Your Event Report?

Would you like to send me a short report of your recent running event?

I’ve been thinking recently. It’s something that happens every now and then! I have received very positive feedback on my recent blogging here on Spring Forward. It occurs to me that there are definitely others out there who are interested in recording their thoughts following an event. I would be very happy to create a GUEST space here on my blog. What would you need to do? Well, I’ve got my way of doing a report, but you’ve got your way! Why not surprise me & my readers? You can contact me via Twitter / Facebook or a message here, or simply email me at address below.

Not sure that you want to? Well, that’s ok. However, I can be reasonably sure that you’ll be delighted if you do decide to take the plunge.

Actually, looking back above: it need not be SHORT. It need not be RECENT.

If it’s an event that I’ve posted about here, I’ll link your’s and mine.

I can think of at least three potential guest reporters! If you are not keen on the idea, but you know someone who might be, just twist his / her arm sufficiently.

Contact me:

Twitter @deburcapadraig

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deburcapadraig

Email: runbikespringforward@gmail.com

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Running Review

As the 2014 summer running comes close to a finish, I thought it might be a good idea to create a summary of events. This makes it easier to look back on earlier races, rather than searching back through the posts. It is located as a separate PAGE on the homescreen, and here’s the link to it. The PAGE will be updated as events are completed and a post has been uploaded.

I have organised it along the following lines;

1. The 11 races in the Ger Wyley summer series

2. Other running races

3. Duathlon / triathlon events.

PS. I’ve been thinking recently. It’s something that happens every now and then! I have received very positive feedback on my recent blogging here on Spring Forward. It occurs to me that there are definitely others out there who are interested in recording their thoughts following an event. I would be very happy to create a GUEST space here on my blog. What would you need to do? Well, I’ve got my way of doing a report, but you’ve got your way! Why not surprise me & my readers? You can contact me via twitter / facebook or a message here, or simply email me at runbikespringforward@gmail.com

Not sure that you want to? Well, that’s ok. However, I can be reasonably sure that you’ll be delighted if you do decide to take the plunge..

 

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.
Highlights:

  • 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.

wpid-20140812_195747.jpg

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….

Beam Us All Up, Scotty

The Marine Climb, Friday, 8th August, 2014.

I spoke with Michael Deegan before this evening’s race. We were discussing technology. Michael explained the wonder of an industrial machine being repaired remotely. A technician can log on to the connected machine and tweak the settings without the expense of a call-out. It reminded me of a trucker’s story. Apparently, when crossing the Alps, a driver carrying a heavy load can dial up and download extra horsepower. It can be expensive, so it is bought only for the minimum time needed, perhaps an hour or two.
For the Marine Climb, runners could do with a bit of pre-paid horsepower!  Some might need it for perhaps only forty minutes, whereas those at the back of the field might be happy to pay over the odds for any magic that would bring them from Dungarvan to Pulla to lessen time sore muscles need to work beyond exhaustion.

This is race number ten in the 2014 WWAC Summer Racing Series. It is the tenth evening of wonderfully-organised running here in County Waterford, on  the SE Irish coast. (I’m writing more and more for an international audience, wouldn’t ya know?) Following a deluge of  summer thunderstorms during the morning and early afternoon, the “Lookout” was bathed in warm sunshine for the 7.30pm starting gun. One foot above sea-level. Christy set us off on our merry way through the town and out the Cork road. There was plenty chit-chat, and some serious advice on offer, and because this was my first attempt at this tough event, I was more than happy to soak it all in. Go easy. Steady up. Save yourself for later. Made me feel like a running virgin, it did! Of course, deep down, I knew that all this expert advice was a result of experience, and I’d be a fool to ignore it.

Mile 1: nice and easy. Have the craic. Talk to the usual suspects. Mary’s doing this race next week, Johnny is doing that one. I made a point of thanking Ger Wyley, who was marshalling the roundabout at the top of Mary Street. Onwards then to the edge of town. My buddy Kevin took time out from a busy schedule at Statoil to be there to skoot  me on faster. In fact, the large number of spectators made this race easier. There’s no doubt about it…a kind encouraging word works wonders! Time: 9:30. That’s ok.  Perfect pacing.

Mile 2: I did notice that I was about three or four yards ahead of a few buddies, and it was decision time. Up ahead, at about thirty yards, I noticed a group of about four, and I ignored all my pre-race plans and moved closer bit by bit. There’s a slight rise along the seafront after Statoil Daybreak garage, and it’s not the place or the time to be a hero. It took me a full mile and a bit to close the gap. Pace: 9:34.  Feeling good.

Mile 3: On  the downhill section to Killongford Bridge, I lengthened my stride, and stood tall. I did not push hard, as I was well aware of the serious hill ahead. A hard short incline got me to ring Cross with elevated heart-rate, where I was once again guided safely across traffic by Ger. “It’s easier to drive this”, I mentioned. Hard to argue with that, says Ger! And thus, it began! The lower slopes of the Drum Hills. The mile marker ahead was hidden in slanting evening sunlight, and when I did arrive I was quite pleased that the first half of the race had gone pretty much to plan. Pace: 9:43. T0tal to there = 28:47. Knowing that I’ve not had a run since Ballymac two weeks ago, and my previous 8:45 pace of necessity slipped back towards my jogging 9:30 pace, I was exactly where I expected to be!

Mile 4: There was approx 175 feet of climbing on this mile and I was on my own. I knew that I would lose lots of time if I lost my focus, and therefore the easiest way to keep a good pace was to push on a bit harder and watch my heart-rate. My legs felt good. Again, there was a group of about six ahead of me, but in fact they were making good headway. Then guess what happened? I was a good thirty yards behind approaching the water station at the four mile marker, and some of them actually stopped to drink. Before I could say “Bob’s your Uncle”, I was right on their heels! Pace: 10:19. Very happy with that. Average HR 157, and feeling that I might be able to push on a bit and hopefully hold it to the finish.

The hardest mile ahead, I think. Mile 4 to 5.

The hardest mile ahead, I think. Mile 4 to 5.

Mile 5: The toughest mile, I think. Once again, it was made easier by virtue of the many locals out cheering us along. Similar rise again at approx 180 feet. What suits me however, is that the gradient is constant. No really steep sections, followed by easier bits. It’s a course for endurance over power. Speaking of which, I passed Onra Power and Linda. Onra’s gonna kill me for quoting this, but comments on the course are part-and-parcel of what makes a race memorable! As I passed, and offered a word of encouragement, Onra said to her running-mate  “Now, you’ll be in one of his stories”, referring of course to this blog. You see, word is getting out there that I’m doing a blog, and secretly perhaps many want to be in there!!! I was chuffed at the comment, but was unable to reply in person as my mind was yards ahead of my legs. I was feeling good, and pushed a bit harder again before arriving at the N25 Cork road junction. The section to the lay-by hurt me more as I attempted to close another gap. Finally, the turn-off at the top of the hill appeared, 560 feet above sea-level. The “Lookout” seemed a long way back, now!. Again, I want to mention that stewarding along by the Seanchaí was top-class, and traffic was halted for our safety. Finally, I upped my pace to race the much-anticipated downhill, a full half-mile of bliss that turned to torture as I attempted to pass myself out. I passed Geraldine Barry, who seemed shocked that my Ballymac buddy Tricia was not with me! Geraldine & I had mentioned before the start that we might likely be running together for much of the evening. Geraldine was having none of it, though, and was out of sight quite early on. As I pushed on at my best sprint, I realised that I was not able to hold it. Sure, I know why, as I’ve been biking rather than running between races! I had Denise  Nugent just ahead of me, but when I tried to catch her, my legs gave way. Or, to be precise, my lungs and my legs! Final mile: 8:13 Elevation: approx 80 feet for half mile, then similar downhill to finish.

The Marine Bar, Pulla. 500 feet above sea-level. Journey's END

The Marine Bar, Pulla. 500 feet above sea-level. Journey’s END

Overall time: 57:28
Verdict: Really pleased with that.
Target for 2015: with similar conditions, I’ll hit 55:00. Now, there’s a good solid goal!
Stewarding: Excellent, as per usual
Value for money: €5.00 to borrow a phrase…sure, where would you get it?

An athlete who caught my eye? My neighbour Noelle Conway. Noelle is another back-of-the-pack runner. She epitomises what running can be all about. Give it a good shot. Remember you’re not 21 any more, and enjoy the occasion. I admire you Noelle. Keep it going, girl! Separately, Noelle had been on the old railway track at the final kilometre of the Dungarvan Triathlon course at the end of June. (My first triathlon…even I gotta go back to check it out!) While a large crowd had gathered at the finish line, Noelle was about half a mile back. She was there to cheer on her husband Joe. In fact, she clapped, shouted and encouraged everybody. Not just ordinary, normal cheering support. She did, in fact, go the extra mile, showing obvious delight in seeing a tired athlete respond (myself included)!
Official results here and club race report to follow.

For my international readers, some small parts of Ireland still use the native Irish language, Gaelic. Tonight’s run brought us to one such location, and I was thrilled to get a few feedback tweets as Gaeilge…

Chun crioch a chur leis an scéal seo, fuaireas cupla “tweets”, agus ós rud é gur i nGaeltacht na nDéise a bhíomar anocht, phiocas an cheann seo:

 

Finally, finally: the lyrics of “Climb Every Mountain” from the Sound of Music struck a chord with me. (Struck a chord, get it? God, I’m sharp! There I go again!) In many ways, mountains and obstacles to be overcome and difficult life situations, require passion, determination and other admirable qualities, in much the same way as running does. Following my dream is important to me, and this evening’s tough run was part of the journey!

Climb every mountain,
Search high and low,
Follow every byway,
Every path you know.

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
‘Till you find your dream.

A dream that will need
All the love you can give,
Every day of your life
For as long as you live.

Páraig / Pat

Lots of Other Factors: Ballymac 5

Doocey’s Bar Ballymac 5, Friday July 25th, 2014

Running is not just about running. There are lots of other factors, as will be seen (clearly, I hope) below.

Now well past mid-summer, and approaching the final races for 2014, I headed towards the spectacular Nire Valley last Friday evening.

Pre-race: a sizeable number presented at the Community Centre for hassle-free registration, and outside they chatted in the warm evening sunshine. Many, I suppose, chatted about the intense heat of the early afternoon, and were glad that a cooling breeze was sweeping through. Some, I suppose, discussed the good form of friends and maybe even rivals. I’m fairly certain that Garth Brooks was not mentioned. His race was run.

Along with many others, I jogged the short distance to the start line and on towards the valley. I made sure not to go too far, because once again, I intended jogging this race. That sounds contradictory, but the plan was in place, and I intended sticking to it.

Note of interest: In recent races, I’ve noticed that athletes seem to know exactly where to position themselves prior to the starting gun. Helped by locating others with similar times in recent events, and deciding to move slightly up or down the field depending on other factors, it all works like a well-oiled machine.

3-2-1-GO: Quite happily positioned near the back of the bunch, my first mile proved to be a bit quicker than I intended at 9:10. When I passed the mile-marker and noted the above time, it was clear to me that I needed to back off a bit more. My cycling Tour of Meath 160k 36 hours later was a big priority. As luck would have it, I noticed Tricia Cullinane a little bit ahead of me, and decided to move up, but not to move ahead. Tricia was making her first appearance following her Viking half-marathon in Waterford in late June, and she urged me to push on and do my own race. However, my mind was set. I eased back into warm-up pace, and enjoyed the chat along the way. Mile 2: 10:00, mile 3: 9:57, mile 4: 9:55. Now there’s consistency, despite constant slight uphill to the wood entrance, two stiffer inclines through the wood, and some downhill before returning to the final  mile.

We pushed the pace just a little bit, and just a little bit again with 800 metres to go. I was anxious to follow the pace rather than set it, and we had a small little skirmish, without any major injury or fatality. Then out of the blue, with 200 metres to go, my running buddy showed her competitive fangs as she sprinted hard. To her credit, she did shout out “Come on, Padraig”, as she left me two yards behind. And so, battle commenced. I did not realise that it was to turn into several smaller battles, each slightly more intense than the last. As soon as we were once again shoulder to shoulder, off she went again…and again, until by the time we crossed the line, it is likely that the officials thought we had battled in such fashion for a full five miles!

Friendly rivalry

Friendly rivalry

Final time: 47:53, average HR 145. Happy with that. Number 9 completed.

My photographer buddy, John Coleman caught the agony and the extasy of running. Looking at these pictures later, the thought struck me that running is such a powerful thing. It mattered not a tad to us that we were fighting it out for 156th place. The level of intensity that an athlete can pull from deep within, based on training and lots of other factors, is significant. This intensity is very empowering, as it shows (well, it does to me anyway) that the human spirit is designed to feel at its most magnificent best when the unachievable has been achieved; when hard work is rewarded; when a journey is shared; when partnership and quest for victory can live side-by-side.

I knew I'd been outsprinted, so I put on my "camera face"

I knew I’d been outsprinted, so I put on my “camera face”

Finally, thinking a little further about this blog in recent weeks, I’m looking for ways to move it outside the box of an entirely personal perspective. I have received some interesting feedback about the personal participant slant of running or cycling, and it will remain my primary focus. However, beginning with this post, I’m introducing an element where I “notice” and acknowledge an athlete for one reason or other (factors, again!).

Mary Mangan Dyer ran this event in 37:11. and as she mentions in her post-race interview “I’m one happy bunny”. Here she is coming home to a wonderful PB. Well done, Mary.

A personal best to remember! 37:11

A personal best to remember! 37:11

Other other factors:

  • I am sure that the good local folk appreciate the beauty that surrounds them on all sides. Ballymacarbery and the Nire valley area is a truly spectacular place, from the lowlands of the village, changing several times on the approach to higher ground to Powers-the-Pot. Now, there’d be an amazing endurance run!
  • Many locals came out to watch the event and cheer us on tonight. On such a beautiful evening, they sat on garden walls or stood by the roadside. Many were small children, perhaps runners in-the-making.
  • Perhaps there are further other factors, not mentioned here. Do feel free to add your own other factors as comments.

 

Official WWAC report: The link is here and Race results here

20th ANNUAL GER WYLEY SPORTS/SKINS SUMMER SERIES 2014-RACE 9.

19TH ANNUAL DOOCEYS ORIEL BAR BALLYMACARBRY 5 MILE ROAD RACE

You can’t get to much better than this as our race sponsor commented ,Yes the sun was shining and one of the largest turnout of runners seen for many a year attended last Friday evening’s Ballymacarbry 5 mile road race, the third last race in the 20th annual Ger Wyley Sports /SKINS summer series for 2014. Anyway, The Doocey’s Oriel Bar sponsored Ballymac 5 mile road race saw a field of 175 complete the scenic course on the night. Our sincere thanks go for the 19th time to the Doocey family of Doocey’s Oriel bar who once again this year sponsored the race.  Thanks to Michael Doocey who was on hand to present the winners with their prizes. We are indebted to Race director Frank Bolger for all his practical help ensuring the runners had a safe and enjoyable run in the Nire Valley. Frank was one of the founding race committee members way back in 1995 when this race started and his still the leading figure each year since. Frank was our honorary race starter last Friday evening also and finished off his evenings work by also doing race sweeper, many thanks Frank. Our thanks to Coillte and local forester Kevin Power for his ongoing help and assistance with holding the event through the wood . Thanks to Danny O Rourke all at the community centre for permitting the use of the fabulous facilities, entries were taken at the hall and changing and showers were also available which was really appreciated by one and all.  We would like to especially thank John Condon once again this year as indeed he has now for many years given us permission to go through his land which is part of the race course. Thanks to our committee members who made the sandwiches, to John of DC Images on camera duty.To Ann for the prizes and to Brid, Megan, Shirley, Sharon and Liam for the entries and results. Our thanks to Jim Fleming for all his help with this race also.Thanks to Conor ,Jamie and their new assistant Patrick who were on duty out on the course and to Liam O’Donnell on the van duty. Our thanks and appreciation to the Spellman family who provided the water station at mile 2 mark this was much appreciated by the runners. All in all another great community effort saw a most enjoyable nights racing in the beautiful Nire valley se you all in 2015.

KEVIN MANSELL GIVES POWERFUL DISPLAY TO WIN HIS FIRST.

Running the Ballymacarbrty 5 for the first time is a goal for many but for one individual who not alone was running the race for the first time last Friday evening but he actually went on to win the race, now that is defiantly some achievement. One of Tipperary based club’s finest athletes on the circuit presently Kevin Mansell put in a brilliant run to take the title for 2014 with a time of 25.55.Holding off a stiff challenge from previous race winner Philip Harty West Waterford AC who was 2nd in 26.11 .The two battled together for the first 3 miles with Philip actually setting the pace for all of the first 3 miles of the race, when in the Wood section of the course on the hill after the 3 mile mark Kevin put in a surge which was to settle the battle between the two as he opened up a nice gap on Philip over the top of the climb and by the time the race was back on the downhill road section there was only going to be one winner as Mansell powered his way over final mile to cross the line 16 seconds ahead of Harty. the split time’s for Kevin were 5.08 mile one,10.29 mile two,15.45 for mile three and 20.48 for mile four. Waterford’s Trevor Power who was with the first two finishers for the first 2 miles finished 3rd in 26.54 well clear of twice race winner Raivis Zakis West Waterford AC who was 4th in 27.43.The over 40 category was claimed by Alan Ryan West Waterford AC 30.52 with Waterford’s Jim Baldwin taking the over 45 prize in 29.56. Ray Hahesy West Waterford AC has recently being making the over 50 section at all local races his own and last Friday evening was no exception as he once again claimed that category with a very good time of 31.09 Tommy Cahill Clonmel AC  claimed the over 55 prize with a time of 33.51.Well done to all winners and runners.

RESULTS OF BALLYMACARBRY 5 MILE 2012

1st Kevin Mansell Clonmel AC 25.55

2nd Philip Harty West Waterford AC 26.11

3rd Trevor Power Waterford AC 26.54

0/40 Alan Ryan West Waterford  AC 30.52

0/45 Jin Baldwin Waterford AC  29.56

0/50 Ray Hahesy West Waterford AC 31.09

0/55 Tommy Cahill Clonmel AC 33.51

Junior Philip Hunter Sligo AC 30.42

ORNA MURRAY RUNS 2ND FASTEST TIMES EVER TO WIN LADIES RACE.

Young Orna Murray set the Nire valley alight last Friday evening with a brilliant run in the Ladies section of the race. Orna who recently returned from athletic scholarship in Stony Brook College will pursue her academic career next year in UCC as she goes on to further her studies. Oran runs with Ferrybank AC and her time of 30.12 was the 2nd fastest time ever recorded by a lady over this Ballymac course. The record is held by Pauline Lambe who in 2009 set a time of 29.48.Onra from the gun meant business clocking 5.49 for the first mile and followed with a 6.15 a 6.07 and a 6.08 over the hilly wood section of the course, she finished 8th overall from the field of 175 finishers, brilliant running from young Orna who we can expect to see a lot off in the winner enclosure in future races. Previous winner of the race Clonmel’s Angela Mc Cann  finished in second place with a time of 31.16,this was  a very good run by Angela as this time would on another day be good enough to win this race but for the exceptional run for Orna. One of the leading contenders for this year’s overall series West Waterford’s Sinead Mansfield finished in third place in a time of 32.20. The category prizes were over 35 Mary Molloy 39.23 , over 40 Brigid Coffey for the 2nd year in a row 39.23 , over 45 Ann Dunford 34.34 who also won this section in 2013. the over 50 winner was Una Uí Mhuirithe 37.46 mother of our race winner, and Ciara Burke once again picked up the Junior prize with another solid 37.46. Just to mention a big well done to all the Ladies who were running their very their first Ballymac 5 last Friday evening Ye did superbly well, we hope it won’t be your last outing over this beautiful scenic course.

LADIES RESULTS

1st Orna Murray Ferrybank AC 30.12

2nd Angela Mc Cann Clonmel AC 31.16

3rd Sinead Mansfield West Waterford AC 32.20

0/35 Mary Molloy IND 34.55

0/40 Brigid Coffey West Waterford  AC 39.23

0/45 Ann Dunford  West Waterford AC  37.49

0/50 Una Uí Mhuirithe IND 34.34

Junior Ciara Burke IND 37.46

ZUZANA MALIKOVA VOUCHER WINNERS FOR BALLYMAC 5.

For each race in this years Summer Series, as she has also done for the past 2 years, Zuzana Malikova has generously sponsored 2 massage vouchers.The winners of the vouchers for the Dooceys Bar 5 mile race are Niamh O’Donovan and Anthony Flynn.Zuzana is a Neuromuscular Physical Therapist and Massage therapist and is based at the Complementary Health Clinic, Tournore, Abbeyside. She can be contacted at 087-1218721

 

Taper, my arse!

If you read my last post, you will have known that I intended doing the Tried & Tested Triathlon Club 20k TT this evening. Furthermore, I had intended doing it sensibly, as the Dungarvan Triathlon is only nine days away and my hard training is finished. But….it did not go to plan.

Ballyvoile

Ballyvoile on a summer evening. Bikers going too fast to be caught on camera! (c. Meabh)

On a beautiful warm summer evening again, I was at the “crooked bridge” and decided to give it 100%. Why? I don’t know really. Maybe some overflowing testosterone (I’m allowed to say that, coz tis my flippin blog!) but mainly because I need to have an indication of where I’m at. I had hoped to do this event for the past few Thursdays, but Thursdays is not a good day for me as my family all meet up for tea and a catch-up. Also, whenever I do the brick workout on Tuesdays, I figure it’s a bridge too far (and not sensible, to boot…) to do two extremely hard workouts within 48 hours.

Garmin metric info

Garmin metric info

Image

Strava info the old-fashioned way. I usually prefer this.

Anyways, shortly AFTER starting, I gave it welly. Looking back at it on Strava, I had several section PB’s and KOM’s, and was really really thrilled with my pace. And I know I have more in me. What was interesting was that I was not able to get my HR to where it can be maintained for the duration. This tells me, of course, that the oul body is a wee bit tired, and with sensible rest and fresh legs on Saturday week, I’ll know what’s possible. Mind you, there’s a big unknown in the equation. How will I manage the TT after swimming 750 metres? Well, I’ll update you after next week. In the meantime, I’m going to approach it in my most positive frame-of-mind. Even though I’ll find the swim very tough, I have two things in my favour. 1. When I get on the bike, I’ll definitely be well warmed-up and 2. My HR will be high enough to go hard from the start. I do realise this is my FIRST triathlon, so there’s a chance that my best-laid plans might come to an abrupt halt! It’s important though, to visualise the best-case-scenario.

My clock time for the 20k TT was 36:52 That works out at 20.3mph / 32.6kmph.

Image

Incidentally, looking back through this post, the title may be open to various interpretations! However, Meabh noted that the comma in “Taper, my arse” saved me from further embarrassment.

 

Finally, here’s a good post-TT tip: three Guinness in the Lady Belle, Dungarvan, watching the highlights of England’s unfortunate defeat to Uruguay.

Scoreline England 1 – Luiz Suarez 2.

Report from The Irish Times and another from BBC Sport.

Do you ride bike time-trials? Let’s compare / contrast…

Are you an England fan? Perhaps a Uruguayan fan? Will Chile be the 2014 dark horses? Share your thoughts please…

Racing in Clashmore

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!

The Old Still, Clashmore, county Waterford

The Old Still, Clashmore, County Waterford

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!

What a beautiiful warm summer evening in Clashmore!

Farmer’s tan.

WWAC race report here

Clashmore picture gallery here.

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…