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01-04-2020, 20:44   #1
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Your best ever race?

I’ve enjoyed reading some great marathon ‘breakthrough’ race reports on the Sub-3, 3:30 and 4 report threads that Healy initiated recently. But it occurred to me that many of us are either not marathon-oriented at all, or (like me) love marathons but perform better at other distances. So how about a thread celebrating those personal highlight races. Link to the original report, or if you never wrote one, write it now!

This will bring together personal achievements on road, track, trail, mountains, ultra, cross country - any surface or distance at all. The only requirement is that it was a performance that stands apart for you from all others, and don’t be afraid to tell us why!
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01-04-2020, 20:54   #2
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A recent one for me, but genuinely a performance I never thought I was capable of until that day.
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01-04-2020, 21:48   #3
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Originally Posted by OOnegative View Post

A recent one for me, but genuinely a performance I never thought I was capable of until that day.
Good one B - still can’t believe you had beers the night before, although maybe the relaxed demeanour worked well for you on the day. How good was this compared to your other bests - is it objectively better as well as ‘feeling’ good?
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01-04-2020, 22:14   #4
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Two races stick out for me well ahead of the rest.

National Senior 400m 2014

Had tried for months and months to go sub 55 after running 55.00. I thought it would just not happen. Eventually I got 54.88 in my very first Nationals. That moment will always live with me. I never ran sub 55 again.

National Senior 200m 2017

A carbon copy from above, but this time over 200m. Spent the whole season being painfully close to sub 25, but couldn't seem to manage it. The cards fell the right way and I managed to break a significant barrier once again at Nationals. 24.87. My one and only sub 25.

I can't pick between the two moments. Nationals is the biggest event for me. My favourite meet of the year. To run my 2 best races ever at this event is very special to me.

Last edited by Chivito550; 01-04-2020 at 22:20.
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01-04-2020, 22:22   #5
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School race in a 200m I was in the outside lane, just went out hard as couldn't see those inside of me. Kept waiting for them to come through me. The rest only caught me with 25m to go and was able to hang on for the win, two stronger sprinters in a close 2nd and 3rd.
Never won another race. Now a mid
Pack midapack triathlete.
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01-04-2020, 23:14   #6
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2 stick out for me for different reasons.

(1) Dunboyne 5m BHAA

Quite a memorable race as it was my PB for long time over 5m.
The last mile is the most memorable mile I'll ever run, I was neck & neck with a BP runner (P. Fitz) and about 1km from the finish I was really struggling.
He beckoned me on and I couldn't go with him, but it did spur me on - as we approached the track, I was quite close to him and got strength from somewhere to overtake him and get a substantial PB and sub 29. Memorable for P.Fitz's actions.

(2) 1st Sub 60 10m - JT10m 2020

I never believed that I could go sub 60 - even 10 seconds prior to this race - I didn't believe it - 2miles into it, I didn't believe it.
But I did!

I class the Sub 60 10 mile my biggest achievement in running.
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01-04-2020, 23:17   #7
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Ran my PB in the half after a night on the Guinness. 10 mile pb also had a hangover!
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01-04-2020, 23:31   #8
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I'd probably nominate this one:

John Treacy 10 Mile 2018. A week removed from a 5 mile PB in Raheny. I was as fit as I'd ever been and the 10 mile distance suited me perfectly. I remember thinking "This is too quick" early on but just went with it.

I can also remember feeling strong around half way and pushing on past a good few people. I kept waiting for the blow up but it never came.

5 Mile PB of 32:13 and a 10 Mile PB of 67:04 7 days later.

I couldn't run a mile at those paces now
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02-04-2020, 07:35   #9
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Mine is probably the Blarney Half back in 2013, I didn't write a report but I can weirdly remember almost every step of that race.

A little preamble but I'd started running properly that year with a 10k Pb of 50 minutes which got progressively lower as the year passed and I'd got down to 1:33 in the Waterford half in July, my main goal at the time was to try run my second marathon in Dublin after running 4:07 in Limerick in May as my first.

Going into the race, my plan was just to go with the 1:30 group and hang on as long as I could, I was a seriously heavy racer back then and on the Friday night before the race, I ran a 13k race in Emly with one of the lads and finished in 52:59 so the plan was to go out with the 90 group on Sunday and see how long I could hang more in hope than anything else as I have a habit of racing the hard and painful way, I didn't believe I had any shot of actually sticking with them. The course in Blarney was an out and back with the first 7 miles all uphill to Grenagh hill and back down for the last 6(which I didn't know and one that obviously needs much more sensible pacing than a flat route)

Met a few faster clubmates just before the start who pulled me to the front and I remember going through the first mile in 6:21 and thinking oh shlt!!! This is way too fast even compared to the suicidal original plan so I slowly drifted back to just in front of the pace group over the next 2 miles. There was a guy alongside me who was getting on my nerves sprinting up the hills in front of me and almost walking the downhills and then shooting past again on the next hill so all I could think was I got to burn this guy off, it wasn't until the turnaround point at 7 miles when I looked back that I realised I'd put a minute into the pace group behind and it was all going to be downhill back to the finish. The second half of that race was something I've only felt 2 or 3 times during a race in my life, it felt like I'd cocaine for blood, completely euphoric like runners high on overdrive and I'd almost describe it as feeling like I could run as fast as I wanted and was absolutely blazing past everyone over the last few miles. I hadn't a clue what pace I was on as I was just using a stopwatch and mile markers and I couldn't do the math but when I rounded the last corner, I saw the clock just tick over to 1:26 flat and I sprinted over the line to finish in 1:26:26.

I couldn't believe it, over a 7 minute pb from the Waterford half 8 weeks before and well under the 90 minutes I thought I was only wishing to break in blind hope. It felt like the easiest effort half I've ever run and it's one of the only times I've wished the race kept going past the finishline, I even get a rush thinking about it now.

It also gave me huge confidence heading into Dublin 6 weeks later where I went on to run 3:15 for a 52 minute pb. That whole year was a blast when it came to running actually, roasting hot summer with Friday evening races and roadtrips with the lads, I done a lot of stupid training and way too much racing but some of my favourite racing and running experiences were that year but that half tops the pile for many reasons.
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02-04-2020, 08:45   #10
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Originally Posted by Murph_D View Post
Good one B - still can’t believe you had beers the night before, although maybe the relaxed demeanour worked well for you on the day. How good was this compared to your other bests - is it objectively better as well as ‘feeling’ good?
It felt better D because it’s the most controlled & comfortable I’ve ever felt racing. I’ve never felt as strong that far into a race to be able to increase the pace the way I did over the last 4 miles. Plus the ‘feeling good’ factor was a huge help. I blame myself for the beers to!!!

Last edited by OOnegative; 02-04-2020 at 08:52.
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02-04-2020, 09:19   #11
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Can only link the page # and not the post # on the mobile site. Is that right? I'll post entire report but if someone can tell me how to link post I'll edit that.

Dublin Half Marathon 2018, have ran faster in the meantime but this was a day when it all seemed to come together.

Dublin Half Marathon Report

Had company for this one as my two mates who I went with to Rotterdam were running. My buddy who broke 3hours there was pacing the other to a 1:32 as it turned out, a 10min PB

Parked near the cricket ground and jogged up to the start line with a few strides thrown in. Feeling pretty pumped but a positive type of nervous energy. Forgot just how big a race this actually was numbers wise and had to come back out of the starting pen to get a decent spot towards the front.

Km 1-5 (3:47, 3:48, 3:50, 3:48, 3:55): 19:08

After my ill judged start to the Frank Duffy I was determined not to make the same mistake here. I knew it was a slightly risky strategy as the first few k are a nice downhill and a good chance to bank a bit of time, but I stuck to my guns. I had one or two runners in my early group ear marked as guys who would be under the 1:20 mark and as we headed down Ordnance survey road I was in a decent group of about 15. 3:47 kms was the magic number today and the first 2k passed without fuss.
Then my lace opens, pull into the side, panicking a little bit as I knew that the possibility of breaking 80mins was marginal enough, back out and rejoiced proceedings with the group maybe 10secs ahead now. Coming up towards the S bends I was running beside David Carrie and I figured he might be a good man to pace off going up the short climbs, and he may well have been but then my lace opens again
I'm annoyed now, pull in take a couple of deep breaths and then a couple of extra seconds to make sure I tie the damn things properly this time. I definitely took off too fast this time and made it back to DC just coming up to the first water station when the lace opens AGAIN!!
This is not funny anymore, but if anything it calmed me a bit. Took a bottle of water, pulled in just after, took a good swig of water, triple knotted the lace and joined in again on a decent downhill. I've probably lost at least 45secs but I'm moving well and the pace feels comfortable at this early stage.

Km 6-10 (3:54, 3:48, 3:48, 3:48, 3:50) : 19:08

That last lace disaster probably took in some of km 6 looking at the splits. The 80 min group is now long gone and in the distance. But moving in past the Zoo and onto the North Rd I'm tipping along nicely, working with a chap in a pink t shirt who I will end up sharing the load with for the rest of the race. Bit of drag up the North road but I'm feeling good, passing a good few here. Tight turn at castleknock gate was not appreciated

Km 11-15 ( 3:49, 3:42, 3:58, 3:43, 3:51) :19:03

As luck would have it my course recce a couple of weeks back, took me up Whites Rd, so I knew it was drag. Put the hammer down in the km leading up to it to limit any losses. Myself and pink shirt are motoring now and keeping each other honest. Took a gel at last bottle station when we got back into the park. I'm feeling strong and looking forward to taking advantage of the fast stretch down Chesterfield and Acres road.

Km 16-20 (3:44, 3:43, 3:39, 3:39, 3:50) : 18:35

Through 10miles about 60:50, 17secs down on my FD time but feeling unbelievably good. I'm certain that I'll go under 1:21 but if I go now, and it had to be now, and wind it up then 80mins could still be on. I know that the upper glen is always a tough stretch but my mind is made up. Pink shirt is still here and it's one of those moments Where it didn't need to said, I pushed and he tagged on straight away. Going down acres was great, just in a rhythm and enjoying the race and the fact that I'm finishing strong. A few of the guys I tagged at the start are coming back quickly now and I know it's gonna be touch and go. Clap my hands together and shout 'come on' coming up the upper glen

Km 21 (3:36, 3:31 for the bit)

Down the final stretch, 3:36 fastest km of the race, coming up to line I actually thought I had about 5 secs in the bag and eased off a smidgen but I stopped watch past the line @1:19:59 So I was 'fairly sure' I had it but was a little worried until I saw official time on the phone

Considering the time lost in the first 5k I couldn't be happier with that result. Feeling great today, had a few beers last night. Got up at 6am and did about 15k Easy, left the watch at home and just ambled about reliving the race in my head legs never felt better after a race. Back out on walk with Erin Healy in the buggy now and writing this report from a McDonald's whilst taking a well earned break from my staple porridge breakfast
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02-04-2020, 09:57   #12
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Not a proper report but my best ever race (not my fastest) was DCM 2013.

2013 started with Limerick

I had ran my first ever marathon that May in Limerick. I finished in 3:58:xx and was delighted. But seriously de-hydrated. I had trained all winter in compression gear due to the cold and the rain so on they day I wore the same. I missed the first 2 water stops and by mile 11 or so was in serious trouble. The 4 hour pacers caught me at about mile 24 and only for them I wouldnt have finished. Got over the line, couldnt walk and lay on the floor for about an hour getting water in to me. Decided the week after I would do Dublin.

Trained all on my own all summer and came to the big day. Just wanted to beat limerick, had no other target in mind. Started well, held back a bit. I wasnt used to the crowds at all and only support I had was my brother at certain points of the course. Got to half way point and was feeling pretty good so pushed on a bit. I had in my head that this "Heartbreak hill" was coming up and was getting ready for it. Had it in my mind that this was going to be torture going by the online reports. Fell in with some fella around mile 18, we said we'd do it together. Back then Roebuck was earlier than it is now. So anyway, we get to mile 21 and I ask yer man, where is this hill. He looks at me like I had two heads and said we just went up it. To put it in to context, Dublin that year had an elevation gain of 161m. Limerick had 224m so I was used to worse and my training runs for 20 miles all were up around 160-170m.

Anyway I pushed on, came home in 03:5:301 and ran a negative split. Was delighted and the marathon had truly taken hold
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02-04-2020, 12:39   #13
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On from the vault which predates my boards days.....

1500m Dublin Championships from my Juvenile days out in ALSAA. 3 advanced to All Irelands and fairly strong field where I would have expected to be 4-5. At the time I had been racing a Skerries lad regularly in particular over the cross country. We normally finished back to back (the order changed up but he had the advantage head to head)

The race itself went fairly to plan in the early stages. Top 2 separated themselves from the field early one (one was training partner so I knew exactly what sort of shape he was in) then 3rd and 4th caught in no mans land running solo, and usual scenario of myself and himself sitting in 5th and 6th. Kinda gave up on qualifying as I wasn't exactly known for my speed so when gaps form wasn't the greatest for closing them down and covering moves.

Two laps in and nothing had really changed, moving at a decent clip (in around PB pace) with my the lad from Skerries tracking me obviously relying on his speed to get the best of me. Coming into the last lap I was waiting for the inevitable and low and behold he comes blowing by me with 300m to go. For what ever reason I didn't respond - not because I physically couldn't as I was feeling quite confident in how I was feeling. But I was biding my time and after 50m he had put a good gap on me chasing down the guys ahead I decided now was the time to go.

Body responded in a way that I had never experienced before. Within 50m I had taking on spot, another 25m and I had taken the other guy who had been running solo . Skerries lad however was still a good bit ahead, however this gap was closing with every stride. Coming off the final bend and we were neck and neck in a battle for that last qualifying spot. Normally would leave me for dead however his kick was spent and the two of us were just holding on for dear life. Came down to the dip and the big head came to my rescue pipping him. In terms of time I will be honest can't remember if it was a PB or not (think so but can't be sure)

These days I doubt this race would register with himself as he has gone on to run 3.42 and take National Senior titles but I like to think races like this kept him honest in terms of work ethic
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02-04-2020, 14:19   #14
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Most recent one for me, something I was hugely proud of. Also, glad to get it in before everything started happening

Barcelona Half Marathon 2020
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02-04-2020, 15:29   #15
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Not a race report but the following was mine

Bob Heffernan 5k 2017 19:38 PB

Went into this race in great shape, had some good results behind me but never broken 20 mins. My usual time was 20:50 etc.

Did Griffeen Park run 4 weeks out from it in 20:30, best time there. 2 weeks later Le Cheile 5k in 20:05 with a 3:40 last k. So knew it was there but needed to attack earlier.

The race was on Tuesday, but that Sunday was out on the beer with friends from 2pm till 4am, not ideal prep but had Monday off.

Went into the race very relaxed, just waiting for it to start. Remembered the first 3k I attacked hard and time was close 11:30. Passed a few from the club.
4k I struggled a bit but for the last km I kicked for home with whatever I had left. Was delighted with the PB. Still am

A week later in Dunboyne I got my 5 mile pb, 33:00 flat. Legs died after 6k, felt the 5k race in them. Did Dunshaughlin a few weeks later, 42:14, second fastest 10k.

Following year did a sub 20min again, got injured in training for a half after it and never rediscovered that form again
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