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




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

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..


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



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.


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.


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


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.


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


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


An Tobar Ardmore 5

Ardmore 5, Friday 23rd May.
Race number 4 in the Ger Wyley Sports/Skins West Waterford AC Summer Series took place in Ardmore last night, Friday May 23rd at 8pm. I took a lift up with Tom & Ray, and had a good pre-race warmup.

Mile 1: slightly downhill. I felt ok, and settled in to a nice rhythm with Kate Organ and Catherine Condon. Time 8:12

Mile 2: Going through the village, I felt the effort to stay with them too much, and they opened a gap of about 30 metres. Time: 8:39
Mile 3: I knew that this one was going to be slower as there was quite a long uphill section. I was happy to take it very easy for about 500metres before the hill, and when I got there, I pushed really hard. I was a bit surprised that I did have strength in legs to push uphill, and by the top I had closed the long gap to 10 metres. Time: 9:29

Mile 4: when I got back with both ladies, we settled in to a nice pace and kept it going. Time: 8:37

Mile 5: Just at the corner, I pushed on a little and again. I knew that there was a short tricky hill coming up. I pushed really hard again here, and even though I faded a bit on the last half mile, I was focused and able to catch three runners ahead of me by the time I got to the village. The last 100 metre sprint was a really hard effort, one that gave me great satisfaction. Time: 8:01

Overall, I am very happy with my running. In January I was at 47 minutes for the Kilmac 5, and I had very little stamina. three weeks ago in Portlaw I ran 43:21 for 5 miles, but the first mile was on a steep downhill course so it really was not a true time. Tonight, for the first time this year, I realised that my training  is paying off.

Touraneena 5k next week, and it will be interesting to get back to the shorter distance.
Photographs courtesy of Dave Coleman / John Coleman
Here’s the WWAC report of this event…….



The 20TH annual Ger Wyley Sports/SKINS summer series continued in Ardmore last Friday night with race number 4 the 19th annual An Tobar sponsored Ardmore 5 mile road race. The weather on the night was a bit breezy but at least the treating rain stayed away for the 160 participants who took part. Traditionally for some years the Ardmore race was the final race in the series but with the new series format on trial this year the event comes earlier in the calendar of races, however we are delighted that this didn’t have any ill effects on the race numbers as we were slightly up on runners from 2013. For us at the club it’s always a great pleasure to visit Ardmore for this race as the organisers in the beautiful seaside village always have everything in top order for the event. So our sincere thanks go to race organising Chief Michael Hennessy and his crew out in Ardmore for their detailed and flawless organisation. The race this year was tinged sadly when just before the starting time of 8 pm we heard of the passing of the Ardmore GAA clubs chairman Joe O Brien. The GAA club in Ardmore have been great supporters of this race and our club over many years and have always put their facilities at our disposal for the race each year, we extend our deepest sympathy to Joe’s family and friends and all at Ardmore GAA club on their loss. Before the race start a minutes silence was observed by the runners as a mark of respect to Joe. We are once again this year as has been the case now for many years, indebted to Ken Pallister of “An Tobar” in the village who sponsored the race and he and his staff ensured that all the runners were well cared for with plenty of food and refreshments afterwards. We are very fortunate to have the support and sponsorship of An Tobar which we are very grateful for, thank you Ken. Our thanks also goes to Matt Faherty who was present on the night to present the Noel Faherty memorial cup to the winning lady and also to Tony Ryan who presented the first man home with the Veronica Ryan memorial cup. Many thanks to both for their attendance. Special thanks to our entire club crew for another flawless effort on the night, to Sharon, Shirley, Karen and Liam who were as efficient as ever with the entries and the finishing times and results. Thanks’ to boys at DC Images for the wonderful snaps  Thanks also to Jamie and Conor for their help and work on the night and to Jim and Liam in the club van. Finally, thanks to Ann Dunford who once again had the task of looking after all the prizes on the night.



It was an easy victory in the An Tobar Ardmore 5 last Friday evening for Waterford‘s Trevor Power when he made it 3 wins from 3 starts in this years series which now even at this early stage it most surely install him as the hot favourite to claim the over the race series for 2014.From the starter’s whistle no other athlete could matched the Waterford man’s pace in the early stages of the race as he drew away from the field to claim a convincing win with a time of 25.56.Trevor has wins now in Butlerstown 4 mile. Waterford to Tramore 7.5 mile and Friday nights Ardmore 5 and we still have 7 races remaining in the series. West Waterford’s Kevin Kenneally put in a huge performance also in Ardmore and on another day could very well have taken the race victory, for sure there is a race win not too far in the horizon for the much improving Ballinroad man as he is rarely now outside the top 3 in all our events . Kevin clocked a person best 5 mile time of 27.52 to add to his personal best run in Youghal over 10 k the previous Sunday when he clocked a time of 34.56. Third last Friday was Tom Bennett in 28.12.Tom is improving with ever outing and recorded a deserving podium place in Ardmore, Tom showed real promise as a junior athlete some years back and then slipped out of the sport for a few years however his back and running as good as ever and with his progress these past few months he will also figure highly in all races for the future. The category prize’s on offer for the Ardmore race is different to other races as in order to spread the prizes around prizes are awarded to the top three men and then the first man home in each of the star signs so in total 15 prizes were awarded in the men’s section.

Men’s Results

1st Trevor Power Waterford AC 25.56

2nd Kevin Kenneally West Waterford AC 27.52

3rd Tom Bennett IND 28.12


SAGITTARIUS Micheal Callaghan

CAPRICORN    Peter Duggan

LEO     Tom Leahy

VIRGO Richard Stilwell

GEMINI    John Leahy

CANCER    Anthony Flynn

AQUARIUS    Jim Baldwin

PISCES    Tom Moroney

LIBRA    Dermot O Donovan

SCORPIO    Ray Hahesy

ARIES    Ian Grant

TAURUS    Emmett Ronan


After her convincing victory in the MTS media Ballinroad 5k earlier in the series West Waterford’s Sinead Mansfield turned on the style again in Ardmore last Friday evening when coming home a clear winner in a time of 31.10. Sinead finished in 28th place overall in the race and is running superbly well this year, the victory Friday evening now puts Sinead well up the pecking order as one of the favourites to take the overall Ladies victory in this years series, but of course there’s quite a way to go yet however its safe to say that she could take some beating even at this early stage. In second place was young Sally Forrestal of St. Josephs AC in Kilkenny. Sally finished 3rd in the Waterford to Tramore race recently going one better Friday evening to take a convincing 2nd place with a time of 32.31.There was a great local interest in the 3rd place lady finisher as resident of Ardmore Young Kathleen Quinn ran a stomer of a race to record a time of 33.02, a very well done to her. It was great to see many runners Friday evening who were running the 5 miler for the first time with runners from training groups in Touraneena and Aglish to mention 2 such groups who enjoying the run. Keep up the good work now guys. Prizes were given to the first lady in each of the 12 zodiac star signs and the winners are as follows:

Ladies Results:

1st Sinead Mansfield West Waterford AC 30.10

2nd Sally Forrestal St. Josephs AC 32.31

3rd Helen Quinn IND 33.02


CAPRICORN    Sandra Prendergast

LEO     Karen Ryan

VIRGO    Sharon Higgins

GEMINI    Orla O Mahoney

CANCER    Kate Organ

AQUARIUS   Fiona Ormonde

PISCES    Margaret Conway

LIBRA     Brigid Coffey

SCORPIO    Linda Garcia

ARIES     Irene Clark

Taurus     Mary Phelan


Here’s the link to my post about An Tobar Ardmore 5 race on my other (favourite) blog.

Description: My selfie blog post about Ardmore 5 mile race.


Portlaw, Pieta, Clonea & Giro d’Italia

In the space of just over twelve hours, I’ve completed a trio of important firsts, and I feel that this deserves a blog post! Firstly, at 7.30pm yesterday (Friday 9th) I ran the Portlaw 5, went to the Dungarvan Darkness into Light walk at 4am, and finished it all off with an invigorating swim in Clonea to baptise my new wetsuit. In between, I grabbed a few hours shut-eye, and several hours good sound sleep after midday!
The Portlaw 5 mile event was very well organised. Very thoughtfully, the organisers Carrick AC had us running downhill for the first mile, and this contributed in no small way to my PB time 43:55, beating my previous best by nearly two minutes. However, I am going to give myself some credit for this, as I gave it socks all the way round, finishing well satisfied with my efforts.Then, onwards home in very heavy rain after delicious food & coffee provided by the organisers. My goal now is to lose about ten pounds in an all-out assault on a possible season best in July or August. I’m taking bets on 42:00, to complete my first full season running.
I arrived home to further heavy rain and got a few hours sleep (interrupted by a mini-dream of running 41:00 later in the summer). On then to event two: my family & friends descended on St. Augustine’s College for the 2014 Darkness into Light walk at 3:30am, and to listen to Conor Cusack speak about the importance of seeking help when one’s mental and emotional state requires it. Help is out there, quite often from a close friend or family member; but it is important to take the brave step of unmasking and being somewhat vulnerable. Furthermore, Conor  spoke of the duty we have to be aware of the small signs that a friend or acquaintance is trying to reach out for help, and perhaps just on the verge of being unable to so so. And then we walked the 5k route back to Abbeyside, returning along the beautiful Deise Greenway to Barnawee and a cup of hot coffee at Duckspool. The dawn had come, and ready we were to face a new day! I felt the great solidarity that comes with being part of something so important, something bigger than myself, a symbolic gesture of commitment to the aims of Pieta House and those persons who my need to avail of the help they provide. I am conscious that I am not immune from such a situation, as should we all. For tonight, I was grateful to be able to lend my moral support to this wonderful cause, so much so that when I arrived home just after 6am I resolved to write about it and share my thoughts. It is this sharing of thoughts and words that is helping to lessen considerably the stigma once associated with suicide and mental illness here in Ireland. In this respect many thousands of people and several good organisations are to the forefront in encouraging a cultural sea-change. I’m thinking specifically of the Cycle Against Suicide group who are nearing the end of the massive 14-day, 1400km circuit of Ireland, speaking to teenagers at every stop along the way. Shoulder to Shoulder…

Two down, one to go. So, after a further few short hours of sleep, I embarked upon my first sea-swim with Tried & Tested Triathlon Club at Clonea. Blustery conditions awaited us for our dip at 10:30am, but in no way lessened our enjoyment of the time in the waves. There was very little swimming, because of the rough conditions, but I succeeded in baptising my new wet-suit, and had lots of fun in the process.

Home. Food. Sleep. Feet up. Tomorrow the Giro d’Italia arrives in Dublin and I have every intention of being there with my pink wig!

Footnote: Yes, the pink wig got another outing as the Giro d’Italia came to Dublin.

Feet stuck to the road
Picture copyright @FriaryCollege