Clashmore 5, Friday 13th June, 2014.
And so it continues…another race in the bag!
The sixth race in the Ger Wyley Sports / Skins Summer Series brought us to the picturesque village of Clashmore near the Cork border on a most beautiful evening of summer sunshine. Temperatures soared to 22 Celsius during the afternoon and even at the start line at 8pm it was hot.
I think there seems to be some ingenious minds planning these races. I mention this because I’ve noticed a little pattern. The first half-mile section of this race was on a slight downhill. Same in Portlaw, Ardmore and Touraneena in recent weeks. I like that as it gave me a chance to get the heart-rate up quickly without hurting my legs.
Race target time 45 minutes.
Mile 1: Very warm. No breeze. Coming through the village, it was great to see the locals out supporting us and encouraging us along. Once out the low road to Aglish the hurt began. Here we were faced with a gradual rise. My legs told me to back off a slightly and certainly my head agreed. Time 8:35
Mile 2: sweet Jesus! It just kept going up gradually. Nothing horrible, but definitely the warning-bells were ringing. I had cycled this road many times and never even noticed the drag. Here also, the road is pretty straight, and it suited me best to put my head down rather than looking at the line of athletes stretching ahead in the (far) distance. Here also, my head was playing games with me! Would I aim for a middle-of-the-road time? Or perhaps go-for-broke? The final option also seemed enticing: relax and take in the stunning summer evening? Too early in the race to decide, because of the big hill at 2.5 miles. However, the lazy option was cast aside. I came to Clashmore to race. I can return any summer afternoon to smell the roses!
I picked off three or four runners as mile 2 progressed, but did so carefully. In turn I too was picked off, and that gave me a target person to track. Time 9:38.Total time for 2 miles 18:18. That’ll do nicely , thank you very much!
Mile 3: Turning right, the hill beckoned. Not yet hard, but unrelenting. Several runners walked to recover and prepare for the mountain. Good idea. I stayed going at a slower pace. God, it was hot, and not even a late-evening breeze! Turning right again, I could see the challenge directly ahead. As luck would have it, one of the runners I passed earlier caught up and went slightly ahead. I stayed on his heels. In fact I stayed on his heels all the way to the top. Worked really hard at it, was happy with my pace. I knew that I could not sensibly have gone up and harder. Max elevation from start line was 330 feet. Time 10:11 Total 28:29.
Mile 4: The hill crested at 3.2 miles and I breathed a sigh of relief. Short-lived, unfortunately, because I would need to work hard downhill all the way to the finish line to make the cut. Recovering for no more than a minute, I pushed on to close a 30 yard gap. And I did close it, but discovered later that I had closed it too quickly because after catching the spider I could not hold on. Time to back off a bit. Still pushing hard, the head can play tricks when that happens. Again I was helped out by another passer, and this time I managed to stay within touching distance. Time 8:11 Total 36:40
Mile 5: Long strides. Felt alternately very good and not so. My mountain pacer passed by again and off he went. I was tiring. I was hitting my wall. As I neared the church at the bottom of the hill a friend passed by with a word of encouragement, and opened up a 20-yard gap by the junction.
I knew the road back to the finish. There’s a slight drag to the pub on the corner, and I put my head down and pushed the pace as hard as I could. The finishing 100 yard straight to the Old Still (race sponsor) is downhill and I tumbled across in 44:50. Last 0.98 mile 7:51
Plenty water at the finish, but before I could drink it, I needed to pour it over me.
My official time was 45:08. Once again my watch was locked at the start gun. I must rtfm. Read the f****n manual!
Post race: the best showers ever at the local GAA club, refreshments at The Old Still, good chatting outside, and back to the Old Boro.
Review: A race is for racing. 100 percent all going well. And tonight. in Clashmore I did give it welly. Average HR 92% and 1:06 anaerobic at the end. This was a tough circuit, in very warm conditions. Glad now that it’s done! Brilliant training for my upcoming triathlon. It would be near impossible to do that in training!
World Cup update : Holland tore Spain asunder to win 5 – 1. They destroyed them with stunning football. What an absolute shock! Good for the game, though. Crystal Palace captain Jedinak was playing for Australia but they were beaten 3 – 1 by Chile.
Who do you think will win the world Cup 2014? What about an unfancied team outside bet? Share some thoughts…