Report by Emmett Wardell
Before I go on to document my own travails, I would like to offer a massive congratulations and well done to Diarmuid O’Suilleabhain for placing third out of over 600 runners in the Clontarf 5 mile on Saturday morning. A fantastic achievement and great reward for all Diarmuid’s improvements and hard work throughout the year – Well Done Diarmuid!
As for myself, my first year of running recreationally (or competitively depending on you look at it I guess!) was bookended with an awful 5 mile experience in the Phoenix park in June and a bit of a struggle over the same distance in Clontarf on Saturday. June saw untied shoelaces, horrific blistering from my €15 diardora runners and post-race migraines while November witnessed a real (harsh!) lesson in racing in strong winds. In my first race since my marathon debut on bank October bank holiday Monday, my aim was go sub 32 for the 5 mile. Despite not feeling so strong on Saturday morning, given all the training I had put in recent months, it was a goal which I thought was still very achievable.
The course was out and back in nature and reaching half way in about 15:30 and still feeling reasonably strong the sub 32 dream remained alive. However, when I hit 2.5miles and turned at the designated point (i.e. a traffic cone!) …..my word….the wind!! Such was the strength of it, it really felt like turning and running into the proverbial wall.
5 mile course
By circa 2.6miles the sub 32 plan was already in serious doubt and by the 3 mile mark I was eyeing up the Irish sea down to my left and considering a doggy paddle short cut across the bay to get home quicker!! I persevered on land however and struggled my way back ultimately finishing in a time of 33:33. About a minute faster than my time from that painful day in June but alas not quite as fast as I was hoping. On a personal level, the biggest positive I can take from the day was learning (the hard way!) how important it is to have some sort of pre-race strategy in place for running in the wind.
It was great to see the familiar Sposrtsworld faces of Joe Haugh and Diarmuid O’Suilleabhain at the finish line. Joe was there in a supporting capacity however Diarmuid, as I mentioned earlier, after running a cracking race had placed third in a field of over 600 runners, a truly fantastic effort. The way Diarmuid’s times have improved this year has been very impressive, and watching all his hard work pay off has been inspiring!
The race as a whole was very well organised and there was a great atmosphere throughout the morning. The scenery was fabulous and despite the pain of the 33 minutes and 33 seconds it was still a very enjoyable morning – such events really are a fun and brilliant thing to be a part off.
As for the plans for 2016 – master the 5 mile or never run the 5 mile again?! Only time will tell…. Am still none the wiser if I prefer the shorter stuff or the longer stuff. Either way though, something tells me that 2016 may well see me take on marathon number 2. The buzz of completing the 26.2 miles was a truly unforgettable experience and definitely the highlight of my short running career to date.
As always, thanks to all at Sportsworld for all their help along the way.
Sportsworld results from the Clontarf 5 mile
Diarmuid O Suilleabhain 3rd 30:51
Emmet Wardell 11th 33:33
Jim Manning 171st 44:01
Sportsworld results from the Clontarf Half Marthon
William Greensmyth 1:32:53
Noel Tobin 1:34:27
Stephen Willoughby 1:42:18
Aodh O’Connor 1:44:01
Karoline O’Sullivan 1:46:45
Ed Collins 2:00:33
Caroline Lynch 2:03:53
Louise Kearney 2:09:37
Claire Harrington 2:11:41
Pamela Doyle 2:19:05
Half Marathon Course