When Maria Finnegan suggested we do the race on Tuesday last I went home to do a bit of snooping on previous times I had participated in this race and found some not so flattering photos –  nothing like a good aul fat shaming photo to encourage you to get out(I pretty much look like I ate all of my friends!!)

I have great memories in all the BHAA races pre-covid when a group of us would run these regularly, and I find these races less pressure and more of a community type of race and also they are cheap and cheerful!

I picked up the not so enthusiastic Maria in the lashings of rain, reminding her that this was all her idea.We both had no expectations of what time we would do as we hadn’t done a 5 miler for so long so I think that took the pressure off us and also I’ve been dipping my toe in the shorter distance so knew I wouldn’t be flying off.

After 25 mins in the car we arrived at the start were they had brilliant diddly-ay music playing and the atmosphere was great.I find when doing the BHAA races you feel like you know everyone as it’s the same people every race – Val you really missed out on giving free hugs!!

We soon found our Sportsworld peeps Sean/Catherine/Audrai/Anne and we all did a really long warm up – like really long, like longer than ive ever done before – 3 flipping k as I repeated to Speedy Anne Sweeney!!! In fairness I knew she was right but Im like a bold child when it comes to warming up – I will do anything to try get away with it but not tonight!!

The race kicked off at 8pm and the rain had finally stopped which was great.Off we went on the flat left handed course –  the main  reason I said yes to Finnegan!

After the 1st mile I looked at my watch and shouted at Maria – Flip we are going way too fast, but we just kept each other going. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to keep up the pace for this distance and finally when we got to the 5k mark my legs said NO and I had to ease back slightly but only slightly.This race was by far the flattest course ive ever done and just running around the country roads with the smell of cow dung going up your nostrils made me smile – Yes, it’s the little things in life!

I knew we had a track finish so for the last 800m I could feel I had it in me to push through the pain and to my surprise I had a good sprint finish mainly because when I got into the 100m I could see that I was going to break the 40mins which I haven’t been able to do for years so I was absolutely delighted – Ok so the results say 39.59 but my watch says different but im not going to complain as they put on a lovely spread afterwards which made up for the few extra seconds they added on!!

Overall it was a very enjoyable evening even if it was past my bed time when I got home.I was very happy Maria bullied me into this race as I am doing the Athletics Ireland 5 mile in two weeks so at least I will have the distance in my legs.

Maria had a super race and deep down I think she was holding back slightly as she is also doing the mini on Sunday – good Luck!

Anne Speedy Sweeney who has been unfortunately injured for a while was just going out to run the race to try get her fitness back and ran a blinder of a race with no pain – Onwards and upwards!!

Audrai is always a lovely person to meet before a race she is so happy at the start and then still so happy at the finish always finding the positives in the race – I need you in my head! Audrai was delighted with her performance.

Catherine at the start was wondering why she was there and I assured her it was better than the 300s planned for training but I’m not sure she agreed – Also had a brilliant run.

Sean was pleased with his run and the shout out we gave him at the 100m to go – Who wouldn’t want all the ladies screaming your name! Well Done Sean.