Sunday, November 19, 2017

It's been sometime since I posted...

Dublin Marathon
Credit: Marathon Club Ireland / Vincent Guthrie
It's been awhile since I've posted an update and it's also not been a very activate few weeks.

Well, back on the 13th October I headed off for a spin on the road bike which I had been doing to maintain fitness while I've eased off from running to allow recovery.          All went well until I reached around 200metres from home where the road bike just went from under me and I hit the ground hard. 

I wasn't even doing any sort of fast speed but I still managed to cut up my arm and bruised my ribs from the fall.

It's over 30 days later and only now can I do a run where I can a run at a decent pace without any sort of pain or discomfort. Up until now it hurt to breath deep, hurt to lay down in bed and if I coughed. All of this really makes it awkward to do any sort of decent running.

Due to the injury sustained in the road bike I did still go ahead and run the Dublin Marathon but I opted instead to only use it as a slow training run with the aim of finishing somewhere between 4hrs-4.30. I did manage to pop by for a Marathon Club Ireland group photo before the race though.

Since then things have improved and during the week I managed my first run where I could comfortably run at a sub 7:30min/mile pace without feeling discomfort from the ribs so that was a good feeling. I did this for 9miles.

However, yesterday when I ran the Stook 10mile (for the 5th time) I still opted to take it nice and handy and also treated this as a normal training run and took it handy at around a 8:30-9min/mile pace for the vast majority of the run I also spent most of the time talking to people including Catherine Guthrie who represented Ireland at the Belfast 24hr in July of this year.

The exception to this was the flying mile (mile 8-9) where I ran the mile in 5:35min, I'd have run it faster only for the road was wet so I actually slowed myself as I was afraid I'd slip and fall on the steep hill.   Grace also joined me at Stook this year and she took part in the 5km event so it was nice to spend time together at the event.

The Famous Stook Cowbell
So whats next?

Next Saturday night I'm taking part in the Long Way Round which is a fund raiser for the South Eastern Mountain Rescue in Clonmel. It'll be a challenge as its almost all trail and mountain but it should be an enjoyable event and I'm looking forward to it.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Some Cycling & Running

It's been awhile since I've posted any updates and thats because I've been taking it so very...very easy.

Lately I've been doing a mix of shorter runs and cycling to keep things ticking over, I did do the JJ Ready 10km in September and while I pulled off a very respectable time of  43:33 I think going into it I might have been getting sick as I ended up off work with a chest infection which was a pain.

I did my longest run since the 100mile back in August last Sunday when I did a 10mile run but I have been regularly doing 10-16mile spins on the bike before work to maintain some level of fitness. To make the morning spins more comfortable I even picked up some over shoes in Aldi, they were well worth the buy.

This weekend I'm planning for a 15-20mile run as I'm very mindful that dispite my lack of running lately I've still paid to run the Dublin Marathon at the end of October so I still need to run that one way or another.

When I've not been running lately I've been busy brushing up on my woodwork skills by building a Little Free Library which I've put up outside our house, it's proven pretty popular with people.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Time for another race...sort of

I started writing this blog entry last week but progression isn't as I had hoped so plans are being revised somewhat since!

I always find it useful to have a focus when it comes to running and sometimes that's a long term goal like Connemara 100 which I had aimed for months out and other times its a last minute idea.

On Sunday 20th August it was very tempting to go and do the Clonmel Half-Marathon as its only down the road from me (assuming there were entry's available of course), but I opted against such a temptation and instead took it easy.

I was origionally planning to do the JJ Ready Half Marathon towards the end of September, however now I'm not even going to chance that and instead I'm opting for the 10km least I push myself too much and end up injured by doing the half-marathon!

It's not that I think I won't complete the half-marathon, I would but I know myself well enough that I'll push the effort more then I should be and this is likely to set me back which is an utterly stupid thing to do at this early stage after the 10km where I know myself that i'm no where near 100% yet.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Post Race Thoughts

So with Connemara 100 over I can sit back and look at what went wrong.

I had gone into this race with the idea of a sub24 finish and the idea of sticking to a stricter pacing plan in order to achieve this, of course those that look at my checkpoint times will know that things were looking a bit fast (although slower then last year).

Of course others that have finished just under sub 24hr actually arrived into Leenane much sooner then me so at the same time perhaps I wasn't going too fast but that when things did slow down later in the race (as you expect them to) for me they didn't just slow down they crashed and burned and this time resulted in me passing out.

Despite this, my legs were actually in much, much better shape then they were last year, less chaffing, less blisters, I could manage a brisk walking pace and not just a shuffle like last year so its not all negative.

In this case to me at least it seems like a faster pace then it should have been and also a mixture of the much warmer day that was in it, while I certainly wasn't de-hydrated in anyway the lack of sleep from the night before and the increased effort from the run eventually caught up with me.

I've done 3x 100mile races now and for each I've failed to hit my goal of a sub24 hours, for each I also experienced issues after the 80mile mark. Now for those that are reading this that haven't run Ultramarathons you're likely thinking "But you bloody ran 80 good miles!", yes I did and that alone is an achievement and even finishing a 100mile race is something in itself as its normal that depending on the race that between 50-30% of those that start simply will not finish.

So what's the end result of my thinking on this?
Honestly, I'm going to give 100miles a rest, at least for now. Instead I'm going to focus on other distances.   I'm not ruling out Ultra's altogether as I'd like to improve on my 50mile or 100km times as I feel I could push a 50mile finish down into the 8hour 30min -8hour 50min region or better if I just put the head down and focused on it. This would be a substantial improvement on my current 50mile PB of over 10hrs for an actual 50mile training run or 9:30 during a 100miler.

How's my recovery going after Connemara?
Initially on Monday I paid a visit to Bodymend for a session and initially I also felt good at the time of writing up my race report. But the next day things were far from pleasant and I was experiencing a good amount of pain just when sitting especially with my left leg, if I wasn't lying on the coach it was painful.

On Wednesday I paid another visit to physio and had some dry needling done and the left leg hurt like hell after that, it took more effort to get into the car after the session then it did after the 100miler!   By Thursday however things seemed to improve after the dry needling and by the weekend my leg was starting to feel like normal again.

Now the left leg isn't giving me problems anymore I'm going to start with some easy runs this week and see how things go.  Overall though I feel fine, blister has healed up just fine and outside of being a little tired at the start of the week I feel good.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Connemara 100 Mile 2017 Race Report

Friday's Pre-Race Briefing
Race day had finally arrived and it was a bright and early 6am start, we arrived on Friday evening at around 6pm and attended the pre-race briefing at 7am in the Station House Theatre, then a quick bite to eat and we headed off to bed for what I hoped would be a decent night sleep...that however was not to be.

I wrote the following at around 4.30am on Saturday morning before the race:
Not the best night sleep, I'd say I slept about 3 hours total last night which is very unusual for me. Normally the night before a race I have no issues sleeping, but last night the brain just didn't switch off. I'd be lying if I said it didn't worry me.....
Still, while the lack of sleep was worrying me a little it wasn't going to be the end of the world so I got ready for the race and performed the final checks with the crew.

This year the crew was made up of my wife Grace, my 3 sisters Sinead, Claire and Finola, Finola's two children Jane and Neil also helped out and finally Victor Young. Everyone of them had given up their valuable weekend time to drive around Connemara supporting me and I'm very thankful for that. Thanks guys!

Fancy new sign!
Learning from last year we had opted for some nice big vinyl signs for the back of the cars and also a flashing amber light which we'd swap from crew car to crew car to ensure they'd be better seen during the day and night, this would ensure better safety for the crew and myself during the race.

At around the 5.30am mark we headed towards the Station House Hotel in Clifden in preparation for the race start and also the short pre-race briefing, you could feel the nervious energy in the air, like any race I've done regardless of whether it is 10miles or 50miles, I'm always nervous and a little emotional at this point.

At around 5:50am we started to make our way to the start line for the annual starting line photo, this year 19 men and women stood at the start line. A lot can change over the next 30 hours and we knew that it was unlikely that all 19 would finish the race as its usual for around 30-40% of the field to DNF (Do Not Finish) on this 100mile course.

Courtesy of Maryse O Connor Mackessy
A brief countdown to 6am start and we were off.  The start of Connemara 100 isn't like a big city race as it is a much slower, more casual affair as everyone first does a slow lap of Clifden town passing the starting area where the crew are standing and clapping before finally leaving Clifden and heading on towards Letterfrack and later Tullycross.

Start to Lough Inagh Lodge (mile 28):

My view is the first 5miles or so after Clifden are very easy going as there are no crew cars yet and everyone is taking it nice and easy, at the starting loop in Clifden I had been chatting to Louise O'Rourke, Derek Mackessy and others during the first few miles.

Something that I've found often comes up when I get chatting to people during marathon and ultra-marathon races is my blog and this race was no different as a few people mentioned me posting on it and posting on Facebook including Louise. I'll be honest, sometimes I'm just surprised people actually read half of the stuff I type here after races :)

Miriam & Myself
During this section I also got chatting to Miriam O'Connor who had previously run the Connemara
100 like myself and she had also taken on the six day multi-day Marathon De Sable last year which was impressive as I honestly don't think I could hack either the intense heat or the annoying sand.

Despite the easy miles by mile 8 I was slightly worried, I could feel a hotspot developing on my left foot just near my big toe and I mentioned it to my crew so they pulled up around mile10 and I changed out my socks and re-greased my feet.

By mile 15 I wasn't happy and I knew I had a blister so the crew pulled up again and I applied a Compeed Blister plaster to the area, at this stage I was worried as a blister developing at mile 8 is something I've not had happen for years! I've done 40mile races without any blister even starting in more recent years so this didn't look good for the day.

I continued on through Letterfrack and Tullycross, just after the junction at Tullycross I got chatting to Johnny Hanson. This was his first 100mile event and I was telling him what to expect going into Roundstone (not trusting the lights) and Clifden at the end, I know that not knowing what to expect last year really affected me so its helpful to know the course layout.

This section of the course is visually lovely as we pass a picturesque lake and what looks like an old school, we also passed many walkers for the
Connemara marathon walk and we received lots of words of support. At this stage myself and Louise had met up again and had chatted again for a few miles.   At one stage a farmer was herding sheep down the road passed certaintly don't get that during the Dublin Marathon.

Eventually I arrived at the junction that turns right towards Kylemore and we passed the well known "Stop & Pray" church for the first of two times today, then a few miles later it was a left turn towards Lough Inagh Valley and the first checkpoint of the day. Lough Inagh Valley was very hot at this stage of the day but the scenery was stunning. I kept a good running pace for this entire section and finally I approached Lough Inagh Lodge.   If you ever want to get away from it all, this is a good choice for a place to stay as you won't get a mobile signal on this part of the course. As I was approaching the Lodge I spotted Seb who is one of the checkpoint crew standing near a stream, he took the photo below which shows just how beautiful parts of the course are!

Approaching Lough Inagh Lodge
When I arrived into the Lodge it was time for a quick pitstop and also to get some boiled potatoes into me.   I arrived into Lough Inagh Lodge at 11.11am.

Lough Inagh Lodge (mile 28) to Leenane (mile 55):
It was time to change over the crews and so I bid fairwell to Sinead and Grace with the arrival of my new crew for the next few miles - Victor and Finola. After leaving Lough Inagh my plan had been to mainly run untill the N59 Galway/Clifden junction, but first I walked a bit to allow myself to eat my boiled spuds. The N59 section is the busiest road on the course as I have to take in approx 10miles of the N59 Galway/Clifden road. For any sections with sharp bends Victor and Finola stuck with me to stop any motorists running me over.

About 2miles from the Peacock Hotel I met Johnny again, like myself he was run/walking this section but I still appeared to catch him quickly enough. Although the road was busy I would actually say it was less busy then last year.  Still, it was a lovely sight to finally see the clock tower belong to the Peacock Hotel.  Once we reached the hotel Victor and Finola set me up on a chair and Victor rubbed down both my legs which really helped freshen me up again as they had been getting very tight at this point.

After the Peacock Hotel is the "Hell of the West", for anyone who has ever done the Connemara Marathon Half-Marathon/Full-Marathon or Ultra-Marathon held in April each year you'll be very, very familar with this section as this is the last big hill you have to climb and descent before you finally run onto the finish line at the Peacock Hotel.   Unfortunately for me I had to do this hill in reverse and also continue running the Half Marathon section onto Leenane and then a further 45miles once I reached Leenane so it was going to be a hard day.

This section for me really is a pain, its hard when doing the race in April and it is even harder to do when you already have 40miles done on the legs. Victor decided to keep me company for this section so it was a mixture of run and walking with him for this entire section. At this point I was passed by Peter from Donadea AC who to my surprise was running all the hills as we approached Leenane. Eventually we reached the drop into Leenane which is about 2-3miles of downhill, this section last year really did a number on my legs but this year wasn't too bad. I arrived into Leenane at 5.05pm, where we had another change of crew with Sinead and Claire taking over.
Finally in Leenane

Originally I had decided to change all my clothes at this stage as I thought it would freshen me up and this might give me a boost, but I actually felt pretty fresh still so I opted against this. I also didn't mess with my socks or shoes either as that blister patch from earlier was still holding fine. Although I didn't change clothes Victor and Claire set me up lying on one of the picnic tables and they worked on both of my legs, normally one person doing this can hurt a lot but two people doing it at the same time hurts like hell!

Despite it hurting like hell it didn't stop a crowd around me gathering and appearing to find it amusing while I'd shout every so often, thanks guys! :)

Leenane (mile 55) to Lough Inagh Lodge (mile 67):

Once my legs were finished being rubbed down it was off again, I ran as far as the Ferry dock and then opted to walk the very steep hill out of Leenane as I thought I would be crazy to run it. The benefit to walking this section is I was also able to take on some food. Although the crews had been planned to change over in Leenane Victor stayed for this entire section and it was nice to have some company.

Myself and Victor leaving Leenane
My crew was now Sinead, Claire and Jane & Neil had tagged along as well for this section, I continued to walk once I reached the top because the road dips and rises again before finally dipping again and heading towards the famous "Stop & Pray" church, this would be my second and final time passing this church. This time the church section was much busier as there was a mass on but overall the traffic on the roads was getting less and less, I kept a running pace for most of this section and I opted to listen to music for the first time.
After the climb out of Leenane
However, as I couldn't fine my headphones I had to put my phone on loudspeaker to listen to the music so I must have looked crazy running along the road listening to blaring music, I didn't care as it helped pass the time.

Eventually I finally reached the junction that turns left into the Inagh Valley and thankfully the heat was starting to reduce at this stage too. My plan had been to run almost this entire section and then walk the final section with the hills just before Lough Inagh Lodge and then once again pick up the pace and run into Lough Inagh Lodge. For the sections when I walked Sinead kept me company which was a nice break from being on my own again.

I arrived into Lough Inagh Lodge at 8.22pm.

Lough Inagh Lodge (mile 67) to Roundstone (mile 82):
Leaving Lough Inagh Lodge the plan was to run/walk to the N59 Galway/Clifden road and then once I reached the road as this section was up hill I was going to walk it until I finally reached the Roundstone junction and then I picked up the pace again and run. During this section I was joined by my niece and nephew Jane and Neil and we chatted about this and that, I commented to them how nobody in either of their classes at school would ever end up walking around Connemara at around 10 at night in the dark during a 100mile race so it would be an experience to hang around with their crazy uncle Barry.

Sinead, Jane & Myself
Finally I reached the Roundstone junction and I could once again pick up the pace, I also opted to listen to music again but no sooner did I start running but my legs started causing me problems again so shortly after the junction beside a church the crew pulled over and Claire rubbed down both my legs again, this once again gave me a boost.

I continued on and shortly after the crew switched over again and I was joined by Victor who even after so much running earlier decided to join me for the last 5miles or so into Roundstone. The first time we saw the lights for Roundstone and Victor commented on them I told him not to trust the lights as we were still miles out. In the last 5miles approaching Roundstone I started getting really cold and every so often we'd hit a really cold pocket of air, so I put on extra layers but that didn't help. The crew packed a foil blanket around my body underneath my jacket but that also didn't really seem to help. I just couldn't get warm and this just kept making this section harder and harder for me.

At around mile 80/81 I had resigned myself in my own mind that as soon as I reached the checkpoint at Roundstone at mile 82 I was out of the race and done, I didn't tell Victor this and even when Victor kept asking was I ok I honestly didn't have the energy to respond back to him especially during the last mile before the checkpoint. Once we reached the checkpoint at 1.50am and I saw them marking down my time I just turned around and collapsed to the ground hitting my left knee on the ground. As I fell Victor and Ken (staffing the checkpoint) caught me and I remember being lifted up and things went dark. The next thing I remember was sitting up against the crew car wheel, my legs in front of me on the ground and Victor holding up my head and slapping my face....I had passed out!  This is very much a first for me as I've never passed out during a race before. I could see everyone looked really worried and I was really worried about what my wife Grace must be thinking as I had seen her to my right just before I collapsed.

They asked did I know where I was and I responded Roundstone, they also asked me a few other questions and Grainne (support crew and Ken's wife) got me to drink some sugar water. I said I really needed to sleep and they put me in the crew car and covered me in blankets and stuck the air con to hot in the car, once I was lying down I asked for the crew to get out for a minute and asked them to get Grace as I wanted to talk to her.   Grace got into the car and I said to her I thought I was done and that I didn't think I could go any further, that I knew how many miles were ahead and I couldn't go through them knowing it would take so long.   I was sure Grace would say "Ok babe, you go to sleep and we'll get you back to the hotel", but she didn't.To my surprise she responded in a really upbeat tone saying she didn't think I was too bad, I had been much worse the year before and after a sleep and a change of clothes we'll see how things are, just before I feel asleep I held her hand and I slept for around 40minutes.

I asked Grace to write something about what happened in Roundstone:
"From my perspective I knew he was emotionally in trouble, but physically he was far worse last year and therefore had more to give. He wasn't done in my opinion. Naturally I was worried about him when I saw him hitting the ground, but he didn't hit his head, he was out for a matter of seconds, and he wasn't bleeding anywhere, so for the most part I wasn't too concerned. I also know my husband well enough to know if he had quit then, he never would have been content. He needed to give it one more go. Also, I wasn't having a situation where we would have to come back next year due to his DNF this year! I made a call with the help and advisement of the other crew members that a sleep, some food and a change of clothes would do him the world of good, then we could decide if he could continue or not.
The other crew members and support crew members were worried, and honestly believed his race was finished. There was a medic on standby to sign him off, and there was a lot of concern through the support crew regarding whether he would be able to continue. Once he had slept, I asked him if he wanted me to change his clothes and see about continuing on, or did he want to finish and go back to the hotel. Once he said "I don't know", I knew he wasn't resolutely finished. With that, it confirmed my initial thought, he's not done yet. I got him changed, the crew checked him out, and made sure he was with it enough to go on. I said to him "if in 5 or 10 more miles, you decide you are finished, we have at least given it our best try. Let's just see how you get on." He said okay, and kissed me and I never doubted for a moment that not only was he good to continue, but that he would cross the finish line as well. Barry's determination literally knows no bounds!
- Grace - wife and crew member.

After the 40minute sleep Grace woke me up and got me to change clothes and eat some food, I opted not to change my shoes or socks as I didn't want to mess with something that had worked perfectly from mile 15 since I put the blister plaster on.  The crew switched over again at this point and I was in the hands of Sinead and Claire.

Roundstone (mile 82) to Finish (mile 100):
Once ready I left Roundstone with Sinead walking beside me at a "blistering" 17min/mile pace which I kept up for around 3-4miles. During this time I passed Johnny who I had chatted to much earlier in the day around Tullycross and Peacock Hotel, Johnny was doing a much slower walking pace then myself and he must have really been feeling the cold as he had switched to pants (I still had shorts on but I was no longer cold!).

After around 4miles of 17min/mile I once again started to flag and I was getting worried I might collapse again as I had trouble just keeping my eyes open, Sinead who was still walking with me commented then I should dig deep and keeping going but I said I was worried that if I did collapse they wouldn't be able to get me up off the ground again without help.   So I opted to sleep in Claire's car this time for around 20 minutes during which time
Johnny passed me. After this it was a very mixed walk all the way to Ballyconeely, I'll be honest this section felt utterly endless to me. I could not wait until I would be finally 9miles away from Clifden. At Ballyconeely the crews met up again and I was so thankful to have Grace walking beside me again at this stage. I would go through stages of having the energy to hold a conversation to not talking at all. At one point I felt so tired that we stopped and sat on a wall beside a lovely beach for a few minutes just so I could rest.

As the miles counted down to Clifden we met Ray (race director) and he mentioned we were 4miles out from Clifden. I asked him if he heard about me passing out at Roundstone and he commented on how I was Lazarus for getting back up and heading for the finish. I knew at this stage I could 100% finish the course and that I'd finish it under the 30hour limit. It wouldn't be the sub 24hr I wanted and it certainly wouldn't be my fastest 100mile race either but it would not be a DNF. (I'm perhaps too stubborn or stupid to DNF). At this stage Grace took a break from walking and Victor once again walked with me as we finally made our way up the hills towards Clifden town and we commenced the 3 loops of Clifden town.

This has to be the hardest finish of any race I've done. Most races you see the finish line and you cross it.    But Ray designed this race so that when you see the finish line you have to pass by it 3 more times before you can finally cross it, to quote another runner who was speaking to Ray earlier in the day "You're a very bad man!".

Just as I started the first of these 3 loops I once again met
Johnny who was also starting the loops, we spoke words of encouragement to each other and to his crew and we headed off. It was around now that I found out that I had been last place in the race but I'd jumped to second last after passing Johnny. Last year when I did this section it was desperately slow and it must have taken me 20minutes to complete each loop, this time it took me around 10minutes per loop. Victor did all three loops with me, Grace did the first loop also. On the last loop Grace joined me again and we made our way around, as we got closer to the finish the rest of the crew joined me so myself, Grace, Sinead, Claire, Finola and my niece and nephew (Jane and Neil) joined me as I completed this final loop.

On The Last Loop
Coming towards the finish on the last loop I noticed I had less than 40seconds to go to finish under 29 hours and although the legs were tired and the energy levels were very low I refuse to be one of those people that walk across a finish line so myself and Grace started running while holding hands. We finally crossed the finish line in a time of 28hours 59min and 37seconds (10.59am) to everyone clapping and cheering, including other runners who had finished earlier in the day.

Finished! - Courtesy of Miriam O'Connor
Neil & Jane at the finish line
After crossing the finish line I made my way to the nearest thing that looked like a seat and I was never so glad to sit down, this was the longest ever time I've spent on my feet out of any race I've completed. While I've done three 100miles since 2015 this race was almost 90minutes longer then my first and I've never passed out in any race I've done before so that was unsettling. However, despite passing out I would actually class last years Connemara 100 as a harder race because mentally it was torture as I had to basically walk at a shuffling pace for miles upon miles until the finish. This time I at least knew that at times I could walk a brisk pace so I knew that instead of doing 2miles per hour like last year I could do upto 4miles per hour.

After sitting down for a few minutes I made my way back to Foyles Hotel where myself and the crew had been based for the weekend and as I got to the front door the receptionist came out and clapped and congratulated me on finishing the race.  Despite the hotel having finished serving breakfast they were very accommodating and were happy to serve breakfast to myself and the crew.  I devoured every bit of the breakfast as it was lovely and it was nice just not to eat something loaded with sugar again.

Post Race Presentation:

One of the special things about the Connemara 100 race is the feeling that despite how fast or slow a runner is that everyone including the crews are in it together. There's a real good feeling about the race and everybody is happy to help everyone else along the way. For the race presentation Ray O'Connor the race director talks about the runners and crews and also talks about the people that didn't finish and thats important. In a race like this a lot can go wrong and a person could be feeling fantastic at mile 50 but they could be out of the race by mile 60. Each team has a story and there were plenty of interesting and funny stories and comments made during the presentation, when it came to me Ray once again referred to me as Lazarus due to what happened at Roundstone and he asked me to explain what happened. I told everyone about how I had resigned myself to not finishing the race around a mile from Roundstone and once I saw them mark my time I collpased and then passed out. But it was only with the words of encouragement from Grace that I continued on. I wouldn't have completed the race without her, thanks babe.

Presentation from Ray O'Connor

The race was incredibly hard but it was an experience and I was so thankful to share that experience with my crew, I know it was hard on them to dedicate so much of their weekend to me and I'm very thankful to them for all their support.   There were times in the race when I know I was cranky or I may have snapped due to exhaustion and you put up with it and everyone of you walked with me at some point during the race and that company was very much appreciated as it made the time pass faster and I liked being able to share the experience.

To Victor, thanks very much for running so many miles with me. It was likely many, many, many more miles than you had expected to run but its certainly a good start for training for the Dublin Marathon again. If you do decide to run the Connemara 100 I'll be more then happy to crew for you! :)

Post Race Recovery & Fund Raising:

On Monday morning I felt reasonably ok, despite the massive lack of sleep over the weekend I felt pretty good after 9hours sleep and during the day I had plenty of messages to get done so I got a good bit of walking in on the legs.   I also paid a visit to Body Mend Physical Therapy & Sports Injury Clinic for some work on the legs and they felt miles better afterwards (Thanks Tracy).
With the exception of the leg muscles being a bit sore and the one blister on my left foot I've no issues or pain to report and after a visit to Bodymend it's no longer hurting to sit up from a chair, so that is always a good thing!

The race has been an experience and I'm glad that I've been able to use the race to raise awarness and funds for Mount Carmel House, the support I've received from everyone has been fantastic and every donation has been much appreciated, thank you to everyone that has donated.

I would once again like to thank my two main sponsors D&M Supervalu Callan and Callan Co-Op for all the support they have given, it’s made things easier for organising everything on the day and they have helped to raise funds for Mount Carmel also. Their generosity has been overwhelming.
Of course many other businesses have kindly donated over the past number of weeks, including Bodymend, John Murphy Family Butchers, Callan Bacon, Philip Ireland Tyre's, Unecol Oil, P.Molloy & Sons Funeral Home & Sculptures, Doheny's Crash Repairs, Ormonde Veterinary, Keogh’s Model Bakery, Keogh’s Pub, & Callan Truck Parts. Thank you to all of you!

Over the next while I'll be posting updates in relation to the total funds raised for Mount Carmel House and the funds will be presented to them, so stay tuned for updates!

Friday, August 11, 2017

Off to Clifden we go!

Today myself and my crew are heading off to Clifden, Co Galway before running the 100mile at 6am tomorrow, which I hope to finish by 6am Sunday morning if everything goes to plan.   

Depending on the internet connection I hope to post updates posted throughout the weekend on my progress to my Facebook page. You can also follow my progress and the race in general at the event organisers page 

Thank you to all my crew for everything they have done to help in relation to this race, they have given their time and energy to fund raise, organise logistics for the weekend and are also giving up their valuable weekend to drive around Connemara supporting me during the race, without you I wouldn’t be able to take part in this event and I know it’s a big commitment to crew for me.  Thank you! 

To everyone that has donated so far, I would like to say a big thank you. The support for Mount Carmel House has been fantastic and it’s very much appreciated, the money goes to a great local community resource in the town. For anyone that hasn’t donated yet, its not too late you can still donate on-line at or by simply calling into Mount Carmel House (beside the Fire Station in Callan) or the Post Office here in Callan. 

I would also like to thank you to my two main sponsors D&M Supervalu Callan and Callan Co-Op for all the support they have given, it’s made things easier for organising everything on the day and they have helped raising funds for Mount Carmel also. Their generosity has been overwhelming. 

Of course many other businesses have kindly donated over the past number of weeks, including, John Murphy Family Butchers, Callan Bacon, Philip Ireland Tyre's, Unecol Oil, P.Molloy & Sons Funeral Home & Sculptures, Doheny's Crash Repairs, Ormonde Veterinary, Keogh’s Model Bakery, Keogh’s Pub, & Callan Truck Parts. Thank you to all of you! 

Saturday, August 5, 2017

This day next week...

This day next week I'll be out running the 100miles in Connemara, infact as I write this at 10.30am I'll actually be running for 4 and a half hours by now this time next week.

The last few days myself and others been busy fund raising, going door to door and also selling raffle tickets and accepting donations in the local Supervalu here in Callan, Co Kilkenny.  So far over 2,500 has been raised in aid of Mount Carmel House and its great to see such a fantastic amount of support from everyone.

This week is very much a taper week so I'm taking it as easy as I can with plenty of rest a head of next weeks events.     On Friday there's the long drive to arrive in Clifden in Galway before the mandatory pre-race briefing at 7pm, then it's early to bed for the 6am start and after then I won't get to sleep again for at least 24hours so rest is certainly very important.

I've thought about what I want out of this 100mile and once again I will settle for a sub-24hour finish, last year I came so very close and I would have been on to finish in roughly 22hours only for I ended up having to walk very, very slowly from 86miles so I ended up finishing in over 27hours.    Still, I think I've learned from this in relation to clothing, nurition and the fact that I need to be far more strict about my pacing and to ease into the race rather than doing the first half at a much faster pace then I planned like last year.

I'll be keeping things to short very easy runs for the rest of the week but I wanted to start the bank holiday weekend with something decent so I headed out for a 5mile run in 40min and a 17mile cycle in 57min this morning. Lovely way to start the weekend especially as I'm off work for the next 10 days or so :)

If anyone would like to donate to mount carmel please feel free to visit donation page.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Last big week

Sorry for the lack of updates but I’ve been allowing time for my back to recover and thankfully both my back and ankle issue's have resolved themselves so its all back to normal and all systems go!

After discussing online with other runners I think I’m inclined to put the back issue down to over training.
While I don’t think I had moved into over training territory I guess after the 56mile run to Waterford so niggles can be expected.

Plus due to my ankle issue this would have affected my running stride which in turn would have caused extra load on another part of my body which could very easily caused the back issue to trigger.

Its less than 4 weeks to go to the Connemara 100 Ultra and I’m counting this week (16-22nd July) as my last decent week of training before I start to taper and take it easy. So I kicked off this week with a 18mile run out to Stoneyford via Kells and back to Callan in very hot conditions on Sunday evening starting around midday…and boy was it hot!

So far this week I’ve been taking it easy with only for example a 3mile run this morning (Tuesday) but I’m aiming to up the distance over the week and to finish it with 8miles Thursday, 15-20miles Friday and finally 10miles Saturday.

Of course I’m not just running Connemara 100 this year and thats it, I’m running it and also raising money for a local organization so if I’m not running I’ve been knocking on doors around the community asking for donations and I must say the response overall from everyone has been great.

To everyone that has donated so far I would like to thank you very much, regardless of the amount donated it is all very much appreciated and every penny of it is going to Mount Carmel House Callan.

If you'd like to sponsor me and donate to Mount Carmel you can do so via or by clicking the sponsorship image below.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Recovery after Waterford

Last week was all about recovery and it didn't get off to a very good start sadly.
To started with on Sunday after the run to Waterford I could barely walk due to the pain in my right ankle that I mentioned in my Waterford race report, but I tried to walk anyway and I put on my walking boots to head to the wood with the dog, it wasn't a very pleasent experience and I basically had to walk with the laces untied.

Due to the ankle pain I took Monday as a rest day but on Tuesday I headed out for a very, very easy 5km run, it went pretty good but I could still feel the ankle and it still hurt at times throughout the day.

The rest of the week was made up of slow 5mile runs on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday to ensure everything kept ticking over after the 56mile run and I didn't seize up like I have when I've stopped running for a week after previously very long runs.      I had hoped to do a back to back 20mile and 10mile run on Saturday & Sunday but due to other commitments I wasn't able to do this and postponed it until next week.

This week I started off well with a 5mile run on Monday morning which was nice and quick but trouble started almost as soon as I got home, my back started hurting!  Throughout the day it was pretty painful but the more I moved around I'd find it would lesson the pain, sleep on Monday night was a very uncomfortable experience to say the least.

On Tuesday I had arranged to get the car serviced down in Waterford so I threw the road bike into the car and decided I'd cycle the Waterford greenway instead of running due to the pain and I managed to clock 32miles in around 2hours 20min at a handy enough pace, thankfully my back didn't hurt me during the cycle.

Yesterday I decided to try running again and headed out for a slow 4mile run with the dog, I could certainly feel the discomfort in my back but it went pretty well otherwise.

It's been a very mixed two weeks overall.

While I can completely explain the right ankle pain and slight swelling the back pain has just come out of no where and its not very pleasent, I simply don't expereince back pain at all generally so its concerning.   It's also pretty worrrying as I'm appreaching the 12/13th of August for the 100mile.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Waterford Viking Marathon Race Report 2017

As part of my training for Connemara 100mile in August this turned into a race with a difference and a race report with a difference as it's really less about the race and more about the journey.

Originally I had planned to take it handy doing the Tullaroan Ultra at the beginning of June and then to race the Waterford Viking Marathon at the end of June before moving onto Connemara in August.

However, things change and I was mindful that although I had ran the Waterford Greenway out and back I needed some longer runs, so instead I opted to race Tullaroan with the aim of placing in top 3 (succesfully!) and then to just run the Waterford Viking Marathon but with a difference.  That different was of course to run the 30 or so miles to the start line in Waterford City.

Passing under the M9 motorway at around 4am
So with that in mind after working all week and with only 2-3hours sleep on Friday I was up and out my front door at 2am,.  Just as I was starting my run I met my wife Grace coming back from a night out...she was (understandably) worried about me running so late at night on country roads.

As I ran through the town I only met two people, one person looking out their front door at me seemed pretty amused by the sight of a man with a headtorch wearing shorts and a backpack running through the town at 2am, I suppose who could blame them really?

So off I went into the dark of the night as I left the town, the roads for the night were not busy and for the first two hours or so other then seeing the odd bat or hearing animals in the ditches I only encountered maybe 2-3 cars and just as I crossed under the M9 motorway I encountered a truck.

After a pretty disappointing sunsise at around 5am I pushed on and after spotting yet more wildlife (a fox standing looking at me with a bird in its mouth) I finally reached Mullinavat, on the Mullinavat to Waterford stretch I did the most walking as I figured that it could do no harm, it was good training and I was actually 30min ahead of schedule for reaching Waterford as I had planned on a 6hour run and instead I arrived in around 5hours 30min mark.

At one stage I did manage to stumble on a cats eye on the road a few miles passed Mullinavat, while it didn't cause me any problems at the time it certainly did afterwards....more on that later.

At around 7.33am I finally reached Rice Bridge in Waterford City and finally I could sit down for a while and get some more sugar into me, by right I should have taken in some sort of decent solid food at this point but I didn't and this was perhaps rather foolish, but then I didn't really feel like it at the time.

After a little bit of a stretch and getting down to the finish line I got to sit down for a while and it was most welcome, as the race start started to fill up however I started to see some familar faces and it was good to chat to a few people and catch up on things and share stories and experiences.

Heading towards the toll bridge
My aim for the marathon was to stick with the 4:30 pacers, this also happened to be paced by JP and Anthony who happened to be with JP so I figured it couldn't hurt to have some company for the day, especially after spending the previous 6hours on my own.

At 9am we were off and I started my second long run of the day with 26.2miles to go. The race started at the Mall in Waterford City and it headed down the quays and over Rice bridge turning left towards the interchange which provides exits to the M9 motorway and the new bridge and bypass.

This was the first challenge of the day as the road up towards the intercharge is a long drag of at least 1mile, after that we headed down towards the bridge and ran through the toll barriers, this is likely the only time you'll get through this toll bridge without paying!

After that we crossed over a temporary footbridge and ran for the first of two times in the day on the Waterford Greenway. Up until this point I had been fine but by the time we reached Mount Congrave I was starting to flag and feel tired so on the hill leaving the Greenway I walked for the first time of the day. Once I started walking I pretty much knew my goal of a 4:30 marathon was gone but I wasn't too worried as this day was about distance and time on my feet so even if it took 5hours it wasn't a problem.

It was at this stage that it dawned on me that this new Waterford marathon route was going to be much hillier then I had expected it to be and to be fair I hadn't checked out the course elevation or route too much before hand so I guess this was to be expected.

Once I lost JP and the 4:30 pacers it was basically myself and Anthony until the finish, always good to have company for a long day like this!

The day had now warmed up a good bit and as the miles ticked on I was glad of being able to pour water over my head, it really made a big difference!  Between all the walking breaks during the marathon myself and Anthony knew this wasn't going to be a 5hour finish for the marathon and as we started to count down the final miles we knew it was going to be much closer to 5hrs 20min.

As we approached the finish we could see the clock was 5:22 and I was glad to finally cross the finish line, after 11hours and 8min of running and 56miles covered I could finally take a proper rest.

As I was crossing I was surprised to hear the announcer mention my 2am start and my run to the marathon start line which was a nice touch.

Credit: Noel Browne
So, why did I mention the stumble over the cats eye earlier in the day, well it seemed to have cause a problem with my right ankle.  While not an issue during the marathon I found after the marathon it was painful and the next day I could barely walk with the pain, its now 5 days later and its 95% back to normal now so its nothing serious thankfully.

However, other then this injury and a blister on my right foot I had no other issues so overall a good day :)

Oh, almost forgot, here's my garmin log of this entire run.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Connemara 100 - Take II

Yep, it's official I'm doing Connemara 100 again!
Last year I learned loads and I'm doing it again but this time I hope to pull off the sub 24hr time.

I came awfully close to it last year as I think I could have managed 23hours only for I hit problems from mile 86 onward but I think I've learned enough in relation to gear and nutrition to overcome the problems I experienced and to get under 27hours as a finish.

In addition to doing another 100mile race, for the first time since my first marathon back in 2011 I'm running an event in aid of a charity and this time its a local organisation called Mount Carmel House, here's some infor about the organisation.

Mount Carmel House is a voluntary centre, established for the supported care
of low dependency elderly people from the local and surrounding areas. The centre
provides supported living and respite care for a maximum of 20 residents requiring minimal assistance in a homely environment.  A lively Day Care Centre environment also allows people to socialise and take part in a variety of activities.   Mount Carmel also provides meals and other services to people in the local community.
So between now and then I'll be aiming to raise funds for the local chairity, if you'd like to support the organisation please fee free to donate online at or if your local to me let me know and I'll drop by with a sponsorship card.

Over the coming months they'll also be some fund raising events as well.

Onwards and upwards!

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Waterford Marathon.....with a difference?

Although the Waterford Marathon has been on for a few years I've decided this year will be the first year that I'm going to do it. However its not a "goal" race and I never planned on racing it and finishing it in any specific time, instead I'm going to run it with a difference...

How, You may ask?  Well, thats mainly down to how exactly I'm going to get to the marathon start line. Origionally I was planning on treating it has any old race and arriving as normal but as this is a local race I've instead decided to run to the start line.

If you know your geography you'll know this isn't a 5 or 10mile run however, Waterford City is approx 31miles from Callan via the old N9 road, so this means I'll have to run 31mniles before the marathon and then run the 26.2miles of the Watrrford marathon. It's a big ask and its going to mean a very, very early start to the day.

I've run the 31mile route to Waterford twice already so I know I can do it but the challenge will be then to run the marathon afterwards without walking and to push me I plan on sticking with the 4:30 pacers.

So here's the plan, it's going to be a 2/3am start which will allow 6hours to get down to Waterford City, this will mean 11:30min/mile pace for the 31miles. To finish the marathon in 4hours 30min this will mean a avg pace of 10:18min/mile so its going to be a challenge to up the pace to complete the days 57miles.

Few people I've mentioned this to have asked do I plan on running home, certainly not. I think 57miles is enough for the day.

Waterford Marathon takes place on Saturday the 24th June, It's going to be a challenge thats for sure but its an ideal very long training run for what I have planned later in the year.

Below is the route I'll be taking and the elevation for the run from Callan to Waterford City

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Tullaroan Ultra-marathon (39.3mile) 2017 Race Report

Welcome to another race report, its the June bank holiday weekend and that means the Tullaroan Half/Marathon & Ultra took place on Saturday.

This is the forth year that Tullaroan AC have put on a 5km/10km/half & marathon races. Last year they added a 39.3mile Ultra for the first time after previous requests for the distance and you can read all about my race report from last years running of that course here.

It's been exactly a year since I ran a 39.3mile distance and prior to last years run I hadn't run this distance since Connemara Ultra in 2014 where I managed to finish in 5hrs 52min 19seconds.

Last year in Tullaroan after running part of the third loop way too fast and experiencing a good bit of cramping from the 34mile mark onwards I finished it in 6hours, 3min and 36seconds and came in at 4th place.   I was determined to improve on this and maybe, just maybe finish top three!

As always it was an early start for the Ultra as it set off at 7am, it was a small enough field with only 13 taking place and I got number 12!

and we're off....
This year I had opted to take on less food during the race and to only carry 4 gels and because I hate carrying water in my hand, I opted to use my Ultimate Race pack for the day.
In all honesty I didn't need the race pack and I could have just dropped the gels at certain points before the start but I didn't bother.

We were off at 7am and it was a slow and steady start with the aim of averaging an 8:30min/mile pace for the entire race. For the first 4miles or so I was chatting to a few people but after that I was pretty much on my own for the rest of the day.

I knew from this early stage in the race that I was actually in 3rd place (overall) and 2nd place (male) as both the 1st place male and female had raced ahead of the main group after the 2mile mark and we lost sight of them.

Although I had set the goal of running an 8:30min/mile avg pace early on I had noted that I had run the 1st loop at an avg pace of around 8:20min/mile so I opted to slow things down a bit and do my best to stick to my goal pace on the second loop.
This started well enough but I pretty much knew anyone I was spotting behind me after the 13mile point was also part of the Ultra as both the 8am & 7am marathon starts were in front of me. After spotting somebody at around 15miles I kept the slightly faster pace but I did drop it down to around 8:23min/mile average.

By the time I hit the 26mile mile mark I felt I was in decent shape, unlike last year I completed my second 13mile loop ahead of the half-marathon start who I had actually met up with just as I started my 3rd and final loop. I did however meet some 10km walkers and on some of the hills I ended up walking and chatting to them from the 28mile mark as the hills were starring to really effect the legs.

Still, I didn't forget I was in a race and I knew I was still in 2nd place for male finish of the Ultra so this spurred me on. I passed the 31mile (50km) mark in 4hours 31min which was a personal best for this distance and eventually the half marathon runners started to pass me coming up to 32miles.

Still, it wasn't all bad, but the time I hit the aid station at the Valley Inn I was still in pretty good shape and unlike last year I didn't cramp up and end up on the ground, thats always a good thing!

Shortly after the Valley Inn from around the 35mile mark it was a run/walk to the finish, although I didn't know it at the time one of the male Ultra runners past me between the 35 and 37mile mark, at least this is when I'm pretty certain they passed me as from 37mile to the finish line nobody else passed me and prior to this I had kept an eye on the race bibs for the people passing me. I pushed it on for the last 2miles and I kept up pace with one of the half marathon runners I finished the last mile in 7:51min.

As I crossed the line I was pretty sure I was top three but I wasn't certain if somebody had passed me or not while I was walking so I checked things out with Vincent the race director and was delighted to be informed I came in as 3rd male for the Ultra.

Considering I came in 4th place last year I'm very happy with this results and it'll be my first top 3 finish for anything other then a 3mile race I once did a few years back.

Official finish time was 05:47:58

As always you can check out my Garmin of the race here and you can see the full race results on the myrunresults website.

If you're interested to know how this 39.3mile Ultra compares to the Connemara Ultra held in April each year check out last years race report.

Finally a trophy for the cabinet!
As always, an enjoyable event put on by Tullaroan AC, well organised and plenty of stuff at the aid stations. Thankfully it wasn't as warm as last year but the course will always make it challenging!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Wexford Half Marathon Race Report

Back on the 23rd April, I ran the Wexford Half marathon, but there was no tapering before it and there was certainly no personal best set during the race as this time I was pacing the 1:45 finish for a change.

It's been awhile since I've done a pacing job and it was nice to do one again, I've previously paced 5hours at the Limerick Marathon two years in a row and decided it was time to pace another event but this time I opted for a half marathon event instead at an event much, much closer to home!

The last time I ran in Wexford at this marathon I busted a gut trying to get a PB and I did by finishing in 1:42:07 which I was certainly happy with at the time. So this was going to be a refreshing change where instead of pushing myself I could instead get in a handy training run.

Myself and Grace headed down to Wexford bright and early on Sunday and when we arrived it looked like it was going to be a pretty cool day. But by the time I had picked up my number and pacing balloon the clouds were starting to break.

I met up with Michael who would be the second 1:45 pacer and we headed down to the start line, but the time we reached the start it was looking like it was going to be a very warm day!

The day did not disappoint and It certainly warmed up during the race, it also didn't help that I missed picking up water at two of the water stations...but I was more concerned with letting others pick some up.

Although we had a group at the start this seemed to drop off a bit especially in the last 3-4miles of the half-marathon but we still got a few people home under the time and I was happy to finish in 1:44:33, about 10sec earlier than planned but not too bad overall.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Waterford Greenway Out & Back Training Run

Finally got around to writing up this training report!

A week ago on Saturday the 15th April, I finally did the Waterford Greenway out to Dungarvan and all the way back to Waterford. Of course, I wasn't just me doing this on my own, there was, of course, a group of us that did the run.

It was an early start so I headed down to Waterford City and picked up Paul Croke and JP Tierney and we headed to the quays, just before we did this we dropped a few supplies with JP's wife Nicola who would be our crew for the day.

At the quays, we met up with John Boyle & Stephen Brennan. Myself, JP, John, Stephen & Paul would be the core group that would run the entire greenway out and back but we had others that either met up near the start or at the half way point and they'd run between 20-30miles each.

Overall it was going to be a productive training run for everyone!
The Starting Line, Courtesy of JP

So a quick picture of the group before we got moving and we were off, we started a pretty relaxed pace of 9:40-10:20min/miles.

However in hindsight, this was actually too fast and we'd have been better off actually slowing it down further as it would have meant we'd have kept a more consistent speed overall....but more on that later.

Before we knew it we were at the WIT Campus in Carrigmore beside the greenway and we met up with David Sheridan, he had planned on doing a 24hr event on Saturday only to find it was canceled a few weeks back so he opted for this training run anyway.

Throughout the run, we all chatted with each other and before we knew it we had 2hrs done and we were near the quarry a few miles out from Kilmacthomas. At this point Stephen decided he had enough miles done for the day so he headed back to Waterford, he'd still finish the day with around 26miles done by the time he got back to the quays.

By the time we reached Kilmacthomas David had been having issues with an injury so he decided to head back to Waterford, although we lost David we picked up another runner Paul Brunnock.

Paul had actually run out from Dungarvan to meet us and was now planning on running back to Dungarvan with us, this would mean he'd finish the day with around 30miles done, not bad considering he had taken part in a 4mile race the night before in Co Waterford.

We refueled and topped up our water and we were off again as we approached the Kilmacthomas viaduct we got a lovely view of the Comeragh mountains and the day had brightened up.

Approaching Kilmacthomas, Courtesy of JP

From Kilmacthomas onwards we finally started to meet people and it got increasingly busy as we approached the Ballyvoile tunnel, for those that don't know what the Ballyvoile tunnel is. It's a 400metre long brick-lined tunnel that was previously part of the rail line.   The approach to the tunnel is what I like to refer to as "Jurassic Park like".

Entering the tunnel, Courtesy of JP

Leaving the tunnel, Courtesy of JP
We crossed the third of the greenway's old railway viaducts and we then got to see Clonea strand below us, from here there is a nice 2-3mile downhill as we start to approach Dungarvan and this section was even busier than the tunnel.  In fact, as we approached the last 3miles into Dungarvan it got really very busy.

Considering we're not even into the summer I was surprised by how busy this section of the greenway was, it should be interesting to see just how busy the greenway is in the summer and how the numbers hold up as the years go by.
Clonea Strand, Courtesy of JP

Finally, we reached Dungarvan for the turnaround point.   The marker of the greenway start/finish in Dungarvan is a giant modern art sculpture of two fish so we rounded that and we started our return.   But before we left Dungarvan we met up with JP's wife Nicola for some food and drink which I think at this stage we were very grateful for.

After the refuel, we left Dungarvan and Paul Brunnock also left the group as he headed home. The rest of us crossed the causeway out of Dungarvan and started the 2-3mile slight climb up towards the Ballyvoile tunnel and not for the first time we also started walking on and off.

As we approached Kilmacthomas we met up with Nicola again and for a quick refuel and we also picked up another runner Anthony O'Neil, Anthony had decided to run with us the remaining 22-25miles back to Waterford as a training run. We were delighted to have him, the more the merrier.
Fuel stop before Kilmacthomas, Courtesy of JP

We headed off once again and our plan was to continue to Kilmeaden where we'd meet Nicola again for the last crew stop.

I will say that at this stage especially in the last 2miles coming up to Kilmeaden I was certainly starting to feel it, I also got my first blister of the day but like always I ran through it to where it stopped hurting me anymore.

Finally, we reached Kilmeaden and we had around 4-5miles to go to the finish. As we sat down a cyclist pulled up and sat down at one of the tables next to us and asked how long we were out for? We mentioned since 7 and he had to stop for a second and as "7 am??", we explained we'd been out since 7 am and were just coming back from Dungarvan after running to Dungarvan.   He seemed very surprised at the whole idea of this.
Me at around the 55mile mark

We then headed off for the home straight and again it was very much run/walk from here until the finish, I was happy when we reached Bilberry which is the actual the official start of the Greenway in Waterford City but I was happier still to see the Clock Tower on the Waterford Quays which had been the start of the day's training run (also my car was parked near it!).

Overall it was an enjoyable day out and it was fantastic to have a group training run like this as it made the time fly as we chatted to each other, this was especially good as we had spent the bones of 13hours running and when you're on your own and you're tired this amount of hours can start to feel awful long!

Now, who's for doing the Waterford Greenway Ultra 50km & 100km as a race event!? :)

For anyone interested you can find the Garmin log of the training run here.