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Race report thread



  • Great report Aero. And well done on the PB, great racing - 56sec sounds like a large chunk at that level.

    aero2k wrote: »
    ...on the Garmin. I use 0.5 mile splits, and I was relieved when the next split was a much more sensible 5:45.

    Great idea, I must setup my own Garmin like this.

  • Fantastic run, well done

  • Well done again Seán.
    Super running.

  • RayCun wrote: »
    Fantastic run, well done

    Cheers Ray,

    Trying to keep up with youngsters like yourself has been a great motivation.
    Great report Aero. And well done on the PB, great racing - 56sec sounds like a large chunk at that level.

    Thanks for the kind words. It's a funny one, yes 56 sec is a big chunk but I actually believed I was in sub 59 shape (I still think so but I need more practice at suffering - I prefer the lower level of exertion of a marathon). It was a long time coming; my first 10 was the '08 Frank Duffy where I huffed and puffed to 67:xx, by March '11 I had got that down to 60:43, and I proceeded to let it get back up to 67:xx before running around 63 this time last year in Dungarvan.

    I think at times I've been guilty of overthinking what is a relatively simple sport. I've finally got back to the approach that brought my best successes from late '09 to early '11 i.e. consistent training, day in day out. I've mixed things up over the last few months by adopting the Hanson's program: partly from a "what got you here won't get you there" mindset, and also because it has lots of fast miles, and fast running is where I've been lacking over the years.
    Great idea, I must setup my own Garmin like this.

    Much as it pains me, I have to credit AMK with this one. I had been thinking about trying it, and then I read in his log one day that he does it (or did it) so I thought I'd give it a go. I don't think it matters much on a flat course on a calm day, but on a rolling course and or a windy day it helps avoid panic if the pace looks low as you can just wait to see how you're doing once a new lap starts.

    I'm tempted to also credit AMK for my switch to Skechers, but I wouldn't want to give him a big head.

  • There's a lot of credits to me in there, can I claim the PB??

    (And your 5m halfway time is better than my 5m list of 'competitive friendly revenge' is getting longer by the week :)

    Given the choice, would you do Dungarvan or Trim next year??

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  • There's a lot of credits to me in there, can I claim the PB??

    (And your 5m halfway time is better than my 5m list of 'competitive friendly revenge' is getting longer by the week :)

    Given the choice, would you do Dungarvan or Trim next year??

    I deliberately didn't credit you with the PB as I knew you'd be along to claim it for yourself.

    Actually I reckon both halves of the race might have been quicker than my official 29:58 PB (I have run quicker in the 4.9 mile race that we all promised never to mention again).

    Dungarvan vs Trim?? That's a tough one, but since I already have 3 of the lovely Dri Fit tee-shirts from Dungarvan, I'd go for Trim as I could be home by 3pm if I managed to curb my post race coffee and cake intake.

    You must be due another PB yourself soon - or are you waiting for me to drag you round again?

  • The Mt Juliet ½ marathon and 10k runwas on Saturday. In preparation for the Ballycotton 10, I signed up for the 10krace. It’s a bit pricey (€25) but it suited my training plan, it was local and AAI credited so it ticked a lot of the boxes. My plan was a sub 39min – it would be a PB and I felt it was very much achievable, even allowing for the hills on the 10k route.

    The start is in the pleasan tsurroundings of Mt Juliet estate. Within the first 500m I knew there was a good chance of a top 5 place - unusual for me, especially in a race of 300+ participants. There was a constant drag running through the estate and I was glad to see the end of it did. I was running with one other chap with two lads up the road from us - they didn’t seem to be hitting their race pace for the first 2 or 3 miles asthey weren’t gaining much ground on us and appear to be very relax, shooting the breeze – and no one seems to be near us from behind. We started coming upon the ½ marathoners about 2 miles in (they started 15 mins ahead of us). I welcomed this as I wasn’t comfortable been left out on our own, ahead of the bunch. I was aware of the second hill, coming out of Stoneyford, which is reasonably long but not very steep. But the firsthill, I had no idea of – someone said to me beforehand it was short and sharp – it was sharp but it didn't feel short!

    As I climbed the hill, I notice my companion wasn’t with me anymore so I figured I must be climbing okay. Working up the hill was hard labour so I was surprised to hear two lads behind me chatting away – I figured they must be two½ marathoners taking it easy. But theywere pacers for the 40min mark. This was really frustrating for me – I knew the hill was slowing me down but I didn’t think I was falling that far behind. 40mins pacers – I was way well behind my planned pace. We crest the hill at the 5km mark and I didn’t get the rebound from the downhill liked I hope – I went ahead of the pacers but not at the pace I’d hoped at. Then we start climbing the second hill at the Stoneyford and the pacers left me behind – very annoyed the way they went ahead of me with such ease! I tried to make some time back on them on thedownhill but it was limited. But when I entered Mt Juliet estate, I was surprised to see the finishing line just infront of me. For the first time during the race I checked my time and it was reading 37m 2Xs –a pleasant surprised and I even picked up the speed with the hope of getting a sub 38min. But total misjudged the distance by about 300m and came in at 39m 12s!

    Initially I was happy with it, especially when 40min looked unlikely (basically the 40mins pacers were goingtoo fast). And it is a 10km PB. But thinking back on it, I'm disappointed with it. The race itself I’m not concerned about – it wasn’t an important one and it’s far from a PB course. But I was hoping for a sub 63min in Ballycotton, now in three wks time, which is an A race for me – sub 63 is a pace is quicker that what I could hold for 10k on Saturday! There was no real big miles in my legs coming into this (I did a mini taper) so no excuse there. The link to my performance on Saturday is here - I would welcome the thoughts of anyone who knows more than me (i.e. nearly everyone!) to what I should realistically aim for in Ballycotton.

    As for the race itself, I found itquite good. Feedback from previous yearswas generally negative but from what I saw yesterday, it’s very much unjustified (or the organiser learned from their mistakes!). As I said above the race is pricey (€25) butthe organisation is very good. The roads are clear and well marshalled. It’saccurate (I know that should be obvious but plenty of commercial races aren’t!)and there is a nice spread + atmosphere afterwards. T-shirt is grand too. The route itself is very hilly, verytesting. The race itself is targetedtowards the fun runners, which is reflected in the field attending. While the first two were home around the35min mark, third was only 38:59. I even managed fourth! But anyone interested in it next year, it's a recommendation from me.

  • Carlingford Half Marathon 2015 Race Report

    Pre Race
    I ran this race last year in a PB of 1:37; my last HM was Clontarf in November 2014, in a time of 1:39. However, I wasn't anywhere nearly as prepared this time around. Whereas last year I was training for a spring marathon, this year has mainly been about getting the odd few miles in when other commitments allow! I had a good run in the Garda XC nonetheless, finishing that 4 miler in under half an hour.
    On the day, getting there on time was a bit of a disaster. Were it not for the fact that my SIL (running the 10k) had picked up my race pack for me, I probably would have missed the start. As it happened, all I got to do beforehand was put on my chip and bib, a couple of quick photos with SIL and her BF, slightly longer for stretches and then we were off!

    Miles 1-4
    I wasn't aware that there were a number of changes from last year's route. The first of which, found us starting off running away from the town, before looping around by the sailing club and passing the waterfront car park, and then heading up the first of several climbs into a strong wind. I felt like I was just out of bed, and even at this very early stage, I was flat to the boards just trying to hang on to 1:40-1:41 pace. Nothing felt right; I had to stop for a break at 3 miles or so, and then as we reached the area known as The Bush I got a severe pain in my side, which forced me to pull over onto the grass just before we crossed the main Dundalk Road. I thought there was no way I could run another 9 miles in such a state, and I was on the brink of calling a marshal to get me a lift back to town. However, the side pain eased (although my legs still felt like they were on fire!) and I decided to struggle on.

    Miles 5-7
    The first water station was outside a school, just after we crossed the main road. Here I stopped again for a few seconds as I drank, to try and get my bearings and think about how I should approach the rest of it. Shortly afterwards I would hook up with a tall guy in a green and white top, along with a more experienced runner in a Geneva Marathon top, who was running with a girl in a lilac top; they seemed to be chatting away to each other and the company throughout. I couldn't manage their level of chat, as I still felt like I was hanging on rather than cruising; we were now about 1:45-1:46 pace. At least the wind was at our backs from 4 miles through the halfway mark, but as we turned downhill through Mile 7, past a pub and another water station, it was in our faces as we approached the sea.

    Miles 8-10
    This was another change from last year's route. Due to storm damage, we weren't able to run miles 7-9 here, and it felt much better with a tailwind and views of the Irish Sea and Carlingford Lough. I still felt like I was hanging onto the aforementioned group, but we were passing a few people and the sea air was nice. As we approached the 10 mile mark, I began to think about whether I should try and push a bit harder; I was getting more comfortable with the current pace. Passing 10 miles, I thought to myself "just a parkrun to go". Yes, easy as that; not that you would tell if you watched me struggle in recent parkruns!! By this point, we had picked up 5 or 6 other runners who had been gradually coming back to us.

    Miles 11-Finish
    Just after the 10 mile mark, we turned away from the seafront and up a short, steep little hill back into the wind. A DDAC runner led off, but then I decided it was time to start pushing myself again. So I pumped the arms, got the legs moving faster, dropped the rest of the 8 or 9 person group before we reached the top, and didn't see any of them again. Pleased with my confidence booster, I worked my way through the twisty section between the seafront and the main road, passing a few more without being passed myself. A guy from my GAA club was volunteering, and gave me a shout just before we turned for the home sweep.
    The last 2 miles or so have several long straights, where you can see plenty of targets up the road if you're in the mood. By now, I certainly was, and set about improving my finishing position; first by ignoring the 11 mile water station, and then by gradually increasing the pace and picking off a good few guys in the process, including a Newry City Runner with about half a mile to go. Coming up to the finish, I had a good battle with the stronger of the two "Run Junkies"; we passed each other at least twice before she pulled away in the last 200. I still had enough energy for a sprint finish, managing to hold off renewed efforts from the Newry guy (who had lots of support!) and a girl in a black Titanic 10k top, who I thought I had left behind the best part of 3 miles previously. A time of 1:44 was better than I expected, especially when I considered how horrific the early stages had been; and my wife, SIL and her BF said I looked fairly comfortable as I finished :-)

    Post Race/Future
    Originally, I had intended this race to be a warmup for the Connemara Half. However, for a number of reasons I have wisely deferred my entry to next year. In addition, I will not be running a marathon this year, and most of my intended races for the rest of 2015 are over much shorter distances. Next planned race is the St Patrick's 5k this Sunday.

  • A few friends have said to me over the years that I dont celebrate my successes or give myself any credit when I accomplish something. I know it might sound silly to a lot of people, but I find giving myself credit for anything a very hard thing to do. I was raised very much in the Stoic mould so any kind of self promotion or even the hint of self promotion makes me very uncomfortable. So thats why Im writing a report on this race, as a way of celebrating a success. But dont worry there'll be no "Booms" or selfies or "Go me's", just the facts and an honest appraisel of how I think I did.........

    There was fierce craic over on the sweepstakes thread but to be honest I'm not a big gambler so I hadnt a clue what the hell was going on. I just enjoyed the banter and it was a really good thing Pat and luke did and it was probably the only thread in the history of this forum that didnt denegrate into petty squabbling. So it was a good vibe all around.

    As for my training.......well I've cut back on the amount of running I do. I started this last year and ive cut back even more this year. Id run every second or third day, with weight training on the other days. I've never liked the ultra skinny look, and so I made a decision to gain some weight in the form of muscle mass. I did that and went up to 153lbs(from about 143) so I knew going into this race I'd be dragging extra mass around with me and so a fast time like I did before wasnt gonna happen. But I was happy with that. I actually love racing and I have to restrain myself from doing one every week. I think in a race you get to really find out a lot about yourself, in ways that your every day life just doesnt do. So with no major goal or target in the pipe line I decided to do this half, in one part to help out Pat and his cause but also to test myself.

    The Race:

    So me and Dave arrived down to Bohermeen with about an hour to spare. I collected my number warmed up a bit and then strolled to the startline. And this was where I made a rookie mistake, because when I say I strolled to the startline I mean I literally just ambled up the road at my leisure. And this was with a minute or so to go before the gun went off. I always like to take it handy before races, Ive never in my life done a stride or any kind of speed work before a race. I like to jog a little, maybe chat to some friends and then calmly line up near the front. And normally this works out well for me but in bohermeen the start is very very narrow and this is something I had forgotten completley. So When I got up the road I reached a point where I physically coukdnt move up any further. I thought I was only a couple of rows from the front so I wasnt worried, but when the gun went off I was shocked to see there were hundreds of people ahead of me and the road being so narrow, I ended uo being caught in some serious human traffic. I dodged and weaved and a couple of times had to come to a complete stop to avoid a collision. I was getting frustrated with myself for making such a rookie error and in the end I had to jump into a ditch and run along that to get by people. I had planned to go off easy but not that easy and my first mile was relatively slow.

    Got going and passed a lot of people, I didnt panic just wound it up gradually. I was very conscious of my lack of training and the length of the race so I made sure not to get myself into a situation where I was very uncomfortable early on. Usually in a half I'll give it 4 or 5 miles before I show my hand, that way if I do blow up it'll be fairly late in the day and I wont it wont be that catastrophic. I did notice how strong the wind was though and I knew there were stretches where it was gonna be pretty bad. Plus being so far behind where I should;ve been with the slow start I knew I'd have to run the race by myself and end up in no mans land quite a bit.

    Hit 5 miles in 30 mins dead and I made the turnaround to head back up by the club. This was a part I knew was gonna be tough. The wind head on and me in no mans land catching runners every now and then. It was hard and I was thinking to myself, man you're gonna have to do this again only next time you'll have more miles on the clock and in all likelihood and have someone trying to pass you and take your place. Something to look forward to so.......There was a good crowd at the clubhouse and I got a few shouts, but mostly I was taking in the terrain and making mental notes for the return journey. I knew this would the strecth where Id have my test.
    So it was about 7 miles gone by this stage and thats kind of a funny part in a half. Youre fecked enough already and theres still a good whack left to run. Its the kind of thought that can break you, so I just continued saying nice happy things to myself like, Do not let that motherfcuker in the stripey red singlet catch you. All the while I was working but I was definitley in control and it wasnt getting away from me, I had enough in the tank for a negative split. I was still passing people, lads were now starting to look ragedy and dying deaths on their feet. Got to about 8 miles gone and I could see the first lady up the road with her Bodyguard. I didnt cop it at first but as I drew closer to them I realised that I knew the bouncer: It was my old friend aero2k. He looked stong and was moving well. I thought to myself, fair play Sean you look strong. But as I approached 9 miles gone aero seemed to fall back from pauline curley a bit. And then a bit more. I went by and said nothing because I knew he must be suffering. I never say anything to anyone in races because ive been in that situation myself, where Ive been dying on my feet and someone goes by me and starts saying sh1t to me which is designed to be encouraging but to be honest is just annoying. It happened to me in the kildare half one year when I had done my calve and was hobbling along when a guy goes by and starts shouting at me to come on. I have never felt like killing someoone so much im my from that day on I promised never to say a word to anyone during a race, and thats why aero, I said nothing, hope you didnt mind.

    Anyway got to 10 mile point in just under 60 mins and so I knew despite the wind that I was doing ok. It wasnt gonna be a steller time or anything but it would be respectable. And at that point I just stopped looking at the watch and focused on passing people and not getting passed. I passed a pair of lads in blue tops at about 11miles. By this stage we were approaching a hill which I knew could be trouble. I made the decision to slow down a little and take it handy up the hill and not blow my finishing kick out the window. I could hear the footsteps of the two boys behind me gaining ground. I could almost read their thoughts and what they were thinking: Hes fooked, we have him. But just as the caught up with me we crested the hill and I accelerated and left them behind.......for now anyway. 12 miles gone and I caught a donore lad who was dying a death. Up the road about 50 meters was the first lady, pauline curley.
    So now into the headwind and on that long long last mile or so to the finish, as so often it happens in my races, I was faced with a test. I could let pauline curley go and justify it by saying I had done well already I didnt need to do anymore or I could try my best. I was fooked at this stage and that weak part of me really wanted to capitulate and not try. But then I hear footsteps and they were getting closer. I had a quick look around and it was the two boys in the blue T-shirts. Fair play to them they were going for it. And now I had a choice: That voice in my head was telling me that it was only two places, whos to know? You can go back to the hall after the race, have some tea and rice krispie cakes and tell everyone how great I did, ommiting the part where I gave up and let two lads take my place. Nobody would ever know.........nobody except me and this is what I was talking about when I said you get to learn so much about yourself in a race because you realise in these moments that it doesnt matter what anyone else thinks about you, in sport or life. Its all about being honest with yourself and doing yourself right.
    So one of the blue shirt guys draws level with my shoulder and thats as far as I let him go. I know he thinks he has me, but I accelerate and surge forward. Now theres only one set of footsteps, I burned off one of them. The remaining guy tries again. Again I dont let him get beyond my shoulder and this time I kick hard. Im absolutley fooked but I go anyway. In all the excitement i realise ive caught the leading lady. I go by her aswell. 200m to go and now I have to keep it going, I cant surrender now even though that voice is still calling for me to quit and let them pass me. I catch a donore guy and give everything I have to pass him, some guy shouts 100 to go and thats it, I sprint as hard as I can and I make it over the line without giving in or surrendering a position.

    The time wasnt my best, far far from it, but bloody hell that was probably the best race I've ever run. I was tested and I didnt give in and when you do that, regardless of the time, you're good.

    Time: 79:05
    Place 22nd

  • Love it, tunguska!

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  • Brilliant report man.

  • Great report Tunguska, you have a way with words.

    Didn't realise I was standing next to you in the clubhouse, nice disguise.

  • Great report Tunguska, you have a way with words.

    Didn't realise I was standing next to you in the clubhouse, nice disguise.

    You have me there, I didn't realise I was standing next to you either. That's nuts isn't it. Did I say hello? I must've, I said hi to everyone in the immediate vicinity. If I didn't I apologise, it was seriously crowded in that hall and I had Niall shouting at me about Lennox lewis every 2 mins.

  • Brilliant report and performance Eoin.

    Although I didn't manage a similar effort, I did have the privilege and dubious pleasure of seeing up close what it takes to be an elite athlete. Pauline had dropped me around 6 miles in the Trim 10, so this time I was determined to hang on a bit longer. I had a nice controlled start, and made my way up to Pauline's group around 3 miles. We were on 5.50 average at that stage, working hard but not overdoing it. Then I moved ahead a bit, she came up alongside, and for the next six miles or so I was hanging on. Being a gentleman I kept trying to run in front, but she never let me take more than about 2-3 steps before she was off ahead again. I felt extremely uncomfortable, pukish tbh, and every time she passed me I had to dig in to hang on. She looked to be running strongly, but from her breathing I reckon she was suffering a lot more than me - a lesson for next time round. I might have managed that average pace for a bit longer, but that succession of efforts took a physical and mental toll, and I just couldn't hang on any longer. I did try to hang onto you when you passed, I was sitll managing 6:00 pace then so not too bad, but the wind really took a toll on the tired body and I lost 90 sec or so to Pauline by the finish. I wasn't in much of a mood for talking so no offence taken.

    I was really impressed by her run and particularly her attitude. She was well in the lead from early on and all she had to do was cruise round to win. She could have taken shelter behind me or several others. Instead she went hell for leather the whole way, and wind or gradient didn't seem to stall her. Thanks for the masterclass Pauline, oh and Happy Birthday!

  • Saturday March 14th

    St. Laurence O'Toole 10K Race

    46:03 on the watch - 7:25 per mile pace - New PB by 3 minutes, 37 seconds

    This also included a new unofficial 5K PB of 22:43

    Was aiming for around 47:40

    Chip time not available on PrecisionTiming.Net yet...patiently waiting.

    Mile splits:

    Mile 1: 6:32,
    Mile 2: 7:31,
    Mile 3: 7:47,
    Mile 4: 7:32,
    Mile 5: 7:36,
    Mile 6: 7:31,
    Last 0.21: 1:34

    Loved this and I am totally buzzing now.

    As usual, I took off too fast and suffered a bit for miles 2 and 3. I was conscious of this at the start and kept telling myself not to do it but I did...again...I just can't get the hang of getting the feel of my starting pace right.

    Mile 3 had a pretty bad hill too but it was the only one along the course really. This was the only mile where I missed my 7:40 pace target which I didn't think I could hold nearly as well as I did.

    Lovely course, great spread afterwards and I'd recommend it to anybody next year!

  • LikeLaois Man above, I crossed over the border into Carlow for St Laurence O’Toole’sF4L 10km run.

    Ithink 10km race is a distance I find hardest to struggle with. I rarely justify myself in these,predominantly always get the starting pace wrong by going too fast and thenstruggle to hold a decent pace for the remainder of the race. Before this race, I never went under 39mindespite two serious attempts in the last 8 months. My PB going into this race was 39.12 (which Igot in Mt Juliet only last month) which I felt was very soft (I ran 62.40 inBallycotton 10 on Sunday wk). Soabsolute minimum on Saturday was a sub-39min - very doable (although I thoughtthe same at my two previous attempts at this distance). My real aim was to do at least low 38m andpossibly even a sub-38m.

    Trueto form, I went out way too quick for the first mile, about 5.53. Madness, I should know better at thisstage. I tried running with a workcolleague who is much quicker than me, rather than running at my own pace – it’snot an excuse, just an explanation to why it happened. After running way too fast for the firstmile, second mile was brought back to a more manageable 6.12 but I was alreadylabouring too much at this stage of the race. On the third mile, itwas obvious some damage was done – although there is a “hill” in the thirdmile, 6.20 was still too slow for this mile and I was suffering for mystupidity at the beginning. There was anice decline after the “hill” and this assisted me to bring my pace down to6.03 – it also allowed me to recover somewhat but I still didn’t finish asstrong as I’d liked. My time for mile 5was 6.12 and I was really struggling with this mile – my legs just felt likelead and I had nothing to offer, just counting the minutes to the finish. I ran the sixth mile at a similar pace but Ireally should have been hammering it, there was a nice decline on thatroute. I just didn’t have it in me togive it anymore and I have given up any thought of getting a sub-38 and justsettled on getting 38.XX.

    Whichwas a pity as about 100m from the finishing line, the clock was ticking at37.45, resulting in one last mad hurrah for the line. After crossing the line, my watch showed37.59.9!! Obviously I knew this could bea sec or two out from the chip time (up or down) but all of a sudden, getting asub-38min was really important to me!! My chip time showed 38.01 and while I did achieve my objective, got a PBby over a min at 10km level, I was initially p1ssed off that I didn’t get asub-38min!

    Onreflection, I appreciate it's only two seconds, pretty irrelevant and fairly happy with the result. The course is pretty much as flat as I’veever experienced and it’s definitely a PB course. The “hill” I refer to above is more a small dragthat only stands out because the rest of the course is fairly flat. Well done to all at SLOT for putting so muchwork into organising this event. Therewere plenty of marshals out one the course, organisation work put into this wasvery evident from the beginning and as Laois Man said above, the spreadafterwards was very generous. Some ofthe route at the beginning and the end was through very busy town-centretraffic which made it a wee bit uncomfortable – in fairness to the organisers,they had serious amount of marshals on the course to control the traffic so itwas handled very well – just too much traffic in it for my liken! My only real gripe about the race was around6.5km into the race, the 10km runners join up with the 5km runners. The 5kmrunners spread themselves right across the road, some with kids on bikes who went from one side of the road to the other, which created a lot ofwork for 10k runners trying to weave through – especially when they’re probablyknackered at this stage (I know I was!). Maybe if the 10k runners started ½ hour earlier? But that's the only real complaint I have of what is a very good event. I’drecommend for anyone looking for a 10km PB. SLOT F4L should be very proud of their work here.

  • 7 seconds ahead of meself Tones! Agree about you re the race. Great event!

  • Bahanaman wrote: »
    7 seconds ahead of meself Tones! Agree about you re the race. Great event!

    Blue cap?

  • That's me!!

  • Have you placed now. You stormed part me through the "flying mile" in the Stook run in November - and I felt I was storming pass others!!

    In touch with ASIMON0V about joining GAC for a few Wed sessions in the Watershed - I might see you down there?

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  • Brian Boru (Clontarf) 10 Mile Race Report 06/04/2015

    Pre Race
    I had only run two 10 milers prior to this; the last two Frank Duffy races, the quicker being in 2013 with a chip time of 1:16:xx. Since then, I lowered my 5 mile PB to 34:xx in last year's Terenure race (pacer assisted). Surely there was room for improvement ?! However, there were little or no signs that anything positive was to happen today; a number of poor runs, mixed in around GAA and life stuff, and the fact that I hadn't really trained for a race in ages.

    On the day I arrived at the Red Stables at about 9:00 to a quick and easy number and chip collection, after which a lap of the Parkrun course, mixed in with a bit of fartlek, got the blood pumping in plenty of time for the off. We were to run two small laps followed by one little one, and two big ones. Confused? You're not the only one!

    Miles 1-2
    I lined up alongside Dave Brady, and another guy from Raheny who seems to run in most of my races. I decided to let the field separate out on the two small loops at the bottom of the avenue, while I got my bearings for the rest of it. I should point out that the route was very different from last year's (see the race thread). We then ran the entire length of the avenue before turning around and coming back down again. I was trying to hang on to a guy in an orange Meath Spring Marathon top, but soon realised that wasn't going to work, and dialled it back a wee bit on the way down.

    Miles 3-6
    Near the bottom we turned left onto the Parkrun course, before bearing right just after we crossed the little bridge, then right as we headed for the south eastern corner of the park. RedRunner was there supporting on the downhill, as I was trying to keep pace with a group of 3 or 4 a few yards ahead. I caught a lady runner around the 3 mile mark, but then turning left up the short steep hill took a bit out of me, and I didn't really gain any positions for a while. Being familiar with most of the park was a help though; I realised that if I kept this pace up, I was certainly in with a shout of a PB. The course changed again down the avenue, as we turned right at the rose garden and down around the bottom of the park again, before some badly needed water (at last!) on quite a warm day....and off we turned again....

    Miles 7-10
    Even though I had managed to catch and pass a Donore guy, I still felt a bit weak at this point, and as I passed the baggage area at the bottom of the avenue I was on the brink of stepping off and grabbing my gear. But then I thought, there's a shot at a PB here, I'll probably have to fight for it though! With DNF demons cast aside, I pushed on again, and although I wasn't making up too many places, not many were passing me either. The second run up the hill gave me a bit more of a boost, as did a slight return to the Parkrun route before the 8 mile marker.

    Turning back down the avenue, I knew we wouldn't just be running straight down to the finish. So where would we turn? Right at the rose garden, looping back near the start. Just when I thought we were heading straight back to the avenue, we were diverted left again! I was suffering a fair bit now, but even so I could finally see the finish line, and picked it up down the straight for a while, before easing up and crossing the line, arms raised knowing the PB was in the bag :D of almost a minute, as it since transpired! I'm fairly chuffed with that, especially as it happened on such a warm day and on a course with so many twists and turns.

    Position: 97th
    Time: 1:15:40 (1:15:31)

    Post Race
    I sat down for a few minutes to relax, then after a bit of chat at the finish, went for a coffee and scone in Tír na nÓg before heading home. Next up in terms of races is the K-Club BHAA event on Saturday. In the meantime, I've some Moet to finish on this sunny summer like afternoon; life's good in my running world again!!

  • Not sure if I've ever done a Race Report on Boards, so here goes.

    Half in Spain today, 1.19.26 for a 5th place finish and first 'real' oldie - will explain later.


    Wife is from Valencia and we usually head this direction around Easter. Last year I did a Half on the coast in Denia - lovely spot, and fine race for a tenner! This year I saw that there was an inaugural Marathon/Half/10k just North and inland from Valencia. Registered and away we go. The profile was significantly net downhill over the 21k so everything else being equal you'd expect a fast time. First I thought it was going to be 'trail' conditions but it turned out to be oldish, slightly crumbling tarmac all the way.


    After ludicrous amounts of food and drink on the Saturday from friends who live in Caudiel, where the Half was starting, I rocked up to the start. Great to have a place to stay which was 100m from the starting line. Kept 'warm-up' to a minimum and to be honest I wasn't sure what shape I was in for this or how seriously I was going to take it when the chips were down.

    Gun goes and we're off. A dozen lads in front of me but by the time we did a lap or so of the village and got on to the Via Verde (former railroad track) I was actually in about 8th spot already. I settled in to a nice rhythm and about the only negative was that I quickly found myself on my own. One of the daughters has a superb picture of me - best running pic I have, must get it printed - after 3k and even then there's clear blue air between me and those in front and behind. I looked at the watch every now and again and kinda knew it was fast but I also thought, Meh, it's downhill, if it's not fast today, it never will be.

    I ran on my own for a good few k. I felt ok and could see two lads ahead, approx 75 metres. That came down to 50 slowly and then I started to reel them in. All of a sudden (after 7k!!!!) I had caught them. As ever, it was better with company. I more or less went to the front and from halfway to the end I ran with one of the lads as we very slowly dropped the other bloke. Went through one or two long tunnels which I knew from a beep or two were messing with the Garmin. That didn't bother me as I was just concentrating on form and staying strong.

    With about 4 or 5 to go we saw that the runner ahead of us was coming back a little, then a not so little. He had been 300 metres ahead of us at one stage. The way things were going I knew we had him and I was wondering about places. Thought I might be around 6th to 8th at that stage. Last few k I was working really hard to keep it going. Knew that I was slowing a little but a quick glance at watch suggested sub 1.20 was still on. That had been target A from the outset, so I was happy. Also kinda knew that there wasn't going to be much left for a kick if and when it came to that. I think I lacked a small bit of killer instinct tbphwy.

    Sure enough, with about 350 metres to go there was a very short but sharp descent on a bend and my years and famed inability to take a corner came into play. My mate of the last 38 minutes pulled away and I accepted the 'place loss'. In all of this I more or less knew the Age Category was in the bag. 'Sprinted' last 150 metres and gave a little satisfied air punch when I saw the 1.19.2X.


    Really happy with the whole experience and would highly recommend the race. (Google 'Maraton Vias Verdes, it's a series. This one is Ojos Negros). Got the old M50 trophy and the picture taken. I promise not to cite 1.19 as my new pb. In fact, chatting to the lad who beat me, he said his flat Half time was the same as mine, 1.22.0X, which strongly suggests the down slope gave us two and a half minutes advantage. I have already suggested to the organisers that they think about making one year down, one year up, a la Comrades.

  • Adding a pic. Don't know if that's allowed on this thread but sure I'm a bit of a rebel. The 13 year old daughter snapped this at km3. I like to think it captures the 'concentrated but comfortable' feel that you're looking for with 6/7ths of the race still to run. Funny thing also is it is one of the extremely few stretches not on tarmac and not descending so that when I look back at this race in a few years time, I'll have a completely incorrect memory of it!


  • Cracking time, well done. Have you gone to the tomato throwing festival in Bunol? If memory serves me right, Bunol is near Valencia?

  • Cracking time, well done. Have you gone to the tomato throwing festival in Bunol? If memory serves me right, Bunol is near Valencia?

    And there was me worrying about attaching pics!! Now we're REALLY going to go off topic. Yes, I did. Only once though. It's a good laugh once you're prepared for it. Old clothes and trainers/flip flops cos they'll be heading to the bin immediately after the event.

    The only thing I'd change was the weather. We got unlucky with a coolish (it was probably about 24 degrees, but by then that was cool) day and the public showers afterwards weren't as welcome as they usually would be. In any case you'll still find a few tomato pips in strange parts of the body 3 days later.

  • It's long, but it took five years to get there, so no apologies:

    Bib number 15439 for pics and video.

  • great run and report aero

  • I love reading your reports aero, another brilliant result for you. You're surely on form.

  • aero2k wrote: »
    It's long, but it took five years to get there, so no apologies:

    Bib number 15439 for pics and video.

    A super report to capture an exceptional performance.
    Well done Seán.
    Totally deserved :)

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  • RayCun wrote: »
    great run and report aero

    Cheers Ray, your recovery from injury has been a big inspiration. You were about 40 sec ahead of me in the Tom Brennan so there must be a great marathon time waiting for you.
    I love reading your reports aero, another brilliant result for you. You're surely on form.

    Thanks for the kind words - there are some wonderful reporters here so I feel more pressure writing than actually running the races. Yeah, the form is good, I had my first run since the race today and apart from a tight left upper leg - it's tight most of the time - I felt grand. I'm just going to ease back into it now.
    yaboya1 wrote: »
    A super report to capture an exceptional performance.
    Well done Seán.
    Totally deserved :)

    Cheers Peter, I really had to up my game to try not to keep ruining all your race photos - judging by your log you'll be flying past me soon.