Sunday 11 May 2014

EOI Howth

Marathon #53 at Howth (EOI) 4:28:50

After being royally let down by Bord Failte at the last moment for the Aurturs Trail run due to be held at the Guinness estate in Cellbridge, EOI stepped in and at the last minute and offered a free marathon around Howth to all participants.

The weather forecast was for very wet. It actually ended up nice with only a 20 minute shower around half way.

All ready to go
36 toed the line on a breezy morning in Howth all just thankful that we got a run at all. After the obligatory photo we were off. Because this was Howth and my 4th marathon in 4 weeks and 13th of 2014, I am very cognisant that my pace is not what it could be if I eased off a little. I therefore had a very realistic 4:30 in mind for this run. I also decided to go off easy for once, as ahead was 1800ft of climb on 4 punishing laps.

The field had quickly spread out when we hit the hill for the first time. I was with a small group of 3 which included Ray Cassin and the Irish running legend Larry Rigney. We were to stay together for quite a while at a very steady pace.

Ray has decided to do a fund raiser for his club by attempting the 10 in 10 in September and seems to have the complete backing of his club which in my opinion will be needed. Good luck to him and his training over the summer. This is the first time I really met Larry. Behind the smiley facade is a really interesting man. With over 200 marathons in his long running career he is living testament of how a long running career can be enjoyable. He kept me entertained with many stories of farming and running and I have to say was very good company. He is also a deceptively good runner.

Ray went for a loo break at the top of the hill second time round and Larry stopped for a cup of tea at half way (seriously). We were here in 2:08. I ran the third lap on my own coming though in 3:12. This was pretty steady.

I was in 20 miles now and very suddenly on the flattest part of the course felt knackered and walked a little. I was caught by Stephen Mullin and then Ray who pulled away through Sutton. I'd recovered somewhat by the time I got to the cemetery but had lost a lot of time at this stage. I eventually caught up with Stephen about three quarters the way up the hill and pushed on with a close eye on the watch and 4:30. When I came over the top it was 4:20 with still well over a mile left but fortunately it was all down hill to the finish in Howth village. A 7:50 last mile brought me home in 4:28:50 and reasonably happy.

Ger Copeland
There was a very nice presentation at the end from Ger Copeland (founder and race director of the EOI marathon series) for my 50th marathon. This was after he ran a 3:03 and won todays race.

Now let's start the trail marathon season.

Garmin stats for today (elevation didnt quite work today on the watch)

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