Sunday 21 June 2015

Le Cheile Midnight Track Mararthon

#96 Le Cheile Midnight Track marathon  3:52:13

Race briefing
I thought this was a great idea. A midnight track marathon on the longest day of the year. This was also part of a double as Le Cheile AC also hosted their summer trail Royal Canal marathon the next day. A lot of people were doing the double with some even trying a treble with Donegal on Sunday. One was enough for me and it being a track and the middle of the night were enough firsts.

I have to say I was as at odds with myself all day Friday not really knowing what to do for preparation. What I know in retrospect was NO chili chicken and noodles for lunch under the guise of carb loading. I ate crap all day and kept awake on Red Bull. It was not the best of preparation.

Started by The Kildare Rose
I picked up Kris en-route (she was trying the double) and arrived on time at 11:20. The early starters were out from 8pm and some had even finished before the main field started at 12:01am. Everything was setup with Precision Timing having erected a timing gantry over lane 7/8 and they would provide the automatic lap count. It would be 96 laps measured on the inside of lane 7.

Ready to go
A quick race briefing and a photo op with the Kildare Rose. She herself started the race and we were off.  The track quickly got full as everyone quickly found their place. Lane 7 was the racing lane with lane 8 being the over taking lane.

I settled into quite a quick pace and came through 10K in under 50 minutes. I immediately had to use the on track facilities and as I peeled off I noticed Kristy on my shoulder and she was going well. Within 2 more laps I was back in the facilities. I was not well. This is very unlike me and as soon as I got back on the track I had to slow. I would go on to visit the facilities 3 more times during the race and became very de-hydrated. It being quite a warm night and VERY humid did not help. Fortunately there was an aid station every 400m and I took on a lot of water. I wasn't enjoying this.

I came through half way in 1:53. I hadn't a clue where I was in the race and Precision timing from time to time shouted out how many laps you had done. The ambient light wasn't enough to read the GPS so I generally ignored it.

Clocking off the laps
Round and round we went.

As I approached the mid 80's in laps I knew that I would be very close to 4 hrs if I kept at this pace. Jack Healy had managed to start unlapping me so I knew I was slowing. I therefore decided to put in a really hard last 12 laps and took off. I lapped Jack again and managed to keep the pace going. I was getting more and more confident of a sub 4 finish. I asked a few times how many laps I had left but left before they could tell me. With 1 lap to go I came through the finish line to a shout "Leo has finished".  Within seconds there was a medal around my neck. I queried that I thought I had one lap left. This was duly checked in the main control center and it was confirmed that I had a lap left. I gave the medal back and took off again. One more lap and I was through in 3:52:13 and got the now deserved medal. Kris came in within seconds (also doing an extra lap) but her time of 3:53 belies a true 3:51 due to her own lap count query (I'll give her that victory). Her friend Clodagh had turned up to cheer us on and take her off for a few hours sleep before the next one at 1pm which she would go onto win.
And we are done (4am)

The main portacabin had hot tea coffee and goodies and there seemed to be a crowd bedding down for the night.

A lot of people like this form of running and Le Cheile AC organised it well. But its not for me. Maybe if I had of been a little less ill I might have enjoyed it more. But tonight was not that night.

Photos courtesy of James Shelly

I eventually came 23rd out of 50 finishers. Race results

Polar stats for today

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