Sunday, 15 June 2014

Portumna

Marathon #57    Portumna Forest 50K  5:08

This race for me started the day before as I had been invited to play golf in Powerscourt. I played great but got let down by my team. Coincidentally, I was sitting at dinner with the after dinner speaker, who turned out to be acclaimed Irish teacher, motivator, entrepreneur and extreme Ultra runner Daithí Ó Murchú. It was an experience. Daithí is one of those individuals who has energy seeping from every pore and boundless enthusiasm. Listening to his stories and philosophies on the nutritional and spiritual aspects of running had me absolutely exhausted before desert.

Daithí  is entered in the 10 in 10 in September as training for his attempt at running across the desert in Namibia. Maybe when you are spending time with him at the 10 in 10 you can ask him about the time:

- He had to get his lung re-inflated by a Russian doctor on Everest before completing the ascent
- How when he finished the MDS he decided he hadn't run the whole desert and continued before exiting in Israel and being mistaken for a terrorist and incarcerated for 3 days.
- How he got air lifted out of South pole after a successful trip there.

His stories are endless and his energy overwhelming. If I could describe Daithí it could be crazy, tapped, but will settle for special.

I got back late and was straight to bed. 4am seen me up for breakfast and on the road for 4:15. Driving along  the quays in Dublin the night clubs were only getting out and there was human debris everywhere. Listening to the radio I heard that we were experiencing a phenomenon we only see every 40 years that night called the "Honey Moon" and there it was in front of me. It was so beautiful I missed the turn to Galway and was now late.

The new nemesis Pat
Fortunately when I got to Portumna things were backed up at registration and I had time to change and get registered. There were a lot of nerves on the start line as we were off at 7am with the 100Kers. My new running nemesis Pat Malone was there after he had welcomed me into the MV50 age group during the week. I congratulated him on his 50th marathon run that day but there was no eye contact and a cursory shake of the hands. This was going to be serious.

It was very humid but apart from that it was perfect weather.

Early hijinks
We were off. I started with Pat, stalking him, but he decided he had had enough and sprinted off into the distance. I was left with Finn O'Meara and Tom Reynolds (both 100kers) in a small group that was lapping in around  28 minutes. This was spot on 5hr pace. Some of those in the 100K had gone off fast.

Brenda Miere and Stephen  Mullin both in their first 100K were too fast in my opinion. They both proved me wrong, both finishing in times much better than their predicted. Meanwhile I had fallen in with Mark Conlon and Claire (from Wicklow) for quite a bit of time. Mark was suffering from a kidney infection and spent an inordinate amount of time in the portaloo. I came through 25K in 2.25 hrs. Still around 5 hr pace. My nemesis Pat was still doing well and pulled out a 10 minute gap. I was sure at this stage he was going too fast and that foot cramps were sure to follow. Time would tell.
Theresa and Collette

On we went knocking off the 30 minute laps. There were lots of injuries out there. I noticed James
45K in
Kelly struggling early (ITB went). Eilis Connery was flying and would be the leading Irish Lady in the 50K pipped by an English one. I think if Eilis concentrated on 50K she would be a real threat to the Dunne/Dilworth stranglehold on the national title. Eimer and Olivia were having a ball and Collette and Theresa were equally having a great time. Its a very sociable run.

I was being stalked by Marie Chapman, Adolfo and the ever present Mo. Somehow and unknown  to me Marie and Adolfo slipped past me at a feed station. They were both to go on and break 5 hrs. Mo slowed evenly with me and we were lapping in the same times. I clocked through the marathon at 4:11 and was expecting the inevitable of walking but kept going. Suddenly at 8.5 laps I came across Dennis McMonagle. I never catch Dennis. He was really struggling today. Meanwhile I noticed I was closing on Pat. Those foot cramps cant be far away I thought. Still running well I came through 9 laps in 4:34. 5 hrs was gone now but I kept going. There was little talking anymore.
Some of the finishers today

Then at 48km I saw Pat in front of me. FOOT CRAMPS I shouted inside and gave him a comforting Tap Tap on the way past. I put the head down and kept going. I thought I was flying but was barely breaking 11 minute miles. I came round the final bend and could see the marathon now fast approaching as it started at 12 noon. I crossed the line just in front of them exhausted. 5:08 was a good run today as I thought this was tougher than Donadea.
Bling for today

I am away now for a while travelling through work and holiday. Next stop Japan where the 5K loop around the Imperial palace will see the continuation of Berlin training.

Some photos courtesy of Ian Shaw.

Garmin stats for today




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