A small contingent from the club competed in the unique Clontarf Half Marathon and 5 Mile Race last weekend.

For those unfamiliar with the race, it is an out and back course taking in the Clontarf promenade, Bull Island and the Causeway. You then continue along the promenade past the Kilbarrack road where you then turn around and retrace your footsteps back to the start/finish line. The scenic nature of the route makes it a nice change from your typical road race.

We had been pre-warned not to go chasing a PB on this course though due to the conditions (exposed coastal wind) and terrain (3 or so miles on the beach) associated with this race. Us runners though are nothing but single-minded, so a chase a PB I did, lining up optimistically with the 1.30 pacers, however they duly dropped me within 3 miles as soon as we hit first sand section…..oh dear…

For those of you thinking of doing this race in the future, you really need to dig in hard to stay on pace once you hit the sand. On the way out you notice you are going a few seconds slower at the same effort, (I was down about 20-30 seconds per mile) but you can get back on track after you come off the sand and leave Bull Island. You then approach the turnaround point, and depending on your outlook, you should get a good lift seeing the top end of the field already on their way back churning out ridiculously impressive fast miles. For me though, seeing the 1.30 pacers saunter by me nonchalantly, well away from my grasp, was a cruel mocking sight to witness. Our own Alan and Orna were pacing 1.40 though and they picked up my spirits as I passed them with a good old “Go on Sportsworld” encouraging shout.

On the return back to Bull Island, the energy sap is more intense, (the heat and humidity on the day was also a challenge) and it takes increased effort just to hit the lower pace on the outward section. When you come off the sand at this point you have about 3 miles remaining, but any thoughts I had of reclaiming time was hampered, when the previously roasting hot weather turned full on crazy; now we had to deal with a gale force head wind and a driving rain shower! (cheers for that weather gods).

Congratulations to anyone who managed to meet their goal on such a challenging course. It’s an excellent race to test yourself outside your comfort zone. I believe there’ll be another one organised later in the year, in November, which I’m sure will throw up more unique weather related challenges. Maybe Emily could arrange a beach wind resistance training session in advance?!

Results from redtagtiming.com below,(I searched for everyone who entered “sportsworld” in the club field), apologies if I’ve missed anyone.


Half Results

63 Noel Tobin M 1:30:38
114 Sean Donegan M 1:33:49
256 Stephen Willoughby M 1:41:28
335 Ronan Murray M 1:44:40
553 Grainne Dileen F 1:49:10
583 Henry Brady M 1:52:06
673 Joseph Haugh M 1:52:14
777 Jim Manning M 1:53:54

5 mile results
61 Alison Warde F 37:38