Wednesday, September 14, 2022

Mixed week and a loss to Ireland's running community

 It's not been a great week for training, I managed to get almost a 4mile run on Monday and a 5mile run on Wednesday. I had also planned for another 5miles on Friday but Daniel decided to kick off just as I was going out the door so the run got scrubbed and instead I opted to start work early.

Grace was off to Gareth Brooks over the weekend so Saturday was also scrubbed but I did manage a run of 13mile on Sunday morning before we headed into Kilkenny to take part in the slow roll.

Whats a slow roll? Well, its as it sounds, its a family cycle around Kilkenny City and since Daniel's been born we always try to take part as its something different. This time though its not me putting Daniel in a trailer on the bike as I've now upgraded to a Bakfiets Cargobike!

Bakfiets / Cargobike

The slow roll was sadly a wash out as it bucketed down with rain but a small number of us still did a cycle around the city, hopefully the next one will be better as they usually attract a big crowd with numerous families.

On Friday night I was shocked to read that Thomas Bubendorfer had passed away on Tuesday last week, he had been out for a run in Spain and was hit by a car.    

For those that didn't know Thomas, he was a very popular figure in the Irish running community and he wrote the very popular Diary of a Rubbish Marathon Runner blog.

Thomas started running to run the "once in a lifetime marathon" in Dublin back in 2004 but went on to proudly represent Austria in the 24 Hours World Championships in Turin and completed the Spartathlon in Greece both in the same year. Impressive achievements.

He was a regular face to see at different ultramarathons over the years such as Donadea 50km and truth be told he's one of the reasons I got into running ultramarathons after reading his blog.  

But other then saying hello to him I didn't know him but I was lucky enough to share about 27miles of the 2019 Connemara Ultra with him chatting about all sorts, for all his achievements he was very humble about them but he was very knowledgeable and a nice chap. He will be missed by the Irish running community and it'll be a poorer place without him.

RIP Thomas and condolences to Niamh to your family and friends.

Thomas Bubendorfer, Turin 2015 / Photo Martin Mayrhofer 

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Boston Scientific Half Marathon (Clonmel) Race Report

Blueway at Kilsheelan, County Tipperary
Long and short of the last few months is got I Covid back in January and it did a number on me, few
weeks after I had it I still had very little energy and running what should have been a easy 3miles was like a hard 15mile run.

This of course ruined my plans of a 50mile race in May which I have postponed until 2023 as I lost a lot of fitness and couldn't continue to do the training I needed.

Things are very slowly going along now, I have an entry for Dublin in October which has carried over from 2020 so I opted to make some effort on training and I signed up to the Boston Scientific Half-Marathon in Clonmel which was on the 28th August.

I've done this race a few times and its not what I'd describe as flat, but they changed the course this year and have promised a flatter course.  

Half-Marathon Race Route

The course started in Clonmel and then looped back to Kilsheelan via back roads before going onto the Suir Blueway and coming back to the finish. I've run and cycled on the Blueway a fair bit over the last 18 months or so so I knew what to expect there but I had no idea about how the route would be on the roads to Kilsheelan.

Few miles in and I knew this course wasn't going to be very flat, or at least it wasn't going to be flat until I reached the Blueway.  You can see from the elevation profile below that it certainly had some climbs, but for everything that goes up it also must go down so there were some enjoyable downhill sections.

Race Elevation Profile with Pace Overlay

I managed to keep a fairly respectable pace throughout most of this section but by the time I hit the Blueway at Kilsheelan I was starting to feel the strain of maintaining the pace. 

Up until the 7.5mile mark I only had maybe 3-4 people pass me so this was a good sign, but on the Blueway this changed and I maybe had a good 10 people pass me. This was a little demoralizing as I've not had this happen in sometime when doing a half marathon distance.

But I kept going as best I could and tried to run based on effort rather then checking my actual pace on the watch. Coming up to the finish I managed to pip two people so thats always a boost!

I entered the race expecting 1:40'ish, but I finished with a fairly respectable 1:36:17.

It's far off my PB of 1:29 and prior to January and getting Covid I could have pulled this sort of pace out of the bag on a training run so I have a lot of work to do to get back to that sort of fitness. But its still better then I expected just the same.

Long sleeve finisher shirt after the race is decent quality and it'll get some use during the winter months no doubt and for those into medals its an alright medal.