|Ultra's where 10Ks are just aid stations|
This was my second race in Wicklow and all within the space of 8 days. I was in reasonable shape after breaking 4hrs in Rathdrum the week before which was a hilly course. Vartry was a new venue and it turned out to be even hillier at >1800ft over the 31 mile course. I felt that if I ran out of my skin a sub 5 was possible and the big prize would be a Donadea guaranteed entry place.
The race was to be held on a 10 mile lap around the Vartry lakes beside Roundwood.
|Private race briefing|
Around 50 toed the line for the 50K and we were off at 9am.
The course for the 50K was 3x 10.3 mile loops (slightly extended from the normal loop). We left the start area and turned left downhill towards Roundwood before turning left again towards the Vartry lakes and almost immediately crossed a bridge. A slight up hill and a sharp right turn put us on an undulating road for 2 miles. On the first loop we passed Enda and Frank who were on lap 7 of their 100 mile race. I'm sure Enda was offering free
|Fantastic aid stations|
coming through the start/finish area and another well stocked aid station. I was through the first lap in 1:32.
I also saw briefly my Donadea 50K partner Ray Cassin this time taking on the 50 mile race and Finn "Queen Of Hearts" O'Mara also in the 50 mile race. I meant to ask her how she got on with the bridges.
|Coming into start/finish area|
About 2 miles into the 3rd loop I passed a struggling Ronan Mistiel and I was upto 13th spot and still felt OK but was visibly slowing. The up hill section was very very very long and I was delighted to get to the aid station in around 4hrs. I was still a little shy of marathon distance and knew that things would be close. Just at marathon distance a familiar sight of Marie Chapman came Hokaing past (Marie is in training for her own 100 mile attempt in May on the Thames path). I now had dropped to 15th spot and was determined to get under 5 hrs. Some great encouragement on the switch back was had from Kristy, Anto and the Kearnies (who cruelly were bedecked in Donandea gear and boy they let you know about it) and I ploughed on. I passed a 100 miler (TJ I think) on the last climb and he and his running partner were cock a hoop about nearly finishing. The last 2K was ahead and I was still
We got fantastic momento's of the day. Kristy came in soon and we stayed around to see Lillian finish and Brenda start her last lap before going back home with Collette in tow.
|Marie who chicked me again|
|The prize from Donadea|
|Don and the great momento|
A wonderful day all round. Photos courtesy of Carol Madden, Miranda Hannon and Niamh McGoldrick
Garmin stats for the day