Saturday 4 October 2014

Galway Bay

Marathon #69  Galway Bay   4:18:40 wb (weeks best)

My leg still smarted from Berlin and hurt like hell, but it was off to Galway for a marathon that was put on as part of the Galway Bay running festival in conjunction with MCI with over 2500 competing in the Marathon , Half marathon and 10K around a closed course in Salthill.

The Marathon field
I traveled down the day before and the weather was awful, but we woke up to bright skies and a little breeze from the west. It started cold but soon got up to a very comfortable 14 degrees and was great running weather.

Looking back from Claddagh
There were 27 (I think) in the marathon, a long shout from the 37000 of last Sunday. The course was just over 2 laps of South Park followed by 4 laps of the 6 mile normal Salthill route. This took us out past South Park and followed the prom to the "kick wall". We then continued up hill past the golf course and the Spinaker pub turning around some 400m after, close to Knocknacara/Barna junction. We then came back to the pub and turned right towards the caravan park bringing us back on to the coastal path along the golf course. After the storms last year GCC have done a good job in getting this ready and even though they missed the summer it will be better than ever. It is nearly finished. We then followed the prom all the way back to South Park with a couple of short detours onto the long pier and the nice vista point. We passed the finish at Claddagh Hall a total of 7 times.

The field stretched out pretty quickly and Brenda Francis in particular seemed to have the bit between
Rainbows galor
her teeth and headed off at 2K never to be seen again. It turns out she finished at half way in 1:53 on a day when sub 4 hrs was on the cards for sure.

The Gutherie family were ever present on the course supporting with Catherine running with Gerry Forde in the wheelchair race.

At the head of our field there were some good efforts particularly Dipak who was still suffering a niggly ankle from the 10 in 10. He would end up with 3:25. Cezary was having a strong run on his 25th. Dave Brady well into the 80 marathons this year passed me early and would record a low 4hr race (impressive). Denis McMonagle on the other hand had a nightmare and was well off his normal pace.

Because of the racing festival they let the 10K off (many many runners) 10 minutes after we cleared South Park for the second time and the race caught us around Leisureland. The course got busy for the rest of the first lap before they peeled off to their finish.

The second lap was nice and quiet and I even managed to lap some of the 10kers.

With Valerie at the finish
I ran nice and steady coming through half way in exactly 2hrs. This was pretty much the same time as last Sunday in Berlin and I was on the watch out for any stray beer bottles. I kept my camera in my belt today today (so sorry about the lack of photos)

I got back at the end of my second big loop just as they were starting the half marathon and ran as part of this group until they turned left for their single lap of South Park. It wasn't long until Sergie passed us on the way to a comfortable  win. The race was busy from this point on.

I kept my place (except for a seesaw from Larry Rigney) in a pretty uneventful second half but got overtaken by a very strong finish from Valerie Fogarty who went on to do a 4:16 and Denis who recovered over the last couple of K for a 4:17.

A nice day out and good luck to all of those doing Monaghan tomorrow.

Garmin stats for the day.

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