Blog of Random Thoughts and Pictures

Clonmel AC Half Marathon

August 18th, 2013

This race was another reason to keep  up the summer training, the Boston Scientific Half Marathon as coordinated by the Clonmel Athletic Club.

It was a lovely morning, sunny and yet not too hot, so just perfect conditions for a run. Got on location nice and early and to my utter surprise I bumped into a couple of work / football buddies from the Motorola Cork days, it was great to catch up and we all had a laugh in trying to suss out whether any one of us were going to run this in decent time.

Once registered I headed for the new walk way that’s been created along the N24 by-pass of Clonmel. It was a great spot for doing some shake down runs and stretches, and given that the starting line was along the same route it worked out perfectly when it came to joining the start line for the gun.

The number of runners was high and the starting line, come timing mat, was narrow so it made for some jostling at the start but it wasn’t that bad and off we went. Starting pace was mighty steady, I was really worried I’d burn everything in the first mile (yes miles, the course was measured in miles and I’ve finally got my head around what I should be pacing myself at, either in kms or miles and therefore the course markers become useful again). The 1st mile was actually too leisurely and so I picked up the run, I was aiming for 7 min per mile and I just wanted to do that time for as long as the legs lasted.

I found the legs lasted until mile 7.5 and then I had a complete and utter slow down in pace, tank was running empty and the next wee while was tough.

Number 451 finding it tough

Then for some reason between mile 9.5 and 10.5 I found something, was back on track with the 7 min / mile. I then made one of those really bad decisions, out on course around the 10.5 mark the race officials were offering sweets. Now I thought, well if they have them on course then they must be of some use. No, no, no, no, no. The bloody things just dried up my mouth and were a real pain and there wasn’t a water station in sight. That was just plain wrong! And then I hit the slow long hill of the PoppyFields. Oh that hill just killed me, it took forever to get to the top and once there I still didn’t have much left, however they did have a water station and I managed to rid that problem with the sweets.

The last few miles were funny, because in my head I was running as normal, but with everyone passing me, obviously I wasn’t, but I got towards the finish line and could see the timer, I was within goal time, fantastic, it was time to just bring it on home.

Had a great reception at the finish line, with all the family there and I got to share with them my great delight in finishing the run in 1:39:10, breaking the ton ! Truly I was, still am, over the moon with that result. Not sure if I want to try it again, I really like the 10km runs and the training for the half marathon is long, but still to reach an achievement is just such a great feeling too!