Situated on the River Moy, the picturesque town of Foxford has established an excellent reputation as a tourist center. Nestling between the Ox and Nephin mountains Foxford is the ideal location for a relaxing, stress-free break or Saturday morning race on route to North Mayo.
I got a heads up that there was a 4 Mile race taking place in Foxford. Nothing big but a good course and runners from Mayo AC. Getting up at 6 AM and on the road to picturesque North Mayo, I was excited to have my first real race to run after 18 months of training solo and time trials. Strava Local legend Maura Ginty was taking part and extended the race offer to the traveling party. Arriving in a rainy Foxford at 9.45 I was out of the car and ready to run for 10.
I went out good and hard, maybe a bit too excited. I later found out I was following a young whippet on scholarship in the US. After 5-6 minutes I dropped back a gear and ran most of the second lap as a time trial. Most of the two-lap course was run in the rain and with a time just shy of 21.30l I left feeling happy like I had run comfortably hard and could go faster with a taper and some more competition. Maura was not too far behind in 26 minutes, also 2nd lady. It was time for sustenance in Mayos finest cafe the Foxford Woolen Mills. Then it was off to a local bar to sit down in the back shouting at the TV whilst watching the Mixed 4 x 400M team relays final. The lads watching Tipp vs Waterford thought we were nuts.
Thanks to local runner John Byrne for a great low-key event. There was a real feel-good feeling after meeting some local runners and seeing the grassroots club scene is alive and well. Mayo is a massive county so it was great to hear how runners meet up for their weekly sessions on tracks and loops which would make the Dublin runners envious.
Deirdre and Adam were keen to run but got stuck pout the road behind a tractor convoy. Next time! The rest of the weekend was spent enjoying the splendid Mayop scenery, not the least of which is the Ballycroy National Park. Just say you know Maura for a 10% discount on the coffee. North Mayo is home to some of Ireland’s wildest and most rugged coastline. The cliffs at Benwee Head are taller than the Cliffs of Moher and steeper than the Slieve League, yet they are virtually unknown. A great destination for a staycation and some beautiful running around Sinead Divers home turf.