Tuesday 20 March 2018

St Patricks

 #235 St Patricks Challenge  29.4 Miles 6:04:02

Ultra #72

This was the second running of this challenge hosted by EAMS from Loughshore Park to Gideons Green on a 4.2 miles loop. Do as many laps as you want as long as you are out on your last lap by 5:59:59

Normal stuff really.

The story for today was the weather. The son of The Beast From The East was due to hit with very high northerly winds. Add in a spring tide and it was promising to be a tough day.

120 took to the line. Most said in retrospect that it was the worst conditions they had ever experienced. Craig got the ball rolling with a race brief 5 mins before the start and we went to the start and already there was a gale blowing.

We started with the wind firmly in our backs for the first out section. This wind would stay with us all day. The loop was simple, leave the car park and keep to the coast. Through the village we entered the promenade which skirted Belfast lough and twisted and turned around it until we entered the turning point in Gideons Green and then we retraced our steps.

There were a few issues for the day

- regularly as we were so close to the sea and there was a heavy wind and a spring tide the waves crashing over the course were relentless. There was no avoiding them
- At times the tide came in and covered the path and there was no way round it except slosh through
- Parts of the path got flooded for long sections and alternative paths had to found on higher ground
- Just past the bridge the sea got so heavy at one stage and the waves so aggressive that the path was rerouted through a car park.
- The wind at times on the way back was so strong it was like running in treacle.

Jill back in action
What surprised me today how many people finished early. Sure it was tough but I didnt feel it that bad. I was pretty consistent running covering the 4.2 miles from anything from 44 minutes to 56 minutes. Always comfortably under any cutoff for an ultra. I was always going ultra today.

Thomas Bufendofer and Darren Sheridan were to the fore and I was surprised that both stopped at marathon distance. But then again most other did too with only 6 going ultra today well down on normal.

Finn O'Mara did absolutely brilliant going out for an 8th lap to be first lady and Craig also managed 8 laps for second (again!!!) though he had plenty of time for a 9th and he was in the lead at the time. One runner went out for 9 and easily won.

I felt a lot better today than in Shanes Castle and am now looking forward to the big one in 2 weeks time.

Stats for today

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