survivor

A total change of pace here but you can’t run a marathon and not include one of the greatest running song of all time!

Source: SurvivorVEVO/YouTube

Hearts on Fire – John Cafferty

Time to set the cheese free – and continue the Rocky theme – as you hit the open roads and the mass of runners from the opening few miles begins to dissipate.

Source: Wardrip06/YouTube

Don’t leave me this way – The Communards

After 10 miles, you start to pass the people in the animal costumes that seemed a great idea at the start. You can’t stop for anyone though.

Source: JohnParrr/YouTube

Enjoy the silence – Depeche Mode

Some people don’t like listening to music when they’re running. Those people will never understand the joys of sweating to Depeche Mode.

Source: generationhitmachine/YouTube

Blue Monday – New Order

You’re nearly at the half-way mark. This will be anything but a Blue Monday if you can just keep going for another ninety or so minutes.

Source: Spotnick/YouTube

Jump – Van Halen

Congratulations. You’re half way there, a feat worth celebrating but don’t forget you’ve the same distance to go so don’t get too carried away.

Source: topsniper5150/YouTube

An end has a start – Editors

The second half of the race and you’re at the beginning of the end so it’s time to move away from the cheese for a while to get your mind focused on the task ahead.

Source: westlifehateclub/YouTube

There is a light that never goes out – The Smiths

Let’s face it, Morrissey would definitely cheer you on if he knew you were running the marathon, you know how excited he gets.

Source: pLusabLe1/YouTube

Daniel – Bat for Lashes

Pro Tip: Write your name on the t-shirt you plan to run in. You won’t believe how much it means to hear people cheer you on and, if your name is Daniel, all the better.

Source: BATF0RLASHES/YouTube

Crystallised – The XX

There’s less than 10 miles to go now and you’re probably beginning to suffer but, if you’ve been smart about it, now is the time your training really starts to pay off.

Source: Young Turks/YouTube

C-C (You set fire in me) – Tom Vek

You’re legs are burning, your lungs are burning but you’re on fire. You can do this.

Source: TomVekVEVO/YouTube

To the bright and shining sun – The Walls

You can’t run an Irish marathon without having an Irish band on your playlist and what better way to face into ‘The Wall’ than with The Walls?

Source: 101watts/YouTube

Don’t stop me now – Queen

You’ve hit the wall. It hurts like hell. But you didn’t do all that training to quit now. Mr Freddie Mercury, over to you.

Source: Queen Official/YouTube

Don’t stop believing – Journey

Yes, the cast of Glee may have ruined this song for everyone but remember how great it was at the end of The Sopranos, that’s how great you are for getting this far.

Source: gsbajak6/YouTube

Everybody wants to rule the world – Tears for Fears

You’ve broken through the wall now and you feel great. Well as great as anyone who has just run more than 20 miles.

Source: EightiesJukebox/YouTube

Float on – Modest Mouse

You’re nearly there, just three miles to go so what you need is a nice steady beat to get you to the finish line. Just avoid the temptation to sing along.


Keep on running – The Spencer Davis Group

Not only is this a certified tune but it has a great tempo to get you over the final couple of miles.

Source: PanpanCucul/YouTube

End of the line – Travelling Wilburys

As you near the finish line, it’s important to remember you’ve done something incredible and, regardless of what you’ve gone through, you’re nearly there and every ache and pain is worth it.

Source: TravelingWilburys/YouTube

Zadok the Priest – Handel

The Champions League may have altered this composition a little bit, but it’s still perfect for crossing the finish line and all the emotion that comes with it.

Source: Warren Steel/YouTube

So there you have it, a playlist that combines cheese and tunes in equal measure with more than enough tempo to get you around the course but what about you; what are your marathon songs? Let us know in the comment section below…

A version of this article first appeared on TheScore in October 2012.

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About the author:

Steve O'Rourke

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