Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Some pacing at the 24hr Edenderry Challenge

Paul & JP during the 24hr Challenge
Last week was a little different then usual, while I did my normal runs during the week instead of doing my usual
long slow run in Kilkenny City at the weekend I instead opted to pace JP in a 24hour event he was running in Co Offaly. 

Unlike many 24hr events which tend to be track based this one was on a 5mile loop which mentally at least has to make it easier for people taking part.    The aim of these events is simple,  run as many miles as you can in the 24hr period.
So on Saturday evening I drove up to Co Offaly to meet JP & Paul who at the time I met them had already been running for around 4hours as the event started at 3pm.I arrived shortly after 7pm and eventually caught JP and Paul on the next loop nearer to 8pm.   My plan was to give them a bit of company and distraction while they put in the miles.

The conditions were very good, cool, but not too cool. No rain and although mist was starting to settle in around the time I left it wasn't too heavy.

As well as JP and Paul running, they also had a crew supporting them. Nicola and Ray had taken on the very important role of crewing for the two lads for the entire 24hr period. Between making sure they were eating/drinking and keeping warm enough the two of them also cycled and ran the odd loop with the two lads throughout the 24hr period.

I took in 4 loops with JP and Paul during which we chatted about this and that and also played 80's music on speaker which was a good distraction and a little odd to hear Billy Joel We Didn't Start the Fire while running a dark country road at around 11pm at night.

I left the guys off to continue running when they were at around 45miles at about 2am and I finally got home at around 3.30am, keeping an eye on Facebook the next day I saw that Paul had dropped out at 75miles to be on the safe side after an injury from doing the UTMB a few weeks back.   To be honest I was surprised Paul was even running the 24hr event as he had run the UTMB so near to it.

At 3pm on Sunday evening I was delighted to hear that JP had finally hit 100miles with 30minutes to spare and was also 2nd male to finish.  After his performance on the TP 100 course back in May I had no doubt JP would hit 100miles during this event and I'm thrilled for him.

This was the second year the 24hr event was being operated in Edenderry by the Edenderry Tri Club, although I was only around for 5-6hours in total it seemed like a very well organized event with plenty of space for crew and use of facilities at the school where the start/finish 5mile loop was situated.

I must say that when JP mentioned he was taking part in the event I was seriously tempted to take part myself as I even had a few days off work at the time and I'm really curious can I get a sub24hour 100mile on 100% road when compared to the 75% trail/25% road situation for Thames Path 100.

Unfortunately as I've already signed up for the Dublin Marathon on the 26th October and I've been training towards it and aiming to set a new personal best I didn't want to derail this goal by running a 24hr event as I wouldn't be properly recovered in time for Dublin in a few weeks.

Although I already have plans to run the Vartry 100mile in April 2016 and the Connemara 100 in August 2016 I must say I'd be tempted to do this event next year as the 5mile loop makes the logistics very manageable, I guess I'll have to see how the year pans out.

The Edenderry 24hr Challenge wasn't the only event I knew people at and there was a number of people traveling over from Ireland to take part in the Spartathlon in Greece which started on Friday morning and covered 153miles.  

After seeing the race profile and weather conditions its seriously impressive to see people even take on this event, never mind finish it. Congrats to all that took part.   

Miles This Year: 1,394 miles

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