Sunday 15 November 2015


Tollymore Trail Marathon    4:20

Unusual rubber medal
I had a terrible week as I had from somewhere developed a septic toe which in affect had stopped me doing anything. During the week it just got worse and worse and worse and by Thursday I was hobbling and barely able to walk. This weekend was going to be a write off. But about 3 O'Clock on Thursday I managed to relieve the pressure on the toe and the weekend was back on. 26 extreme were very good and allowed me to mess around with events to get one that suited me.

Kris was also travelling and was entered into the Ultra. I had done this race last year and loved it and managed a 4:48 which was actually a decent effort in terrible race conditions. The weather forecast was not much better this year.

A 4 am start got me breakfasted and pickup of Kris by 5am. We then hoofed it north with a quick coffee stop and got to the forest park by about 7:15am. I was drugged up and bandaged up and felt that the marathon was a possibility even if I had to walk some. I really had no idea what was going to happen. I decided to wear extra wide Asics which were probably not that suitable for the conditions but it was the only way that I was going to run.

Ultra start
Hanging out with Philip
The Ultra (57 runners) got off in cold conditions at 8am but was dry and I kept warm and had a second breakfast while I waited for the 10am Marathon start (137 runners). It was still cold and it was drizzling on and off. As the morning went on this drizzle stayed with us and it was cold and very blustery. Conditions underfoot were claggy and some flooded areas but it was much improved from last year. Spookily the clouds didn't lift and at the high portions of the course we were constantly running through the clouds.

Coming upto the finish
Kris yards away from victory
I tried not to think of my toe and kept a good pace,  trying hard on the flat and downhill sections and hiking hard up the steep bits. To my amazement as I approached the start/finish area the half marathon hadn't started and I managed to get through the start finish area in 2:01. It was a great atmosphere coming through the start/finish area. Soon after the half marathon with >350 runners started and for maybe 5 miles there was a steady stream of people streaming past me. Included was Kieran McVeigh the brother-in-law who eventually finished in 1:49 (pretty good). I was visibly tiring in the second loop and had a too and fro with Trevor Denton and Clive Nesbit. I eventually managed to break away from them at Mile 23. It was a cold and wet and muddy run and I was delighted to come home in 4:20;28 a 28 minute improvement on 2014. My Toe survived but it still needs attention but I think the worst is over.

Kris had a great run with a 2:01, 208 and 2:19,  3 loop race. She took the lead in the womens race in lap 2 and never gave it back. She eventually came home strong for yet another great Ultra win in 6:28, amazing.......

The medal looked better in the photos than in real life but there was chili con carne for all finishers and a nice T shirt. We eventually got back to Dublin after leaving 13 hours earlier for a long but great day.

Polar stats of the day 

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