Saturday 26 April 2014


Marathon #51     4:09:47

15th place (in fairness not a massive field)

At the best little marathon in the West at Craughwell

I was looking forward to today. I really enjoyed my last visit to Craughwell in December despite the weather. Today even though it was the worst day of the week weather wise it was OK for running. That despite a decent wind and mizzly rain for large parts of the race.

Today was also the day that I was receiving my medal to commemorate my 50th marathon. I don't think I have had as many "well dones", congratulations, hugs and kisses ever. It was really nice and the Craughwell organisers and all of the runners made this day special. Even Johnny Healy doing his hundredth marathon and all the well deserved praise for him just added to the day.

Organisation as ever was brilliant with a great headquarters and a well marked course. There were two official aid stops and 2 popup ones, so there was plenty of help en-route.  It was 8 laps of a 3.3 mile loop. People either love or hate this format. Fortunately I love it.

To say it was a marathon is a misnomer, as it was a running festival with a marathon, a half marathon and a 5K all on the same loop.

There was some early starters that were off from 7am but the main field started on time at 9:30am.

I decided to test myself a little and see how long I could stay at 3:45 pace,  as I am going to have to get
Clipping along at 3:45
used to this and faster over the coming months. I started off at 8:30 mpm and kept it going nicely in the wind and mizzle for quite a while. I was ahead of the normal crew who I follow and clicked off the first 4 laps exactly at this pace. I came through half way in 1:51:30 about 1 minute ahead of 3:45 pace. I was very pleased with this. In fact I kept things going pretty good until around 18 miles when I spectacularly blew up. I was trying new gels today as well "high five Isogels" which gave me a very crampy stomach. I immediately slowed with 2.5 laps to go. It was a long long way home from here.

I was reeled in by a lot of people over the last couple of laps as I resorted to a walk run strategy and my time in the end was a little disappointing.

Rapid Rotweiller
Some incidents of note: first was on lap 6 (just after I bombed), I came across Kathleen Cheshire (who herself is only a few marathons from her own 100). She seemed very animated about a dog attack on lap 1. From the description I thought it was a rabid Rottweiler and I was expecting Kathleen to quote
some obscure dog owners law,  and how she single handedly man
handled the owner into handcuffs and called for backup (I've just seen all series of "the wire").  It turned out to be a doe eyed long eared brown and white spaniel that came to the gate just to say hello. Ah well!!!

I also had a too and fro with Johnny Healy who was heading relentlessly to his 100th marathon. We traded places a few times with me finally pulling clear in the last mile.  It was nice to be there at the finish to see him come in.

There was much jubilation at the finish line from friends and family

As usual Craughwell put on a massive spread that will feed many families of runners tonight.

Racing legend David Brady
There was also a wonderful presentation of my 50th medal from Valerie Fogerty, the chair
person of the marathon club and a specially requested photo opportunity with racing legend David Brady.

ValerieFogarty (Chairperson of MCI)  
There was a fantastic medal today for all

Next up Belfast where I shall maybe try and go under 1:50 for the first half and see how it pans out.

So today is now known as bling Saturday

Garmin stats for today

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