Mving to NEW Website


I have been very happy here at WordPress for the past number of years. Now, though, it is time to move to my own  website, registered yesterday. Everything (lock, stock & barrel) had been copied over there, and I like the new layout, and lots of nice things there. All new articles will be posted there.

In the meantime, I will continue to post here for a further little while, but over time this page will become static. It will still hold fond memories for me, as I move to a nicer house, ready for bigger things! Come with me please to….

"Chain Running Dot Com" That's the place to be...

“Chain Running Dot Com” That’s the place to be…




Black And White Cows

Tour of Ulster Day 2 Derry to Enniskillen. Tuesday, August 12th
A second tough day with heavy rain and a fresh headwind for almost 60 miles. But suddenly, after lunch in Ballyshannon, the sun came out, the wind was to our back, and we scorched the tarmac home. This was our just reward for hard graft and minding one another all morning.
Coming through heavy rain and strong wind I thought to myself that the Irish proverb “May the wind be always at your back…” definitely did not originate in the North West.

  • the fantastic hard shoulder road from Lifford to Ballyshannon
  • the race to Enniskillen
  • mighty craic on the road
  • and a great friendly hotel in the town.

On a personal level, as I was hurting along several sections of the journey, I remembered my brother-in-law Jim Shine. I am grateful to be alive and able to cycle. I am grateful for buddies to pull me through the dark spots along life’s road. Just for the present moment, I am grateful that I can combine my love of the rothar with the stunning landscape by Lough Erne in Fermanagh.


Happy birthday, Mick

Unconnected with cycling and the Endurance Challenge 2068 event, please read this final bit under strict advisement…(That worked, I’d say…now you are curious!)
I did also have a further strange thought. Be assured it is only because I have come to understand that my audience appreciate honesty and integrity that I even dare to put it in writing. This blog has developed from merely recording the factual, to seeking out my slant on life’s little treasures. You see, each one of us has a little strange thought or two from time to time, and these strange thoughts must be acknowledged. They must be loved by their owner! Here it is: I wondered if black and white cows might like to compare birthmarks! Along tbe lines of Dairy Tinder.

Harking back to last night’s quote from Robin we are given a little dose of madness and must not let it go to waste. Surely, though, someone has had such a similar thought… but may have not shared it.

I’d say two pints might go down well! But, first…a recovery drink-shake and some vitamin C. Now there’s another….

Dromana 5

Dromana 5, Friday 20th June, 2014.

The circus rolls on! Race number seven, on the evening before mid-summer, brought a large number to Villierstown by the Blackwater. A total of  159 athletes ran the Dungarvan Leader Dromana 5 for the Michael C. Nagle Trophy.

I went along, having biked very hard the previous evening, and so I was completely content to enjoy the views along the Blackwater. I jogged along at an easy 10-minute mile pace in good company all the way with Jackie and Ann.

Arriving in Cappoquin

Arriving in Cappoquin. There’s Jackie…and there’s Ann

Not much writing this time, but loads of pictures.

Easy does the caterpillars?

Easy does it…spot the caterpillars?

The race coincided with the 10th anniversary Cappoquin Cornerstone Festival, and the town was buzzing with music at the finish.

10th Anniversary Cappoquin Cornerstone Festival

10th Anniversary Cappoquin Cornerstone Festival


Colm & Linda Nagle present Michael C Nagle Trophy to race winner Philip Harty

Colm & Linda Nagle present Michael C Nagle Trophy to race winner Philip Harty

Race Results here

Official WWAC Club race report (to follow)

Here are some very interesting links to information about the very dramatic & beautiful  Dromana Bridge:

Jean Tubridy, socioligist

Dromana House & Gardens

Documenting Ireland

Interesting document by Cappoquin Heritage Group 2007 from Cappoquin Civic Link

Finally, as this evening is more about scenery, appreciation of being out in God’s good air and some local Cappoquin links, here’s my favourite, a poem written by John Betjeman, (© John Betjeman Society) reviewed by Joan Clancy Gallery. The poem mentions Dungarvan, yet there are links in Betjamin’s life to the Stuarts of Dromana House

And, since my run this evening was very casual, I was able to take in my surroundings much more than in proper racing. Here’s my Dromana Gallery for you to enjoy.

Dromana Bridge

Dromana Bridge, 1849. Click picture to follow to GALLERY

This ended up more about Dromana and it’s heritage than about running! If you notice any incorrect / broken links please let me know. Beir bua!


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Official report from West Waterford Athletics Club: (Originating link here)


There don’t come much better than this, was one comment heard before the start of last Friday evenings 22nd Annual Dungarvan Leader Dromana 5 mile road race, yes indeed it was a super evening for road running and where better to be running on such a glorious evening than on the famed Dromana drive where race number 7 in the Ger Wyley Sports/SKINS summer series of road races which is now in its 20th season took place. The race this year was one of the events which kick started the 10th Cappoquin Cornerstone Carnival weekend in the town and the crowds were out in force making the race finish a hive of excitement and activity as all 165 runners came into the square to finish this year’s race. We must also mention the great turn out of walkers who came along to this year’s event from Melleary and surrounding areas to take part in the event ,we hope to see them and many more take on the 5 mile challenge again next year. The overall winner this year was West Waterford’s Philip Harty, and he did it with style. Philip lead a group of 4 up the village of Villerstown and past the homestead of one of Ireland’s greatest sports men John Treacy. This group consisted of Philip his brother Tony, Kevin Kenneally and Tom Bennett they were locked together still at the 1 mile mark which was timed at 5.30,The group kept in close contact through mile 2 in 11.13, shortly after the paced went to another level when Philip blew the group of 4 apart with a 5 minute mile crossing the 3 mile road marker on his own in 16.13. At mile 4 he threw in a 5.20 and it was plain sailing to the finish in Cappoquin crossing the line in 26.11.The race for the runner up spot was battled out between Kevin Kenneally and Tom Bennett who were part of the earlier 4 man pack, they both shared the pacing for much of the remainder of the race with a hairs breath between them ,But on the sprint into the finish the battle for 2nd place on this occasion was to be won by Kevin Kenneally, its unbelievably the 4th time in this year’s series that Kevin has finished runner up so  victor must surely be on the cards in the not too distance future for him. Kevin took that runner up placing with a time of 27.39 and Tom was just 5 seconds behind after putting up a great fight to finish 3rd in 27.44.John Leahy worked his way through the field nicely to take 4th pace in 28.23 and West Waterford’s DCU student Damien Murphy took 5th place in 28.43. Unfortunately for one of our early race leaders Tony Harty an injury meant he had to cut back his pace and he eventual he finished disappointingly for him in 6th place. West Waterford AC won the two team prizes and a total of 13 runners breaking the 30 minute barrier on the night. The race was well organised once again by Trevor Mason and his crew who deserve great credit for their efforts in keeping the organisational standard’s of this race at a very high level for all of these years.

Men’s Results

Philip Harty West Waterford AC 26.11

Kevin Kenneally West Waterford AC 27.39

Tom Bennett IND 27.44

John Leahy West Waterford  AC 28.23

Damien Murphy West Waterford AC 28.43

Team Prizes

West Waterford AC-A: Tony Harty, Tom Leahy, Anthony Flynn.

West Waterford AC- B: Andrew Leary, Mossie Keogh , Martin Mc Carthy


The lady who is setting the road running scene alight presently was once again unstoppable last Friday evening in Dromana. Martina O Dwyer Carrick AC brought her tally of series wins for 2014 to 5 from 7 races. Martina to date has had victories at the Butlerstown 4 miler, the Waterford to Tramore 7.5, the Touraneena 5k,  the Clashmore 5 and now Dromana 5. It was really a case of yet another emphatic victory for her in a fine time of 30.55.Martina is to the fore in all Local races in the south presently and from the gun she set a pace which no other could match on the night and she arrived in Cappoquin clear of the second lady Sinead Mansfield who clocked 31.22 which on another day would be a time which could very well be fast enough to win this particular race but with the form of the Carrick lady it would take almost a course record effort to beat her. Martina becomes the 4th recipient of the Mason Family Shield which was put up by the Mason Family 4 years ago to be  awarded to the female winner of the race each year, to complement the men’s winner receiving the Michael C. Nagle memorial; trophy which is awarded to the overall race winner. Third on the night was Irene Clarke  with a time of 35.08, Irene puts great planning into her running and is now getting just rewards running excellent times over a variation of distances this year, Sandra Prendergast is another West Waterford AC lady who is regularly among the prize winners in these races Sandra who hails from Lismore is improving with each outing, she clinched 4th lady home with a time of 35.21 Niamh O Donovan is taking her race times down to a very good standard now and her 36.23 posting last Friday evening was good enough for 5th Lady finisher. just like the men’s race it was a 1-2 for the team awards with West Waterford AC claiming all. Well done to all the ladies.

Ladies Results

Martina O Dwyer Carrick AC 30.55

Sinead Mansfield West Waterford AC 31.22

Irene Clarke  West Waterford AC 35.08

Sandra Prendergast West Waterford  AC 35.21

Niamh O Donovan West Waterford AC  36.23

Ladies Teams

West Waterford AC-A: Karen Ryan, Orla O’ Mahoney, Ann Dunford

West Waterford AC-B: Mary Dyer, Brigid Coffey, Anne Massey


West Waterford AC would like to thank all who contributed to the success of last Fridays race, a sincere thank’s to Colm and Linda Nagle and all the staff at the Dungarvan Leader for their kind sponsorship of the Dromana 5 for the 22nd year in succession and for their on-going support of athletics through our weekly column in The Dungarvan leader newspaper. Thanks to Colm Linda and Evan who came along to present the winner’s with their prizes. We must also take this opportunity on behalf of the club and all involved in athletics locally  to wish the Nagle family all the very best with their new venture Nagles Bar on the Square Dungarvan. To Villierstown Community hall committee for the use of the hall for registration many thanks. To all involved with the Cappoquin cornerstone festival weekend of which the race was part of this year. Our thanks to Fintan and  Alice Murray’s Cornerstone take-away for their help with the food for the athletes .To all the steward’s on the course, time keepers, entries and results administrators van helpers and photographers whose help is invaluable in the organisation of any road race. Thanks to Hallahan coaches for the use of their bus to bring the runners to the start in Villierstown. A special thank you to Nora and Danny Flynn and staff at the Central Bar Cappoquin for again hosting the presentation of prizes and for supplying all with hot showers after the race. Ger Mason and family have been associated with this race for all of the 22 years and some years ago they presented the race with a beautiful silver cup which is  presented to the winning lady each year, Finally our thanks again to our local race co-ordinator of the event Trevor Mason and his family for all their work behind the scenes making sure our 22nd annual visit to the Dromana 5 was a memorable one for all. see you all for the 23rd.


The winners of the Suzana Malikova Sports Massage vouchers for the Dungarvan Leader Dromana 5 miler were Ted O Leary and Linda Garcia. Our thanks go to Suzana for donating these prizes to the summer series. Suzana is available for sports Massage at the Alternative Health Clinic in Abbeyside, 087-1218721 for appointment.


Is there an outstanding building or landscape feature of historical importance where you live? Please share in comments box.

Blog Posts Bucket List


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  • restaurant bayside bistro, Achill
  • add to my quotes
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  • Triathlon Time Trial

Solo Run. Closer to God?

This is my first year running right through the summer. I have been running for about ten years, but it always played second fiddle to my cycling. The usual plan was to run during the months of September to December or January, and stop completely to concentrate on my biking. This year, 2014, I decided to keep both going side by side.

My recent runs have given me strength and perseverance. I have kept them interesting. I have mixed the easy and the challenging, the long and the short, the racing and the training, the solo and the group.

I want to write a little about one facet of running, namely the solo run. I love solo running. Most of my training is solo running, and I have discovered that there is something really really good about this type of run. I came across a link outlining the advantages of solo running, and I understand now how beneficial it is for me to head out for a run on my own. To summarise, the article mentions five benefits:

  1. You’ll listen to your body. When you only have yourself to listen to, you’ll hear what your body has to say.
  2. You can disconnect. Take a deep breath, take in the natural world, or just take an hour off from thinking about anything at all.
  3. Your run is your own. Going solo means you can run where you want and when you want.
  4. You won’t compete. When you run by yourself nobody is bored by your snail’s pace or judging you for having to walk up that steep hill. Your only critic is yourself, and you can be proud you got out to run that day.
  5. You’ll become more resilient. Running solo is more difficult mentally, but you can learn how to cope with a challenge, get better at testing your limits, and ultimately become a stronger, prouder runner.

I think one of the biggest factors for me is number one above. Since early spring I’ve had some slight niggly pains, particularly outside my left knee. On several occasions on my solo run, I’ve noticed the pain earlier and I’ve been able to rate it on a scale of 1 to 10. More importantly, however, I’ve been able to decide to stop running without feeling guilty. In fact, I compliment myself on making a sensible decision at a timely point, rather than waiting until it’s too late. Sometimes, the walk home is even better! Sometimes, the little ache or pain is my body telling me to take it easy.

Conversely, even when I get an ache or a little dart of pain, it’s not always my automatic reaction to stop running. I have become smarter at knowing when to stop, or slow down, or indeed push through; and if I decide to push through to see how it goes, I am pleasantly surprised to find that I am able to do a good workout despite the little warning signals. When this happens, I am even more convinced of the value of proper warmup routines, and plenty cooldown time with stretching after my run.

I do not run with music. I have tried it a few times. It’s not for me. Instead, I can easily enter into a dream-like state quickly. I know that I  sometimes run with eyes facing the ground ahead rather than directly ahead, so whenever I am road-running, I have to be very aware of traffic ahead and behind. Anytime that I an off-road, however, I am happy to tune out, and just day-dream my way along.

Solo running is good for me. That’s not to say that I do not need or enjoy company along the way! Far from it. I like the chat with similar-paced racers, as we pull one another along the tough patches, compliment one another on our “great run” last week or last month even, and generally support one another in whatever way we can. Of course, I’ve seen it happen also that good company on a race is fickle, because quite often the runner disappears into the distance leaving me to plod along behind, unable to up my pace. Equally, I’ve done the same on good days!

Tree, near Newgrange in County Meath.

“When you can see the beauty of a tree, then you will know what love is.” ― Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You

I went a-googling to find some tree-quotes, and while the caption for the picture above might be a bit ott, I decided also to use this one from the Bible: “And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.” I admit I am not a biblical person, but the idea has just struck me that running alone is a form of closeness with God. Perhaps you may think that’s ott! However, not me.


Have you particular thoughts about running on your own, or about running in general? I’d like to hear what you’ve got to say…


I can’t Update My Name Right Now

It’s time. I’ve had this post in the back of my mind for the past twenty-nine years, and now the time is right. Time for me to put on paper my long regret, in order for me to move forward.

I refer to who I am, deep down. Who am I? In short, I am Pat Burke. Since 1985, I have used the Irish version of my name. I like the Irish language; in fact, I like it very much! However, the reason behind my decision at the time is filled with confusion, and as the years rolled my confusion continued.

Journey back with me, please. I had been teaching in Dublin since 1978, using my given name, Pat Burke. I started my second teaching job in West Waterford in October 1985.  A strange thing happened on the day I was signing my contract. A certain local priest, who shall remain name nameless, visited my home. As I was ready to sign the agreement, he mentioned that he had a “favour” to ask. He said that he would like it very much if I were to use the Irish version of my name, Pádraig de Búrca. Now, it needs to be said that I applied for the job as Pat Burke, and I was informed in writing that I was successful. The letter is in my name, Pat Burke. I felt certain that he was flying a kite; that this suggestion came from him alone, and was not in any way associated with the Board of Management of the school.
Fast thinking time…and to my regret I agreed. I felt really that my choices were limited. In 1985 Catholic Ireland, what the priest wanted he usually got! So, I started 22 years teaching in West Waterford as Pádraig de Búrca. Immediately, I discovered that I was in reality two persons! My parents and family knew me as nothing other than Pat. In fact, all of my schoolboy friends did likewise! I was a schizophrenic! Monday to Friday at work I was Pádraig, and everywhere else I was Pat. Shortly afterwards, in order to rectify the situation, I changed my name officially to the Irish version. Within months, Pádraig de Búrca was on all my correspondence, and as I began to integrate back into Dungarvan life, I became known as such. Many many people became very confused.
I joined the Dungarvan Badminton Club as Pádraig, met my future wife as Pádraig, and as the years again rolled on I joined Dungarvan Cycling Club as Pádraig. Understandably, the transition was a difficult one for my parents, siblings, cousins and school friends.
Interestingly, my wife and I adopted a slight variation. I did not like Pádraig, as it has a very rough gutteral sound (for anyone unfamiliar with the language the phonetic pronunciation is “paw-drig”). The d in the middle really bugged me, and so we used Páraig (paw-rig) at home! More split personality issues now.

In or about 2010, my family and I had a discussion about this, and I was glad that we did. I was happy once again to be called Pat by my mam, and my brothers and sisters (dad had passed on). Some had a tough time getting used to the initial change, and equally found it easier just to stick with Pádraig. Some rowed in with my Páraig variation , while some were more comfortable with Pat. My nephews and nieces are completely confused.

So, let me put this to bed. My name is Pat Burke, always was, and always will be. The Irish version of my name really is not me. So, what happens now?

Realistically, I am not going to change my name back again. I know so many people through teaching, friendships and local involvement with several clubs and organisations that it would be very impractical. My darling wife calls me Páraig, and this I like almost as a term of endearment as it originated only between both of us. I have several close friends who call me Páraig, and this too pleases me. I am 100% more comfortable with Páraig as opposed to Pádraig. But, the time is right for me to be called Pat by my family. Full circle….in fact, several interconnected loops…

Footnote: I started using Facebook in 2010. Since then I’ve used so many variations that even Facebook itself is at its’ wits end: Pádraig de Búrca, Pat Pádraig Burke, Pádraig Pat Burke, Pat Burke, Paddy Burke (don’t know how I thought that up!) and currently Páraig Pat Burke.  Last week, I tried to edit my name on Facebook to “Páraig de Búrca” and use “Pat Burke” as a nickname, and here is the error message that came up: “You can’t update your name right now because you’ve already changed it too many times. Facebook is a community where people use their real identities. We require everyone to provide their real names, so you always know who you’re connecting with. This helps keep our community safe.” I wonder perhaps would it make a difference if I were to email / share this with Mr. Z. Perhaps I’ll launch a campaign to force FB to allow more than six name-changes, without undermining safety issues! I think ten would be an acceptable number.

Here’s a lovely story to finish: I joined Tried & Tested Triathlon Club, using my official Pádraig de Búrca  title. The club uses Facebook for messaging. When a member of the committee met me recently, she mentioned that she does not know what to call me, and was sure that my Christian name was Páraig Pat, as in persons using two Christian names e.g Paddy Joe or Mary Ann. I appreciated her curiosity!

If you were able to follow all of that, I’d love to hear your slant on it! If you are completely muddled, that’s understandable.



Have you any tales to tell about family names?