Sunday 26 July 2015


Marathon #100  3:56:05

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
It was my 100th marathon so I had prepared by getting a special cake and T-Shirt done up and MCI had lined up a presentation after the event. It turns out there were about 10 other milestones being reached today from 25 thru, 50, 75, 100 and Dave Brady doing his 500th. Bob Hilliard somehow had also persuaded Boston Marathon hall of fame inductees Rick and Dick Hoyt (Team Hoyt) to be around for the weekend.

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.
Hoyt Entourage

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
After 3 miles the 10Kers peeled off at Templeague and the rest followed the coast road. I was going steady but not fast coming thru 5K in 27 minutes and 10k in 53 minutes. After around 5 miles a couple of Crossgar guys came past and we had a chat about their running club and my recent article in the Down Recorder which they had seen. They were both going better than me and they slowly pulled away. This left me with 2 other runners who themselves turned for home after 6.5 miles as they were in the half marathon. On my own I plodded along.

At 7.5 miles I hear a "get up that hill" from behind. It was he Trim AC boys in the 36 mile race. They caught me at the top of the hill and I stayed with them for the next 2 miles talking about their 100 mile exploits and ultra racing in general. They were going easy (I reckoned about 3:40 pace). Even still they gradually pulled away from me at 10 miles.

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
I came through half way in 1:53 and knew if I kept steady 4hrs should be achievable. It was getting hot now
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.

And home
Coming into Courtmacsherry for the first 18 mile lap, Lindsay and Libby were sitting on a wall giving great shout outs to everyone. I was nearly past before I realised. Coming into the finish line the music was loud and the atmosphere was great. I turned in 2:35 which was still on course for a sub 4hr with 8 miles left. On the way back on the second loop I knew Lindsay and Libby where there this time and I gave them an ETA and off I went again.

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
lads as I entered Courtmacsherry for the finish. The noise at the finish line was infectious as Rick and his ever growing gang were just leaving for their last 8 miles. I passed them with 50m to go and it was with great relief that I crossed the line in 3:56:05.  I got the biggest hug from Lindsay at the line and Collette (who with a broken foot in a cast had walked the 10K yesterday and today) and Julie.

I was delighted and got the biggest medal.

Shortly in behind was Keith Whyte the Irish 100K record holder who managed the 36 mile Ultra in under 4 hrs. Incredible running.

We had to wait  to the Hoyt's came in and what an entrance with "Eye of Tiger" pounding and whoops and shouts they arrived. It was some homecoming. Then the gang turned around and went out to bring in Ireland equivalent of the Hoyts, The Kerr family. Again it was a great atmosphere.


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
Thankyou Collette
over the line for the 500th time. A lovely presentation was made to David by Dick and we were done. The 100Kers were now starting to come in but it would be many hours before they were all safely home and from all accounts they were all looked after well. To her credit Brenda got her second major second place within a week during an ultra (amazing).

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

1 comment:

  1. Excellent Leo, just excellent. Well done and congratulations!