The ‘Day of Irish PBS’ was the inaugural running event organized by Pop Up Races, taking place on Saturday 14th July 2018. The venue of Le Cheile, Leixlip, Co. Kildare provided the perfect backdrop for this unique and competitive day of exciting athletics. The international level track is rarely used but provided the perfect setting for the event. Beginning at 2 PM, the first paced race (25 minutes) started proceedings. Each race then got one minute faster, with 2 pacers in each.

On the road or the cross, you have ups and downs but running 5K on the track requires an increase in concentration. You have 12.5 laps over which to pace yourself. The idea behind having an experienced pacer is that they take all the hassle out of having to do that for yourself. That allows you to focus on the race and use up less energy up.

Saturday was probably the warmest day in July so far and temperatures of 25 degrees come 4 PM. This meant there wasn’t going to be too many personal bests out there. There were tonnes of small water bottles being handed out on each lap. Something some of the bigger races could learn from. You cant properly drink out of cups when running at speed.

I arrived fresh as a daisy from the Irish Runner 10 mile. I had wanted to run the Bere 10K, but when training for the marathon you have to make some sacrifices. My plan was only to take some photos and enjoy the sunshine, despite having my running gear on. I saw Will Greensymyth and fiance, Siobhan, doing their warm-up and had my arm twisted to jump in the 16.30 race. Five minutes later I had a had handed over my money, had a bright orange t-shirt on me and was starting the warm-up shuffle. It was quite the shuffle! but the 16.30 pace is comfortable so I’m all for taking a few risks. Nothing can substitute experience. Tom and Neil, having run earlier were giving is socks, shouting at the runners, regretting their decision to drive and not have free beer. The atmosphere was excellent, tunes were pumping, crowds cheering and post-race beers flowing.



There was around 15 in my race. 5 doing the 16.30 and the remainder doing the 17.00, paced by Mick Clohisey. The pacing was perfect 80 seconds a lap through 2K. I was sitting in 4th for the first 2K and trying to bridge the gap between the group behind and the pacer in front, to bring the guys and gal back up. When running comfortably its much easier to play with form, tactics etc. Getting a tiny bit faster for the next kilometer I found myself in 3rd with the pacer and 2nd place runner starting to pull away. With 2K to go, it was time to put an injection of pace in whilst the legs were still feeling ok. Sitting in second the pacer was asking if I was comfortable? ‘Great job keeps going’ I replied. We got to the line with 800 (2 laps to go) we were two seconds off the pace. Will and Tom were on the sidelines telling me to go now, but legs were starting to feel fatigued. We got around for the final time and were 10 seconds off, what happened. The cheers and atmosphere were fantastic at this point with the 100+ people all standing around the finish line cheering us on in the summer sun. Normally this would be time to stick the afterburners on but there wasn’t too much there. A small injection of pace with and then the legs went. To his credit, the pacer kept shouting at me to go again. Getting within 50 meters of the line I could see the clock ticking ever closer to 16.30. Crossing the line in 16.28 was a great feeling. The last lap in 68 was tough going! You can see who consistent the pacing was below.

# Measurement Lap
1 0:00:41,35 0:00:41,35
2 0:02:03,04 0:01:21,68
3 0:03:21,80 0:01:18,76
4 0:04:39,47 0:01:18,66
5 0:05:57,96 0:01:19,49
6 0:07:18,01 0:01:20,05
7 0:08:40,66 0:01:20,64
8 0:10:02,06 0:01:20,40
9 0:11:22,34 0:01:20,27
10 0:12:42,79 0:01:20,44
11 0:14:02,07 0:01:20,27
12 0:15:19,87 0:01:17,80
13 0:16:28,33 0:01:08,45

Whether you are a 15 minute 5k runner or a 35 minute 5k runner, this event is superb and I give it a glowing recommendation as you chase that new 5k personal best in 2019!

Full results are on the website and more photos

Tom 21.39
Adrian 22.003
Gareth 16.28
Siobhan 17.15
Will DNF due to injury
Neil DNS