Friday 23 April 2010

Phoenix Park Duathlons 2010

I wrote up a wee post on the duathlons coming up in the Phoenix Park

Tuesday 15 December 2009

Gower Marathon Report

The results are out so I should probably write up a wee report before I forget it all.

A few months ago, Pauline mentioned an off road marathon in Wales and I entered before realising that she was going to do the half and not the full one. Greg and Waggers were then talked into doing the half as well.

The Journey

We headed over on the Friday on the ferry from Rosslare and arrived in Gower before it got dark. We got to see some lovely countryside, hills and beaches that we would be running over. Then we went and bought food, cooked it up and went off to get registered. Registration was well organised and it only took us about 10 minutes before we were all done. Pauline arrived shortly after that and we all chatted before heading off to bed for an early night.

Next morning I was up and had breakfast before heading off for the briefing at 08:30. There they told us that they had to lengthen the course by about 2 miles. Wahoo, my first ultra!

The Race

To the race. We started in the car park and raced off to the beach where we had been asked to pick up a piece of rubbish and put it in the bins at the end of the beach. One guy I saw ran most of the beach with a plastic bottle filled with water before realising and emptying it out. Then it was over the dunes and down into a caravan park for the first checkpoint. 24 mins for 2.8 miles.

Then we hit the hills, big climbs, fast downhills and lots of potholes filled with bog water. It was like being a kid again, jumping in puddles and dodging around some of them. The next checkpoint was at 11.4 miles and I got there in 1:41. I was still going well at this point.

More sand next before we headed onto a beach with a headwind. There were 5 of us together so a bike style paceline formed pretty quickly. After that nice section were lots of steps through a foresty bit that we were warned about earlier. It wasn't as slippy as it might have been, but there was no point in taking chances.

Down more steps and onto a flattish cliff top run through fields. I had latched onto a guys shoulder and we were pushing each other on until he stepped aside and I was left on my own again.

The next checkpoint was at the start of a beach which I had to run on my own this time. I was getting more mentally tired at this stage and the gel I had taken a few minutes before hadn't quite kicked in.

A wall

The next bit is a bit of a haze, I ran past lots of sheep and walked a lot of uphills, even the slightest incline had me down to a walk. There were some off camber slopes and it was hard work trying to keep your footing.

The rain and wind also started around here so it was back on with the jacket and hat and head down to keep going.

Finally I got to the last checkpoint and they had jelly babies! It was the most welcome sight of the day so far. I was also joined by another guy and we decided between us that we had to finish the last 10km inside an hour. There was more walking of the uphills and laborious jogging on the flats and downs.

We got near to Worm's Head and I was back in a groove of just jogging on. I kept this up to the bottom of the last major climb and felt better for having pushed the pace a bit.

The last climb was tough and slippy and when we got to the top, the other guy wanted to keep moving as he was getting cold. We passed out a few more people along the top of the ridge and eventually topped out on the final peak. From here it was all downhill to the finish.

The only problem with it was that it was downhill on ground akin to a ski slope. There was water running down and rocks sticking out. I lost my footing and landed on my back, bounced and was back up before I realised what had happened.

Over the line in 4:48 and 32nd place, the timing chip was taken and Greg arrived with a bacon buttie. Yum!

The rain was really pelting down by now and I got changed and went back to eat all the free Clif Bar samples.

Back to the house for food and then more food and some rugby on the telly. Feet up with some beers was the order of the night.


Overall I was happy with the race, except for my nutrition. I only had one power bar and one gel in the entire race. For the Dublin marathon I had 5 gels. I definitely felt it late on in the race, I seem to be able to get along quite well to a point and then collapse. The trick for me is to start eating while I feel good and avoid that crash.

The race was well worth doing, the organisation was great and the course was beautiful. It also added quite a chunk to my December challenge. Next time though, there will be more hill running training done!

Monday 7 December 2009

Gower Medal

I did the marathon in Gower at the weekend. I’ll write up a report later on but during the meanwhilst, here’s a pic of the medal:

I finished the slightly longer than marathon course in 4 hours and 48 minutes.

Thursday 3 December 2009

The third day

Another day, another run. Almost the same route as yesterday but slightly longer to take it over 10k. I'm now up to 30k so far. Keep an eye on my progress over at my new site where I'm also mirroring all these blog posts. I hope to move over to it permanently pretty soon, once I put the final finishing touches to it all.

Here's the map of today's route, courtesy of Runkeeper

Wednesday 2 December 2009

Day 2 of December

The run for day 2 was done earlier this morning, just under 10km from Chapelizod, up through the park, up the Kyber Pass and around by the zoo and Garda HQ before coming back along Parkgate St.

Oh yeah, I got yesterday's run done too. 10km around Chapelizod

Tuesday 1 December 2009


Wow, it's December already. Time to start another challenge. Yeah, once again it's the "Run 200 miles in December" challenge. Last year ended in failure when there were too many weddings to go to. This year, I think I only have one to go to in December, so it might be a bit easier.

Planning a quick 10k for this evening to get me started. It's cold and wet out but that'll only be a problem for getting out the door.

Friday 27 November 2009


If ever there was an incentive not to get run down, it has to be coldsores. I seem to get them every time I get run down and after getting sick earlier in the week, they've hit me with a vengeance. I've got them in my nose and down onto my top lip. The only thing I can do now is put up with them and keep them covered in vaseline so they don't dry out and start cracking. It does make blowing my nose next to impossible though.

On a better note, I ran in from Chapelizod this morning to work:
It felt good, not too hard, and a nice crisp dry morning.