|Courtmacsherry view from he start|
I had run the 36 mile ultra here before in 2014 and it was absolutely roasting. The forecast for this year was a lot better at around 18 degrees and cloudy. It actually turned out an absolute beautiful day at around 18 degrees, slightly cloudy but at times very sunny and a slight wind.
|Vincent and Ger|
|Val and Brenda G|
Lindsay and Libby were also with me for the weekend so it was
special anyway. A 4.5hr drive to Courtmacsherry passed off with little incident and by 5pm we were settled into the Courtmacsherry hotel right at the start finish line and tucking into the best lasagne that we had tasted in years. Team Hoyt were doing a talk in Clonakilty (about 15km away). You could also register for the race the next day at their talk. We all headed off and I have to say the talk was absolutely fantastic and those guys sure had overcome some difficulties to be where they are today. They are also no slouches with a PB of 2:40 done in the Marine Marathon in the 90's and that is with Dick pushing Rick in his wheelchair. It was very inspirational stuff to a packed house.
Early to bed got me up early and down for Breakfast at 7. The 100Kers had already long since left at 6am. It was real busy at the start line with Vincent Gutherie taking over Race Director duties from Bob Hilliard who seemed to be having just the best day being in the middle of everything. Precision timing where there and a great sound system and everything was set for our off at 9am. I had a quick word with Dick Hoyt before the start and at 9am after a race briefing we were off.
A 10K, Half Marathon, Marathon and 36 Mile Ultra all started together so for the first 3 miles it was very busy. The course itself followed the bay towards Kinsale on a 9 mile out and back circuit (18 mile total). There was hardly a bump on the route until around the 8 mile mark on the way out and again at the 10 mile mark on the way back where there was a quite testing hill. But for the marathon you only had to negotiate this once and it was totally runnable.
|On the road|
Now on the way back I could see Courtmacsherry across the bay but still had 7 long miles to go. At mile 11 coming in the other direction was Rick Hoyt being pushed by a posse of MCI runners and friends. Most had done the directors run the day before and were having an absolute ball, taking turns at pushing, chatting and directing traffic. It was a carnival. I knew them all and they knew what a big day it was for me and got great encouragement.
|3 miles in|
and the wind was dead. Roving around the course there was Bob in his convertible with Dick Hoyt in the passenger seat. They too seemed to be having a ball giving out Gel's, water, Ice cream and encouragement. There were many aid stations that were well stocked with everything that was needed.
From time to time you came across the 100Kers who were all having their own battle. Jack Healy was there in his pain cave and Brenda after her 106 mile expolits in Belfast last weekend had also done the Directors run yesterday and was on the 100K today. She looked great in her stars and stripes in honour of the American visitors.
At just over 3 miles out I met with Rick Hoyt and his entourage again at the aid station. At this time I had been caught by Ger Donohoe who as usual was doing his "getting faster as the race goes" and had upped his pace from 9 minute miles to 7:30 and was looking comfortable. We kept going to the 4.1 mile turn around point. I passed this at the same time as Paulo and I felt for him as he still had some 23 miles of his 100K left and I felt bad turning with only 4 left of my own.
The last 4 miles were steady and I nearly caught one of the Crossgar
|Collette and Julie|
|With Keith Whyte after his sub 4hr 36 miles|
I was delighted and got the biggest medal.
Dave Brady in his 500th marathon had decided that a marathon was not enough and had joined the 36 mile race. This gave us the opportunity to have an
|Lovely award ceremony|
awards ceremony while we waited for him. 25's galore, some 50's and 75's were duly given out and presented by Dick Hoyt. Then it was my turn and Valerie gave a lovely introduction and I was presented with my 100 medal from Dick. He was very sweet. I got a chance to say a few words of thanks. It was great. Then to my great surprise Collette produced a collage of some my recent races framed. I was a little overwhelmed and touched.
|Dave just finishing 500|
The cake was gorgeous.
Soon word came in that the main attraction David Brady was coming and I was very privilidged to see him come
We switched hotels for the night and stayed in Clonakilty where much Guinness was had and tales of glory.
Great Album from Global Click Photography (Click here)
brilliant album Global Click Photography (click here)
Some photos courtesy of Global Click Photography
Polar stats for today