It’s now Thursday afternoon and I have a gnawing sense of guilt regarding a Gareth text at 8am Monday morning looking for a race report.
Figuring it would take me as long to write my excuse to him, and I would still probably need to avoid him for the first half of Saturday night, decided to just give in and plug down a few words. Oh, what price strava kudos?!!!
Anyhow, I am back home in Mayo a fair bit and there is a fairly active running club scene there – lots of club races but to date, I hadn’t been able to attend any. So I saw the “Castlebar Greenway 10 miler” hosted by Mayo AC and said I would give it a bash.
It’s the inaugural year and it really suits people from the West training for marathon who don’t want hassle of travelling too far to Dublin for a race.
As you would generally expect from a club race, the organisation was exceptional – plenty stewards, water stops, great feed afterwards, instant results and 2 timing mats (the second was at half way point so you could track exactly your positive split – mine was 3.5 minutes which is some going for a 10 miler!).
I learnt that castlebar doesn’t actually have a community centre so the registration was in An Sportlann which is attached to McHale park, the GAA grounds. I have only ever been there on crowed match days so I had a proper wander around at registration and for one item alone, this place and race is worth attending… one of the famed Mayo footballers from the 1950s Mick Flanagan has his medals on display and in the middle of them all a Mayo All Ireland winners medal from 1951! To be honest, that is actually the only picture I took of my whole Castlebar 10 miler adventure. I was actually quite shook by the modesty of it.
Anyhow – the race…
Met a few people who when they saw me said “you’ll win this” which I found completely disconcerting especially as Colette Tuohy was warming up and another good few club type runners. Anyhow I took them at their word and decided to try and stay with the lead women, make the morning interesting. I’m not in PB shape (though not for want of trying) so didn’t care too much about time – as long as I was sub 70.
So for the first half of the race there was a pack of us: me, Colette and eventual winner Emma with a few lads. I felt comfortable enough but looking at my km pace suspected it was too fast and I wouldn’t be able to sustain it. Anyhow sucker for drama, I decided to persevere.
The race was out and back along castlebar greenway out to Turlough village –which is where the National Museum of Country Life is (currently hosting the National Treasures exhibition). I actually didn’t even know this greenway existed so useful for a run if you are ever stuck in Castlebar for a few hours (which I somehow tend to be). The museum has good coffee shop/Sunday lunch spot. Lough Lannagh is another area in castlebar for a run.
This greenway is not flat and in particular around Turlough village there are some sharp hills. I hadn’t done any hill sessions for a while and this defo impacted my confidence approaching hills but most obviously, it impacted my speed. So sensing my reticence, Emma and her companion took off, followed a few minutes later by Colette and the rest of the gang. Left for dust, I had a lonely turnaround at Turlough and knew I would be on my own into a breeze (which explained the speedy first half) for the remainder of the race. Anyhow, blah blah dig deep, suffer blah.. I got to the finish line in time of 69:19 which is nearly 3 minutes off my PB but 11 minutes off my PW – so I suppose I gotta be happy enough. Met my family after and the only thing they were interested in was the picture of the 1951 medal. There is only one dream in Mayo!!