Galway Bay 10k 2014 Race Report
By Maura Ginty


Ugh – my year since last sept has been dire running wise, injured, and then trying to get back form since this January. Unsuccessfully. Since mid July I have just been running 4 times a week, a nice no stress 10k with aim of building a good base and then getting back to solid training. Figured the galway 10k on first weekend of October would be a nice little test of where I was at and maybe give me confidence to start sessions.

Oh who am I kidding?!!?! I can not write this race report without more of a background to the story of me and this race… a story that resulted in me falling head over heels with Sunday afternoons of mud, styrofoams of tea and goosebumps (the wrong kind)

Galway bay 10k 2011


I had started running in 2011, had been doing well racewise and joined SW about a month before this race. My first 10k was a 42min job* in the February so I assumed a bit more effort into the running craic would grant me the sub40 in no time. Since then, I had been doing well in the racing and been progressing (as expected from a first-timert). The race was marketed as being flat and fast and AI certified, so I planned a nice sub40 with a good Galway style Saturday night later.

I had gone down to club earlier in the week and Emily had been on about the Dublin novice on the Sunday. I had mentioned the Galway plans, she said to take it easy there (of which I had absolutely no intention of doing) and the Novice was only 4k or something and would be grand, bit of fun. No probs so.

The Galway race

So did the race, felt the usual feelings of pain, agony, determination, lung collapse etc, was on target at 5k but it was pretty clear I was going no-where fast. Was coming into the chute slightly desolate as clock was showing 41xx, but that was quickly surpassed by usual feelings of euphoria and relief from hell that is racepace 10k. As I was getting my bearings (being a cross between wretching, fainting and crouching down) some random girl came up to me and thrust a fairly sizeable glass vase and an envelope unto me, with a big smile and a “CONGRADULATIONS – first lady!!!!” Now this was a all lot for me to take in; not least the fact that i had morphed into a lady. I opened the envelope there and then and jeepers (and it really would be vulgar of me to say any more). In any case, I was clearly chuffed with the win, but a little embarrassed with what my time achieved.


I stayed around for the Half after to suss out. And there was those girls from the club– in their SW singlets. Aoife, Crona, Lucy and Jean – gazelle like eating up the ground on the course, running, chatting away, smiling and just all cruising to a really comfortable team prize; all in faster pace than my 10k – for more than double the distance. Oh, how I just wanted to be in that group…

That night

Out on the town that night in Galway, I was not drinking due to over eagerness for the real fun of the weekend (i.e. Sunday. Per Emily).

I really hoped that my booze abstinence would not impact the group- which rather strangely included all of my little brother’s college class. The craic was mighty, so heck it – I thought they would all appreciate a jagerbomb each to really kick things off – all funded by envelope. My intentions had been to bail home relatively early, but also did not factor that my sister and her gang had the heroic intention to do all-nighter to culminate in the irish WC rugby match the next morning.

Won’t go into this further, nor indeed the train journey at stupid o’ clock the next day- but in any event i landed in heuston in one piece. And that’s the main thing.

The morning after

Now, when emily had said “magazine fort” and started giving elaborate directions, i kinda tuned out (sorry emily) and thought “yeah, yeah – will google maps..” Turns out neither my maps nor taxi man could locate this mercurial fort; though at least maps was confirming phoenix park vicinity, my dublin driver disputing the fort even existed.
thankfully, this time the SW guys had allowed plenty time for this eventuality. So me and taxi-man (who had sheepishly turned his meter off, after good old wikipedia confirmed fort existence) whilst ending up 50mins late, were in grand time.

that being said, i vowed i would start the driving lessons that week.

Anyhow I had arrived at Magazine Fort!

Here, i appeared to have been transported to the ballycroy sports day 1989; there was a guy with a megaphone, there were kids in vests, lots of people were shouting a lot, i did not understand anything. Well, after a good look around, I realized my dublin life to then had been quite sheltered; flitting in and out to work, faffing about to dundrum, lots of pubtalk etc. etc. Heck – i was just back from a big commercial race, with music, hydration stations and a 60mins plus wave.

I saw the SW banner and wandered over, just me and my 3 bags from weekend adventures. And there was Lucy (who i had last saw on the prom), happy out, randomly handing out race numbers. Bizarrely mike dowling was also in the thick of things (did not realize the connection).

i was given my SW singlet for the first time (oh the joy!), my runners were subject to much discussion, of which i contributed nothing, but eventually after a bit of action with a screwdriver, everyone came to a “they’ll do” consensus.

The race the morning after

And with that, my first XC race started. And i would prefer to speak no more of it.

Instead, i hope i can insert a pic of me midst race here. I initially hated this photo – I was going through an ill-advised blonde highlights phase, i had seemingly decided that the best way to wear singlet was OVER my top, i was clearly in significant pain and it is debatable whether there was tears [Michael/Eoin – can ye find this pic? i could not on FB/website – but it was defo there at some time, no hassle if not – they will get the point].

We finished team gold!

Mick informed me i had scored!! (cue initial worried look – I had not touched those Jagers, surely?). We were a pretty damn fine team – ruth, ciara, me, natalia, catriona, anna, erin (don’t know where Shona was). i was hooked!

That novice medal is my prized possession. I think the crystal ended up with my mum. The rest of the envelope financed the singlet and also a snazzy SW jacket. And I knew where my heart lay.

Galway bay 10k 2012

I had been running real well all this Summer, the sub40 attempt was ON! In fact, at the start of this race, I reckoned I was in 38min form. Now as with above, I would also prefer to speak no more of this race. The attached garmin link is here - the first km is hilarious, i really had been that confident. Ended up an excruciating 40.06. And the next AI certified 10k was realistically in 6 mths! Well, I had a damn good night in Galway (as I was now exempt from the Novice on the sunday).

But the six seconds got to me big time and i ended up spending every night for the next 6 months fantasising about a 39.

Galway bay 10k 2013

Injured. sigh

Galway Bay 10k 2014

Since Summer, I had been doing all my random running at about 5.20 pace (km’s – clearly). so with my years of running experience, figured – yep, 45mins sounds about right and went out with this aim. did not look at watch during race, apart from at 1st k to ensure i was on time – yep, bang on. Came past the chute as clock was ticking over to 45 so unsure of whether i actually got the sub 45.
At time of writing results aren’t available, so no doubt will give you all a thrill to check whether i did indeed make the famed 44’s. i started a bit behind the mat so maybe… I think i may have been able to do better as (1) did not spend from 2k onwards vowing to never run again and (2) was able to sprint (term used loosely) over last 500m. but this would be extra 30 secs at most.

as to winners and the half – sorry, i had to rush off – but hey, you can get all this stuff online.

my only comment here is that Sergiu was defo there; i had delayed him in the queue for number collection last night – i was happily deliberating the size of t-shirt when i realized this.

did not come across other SWers

In summary, this race is expensive, but well run (sorry!) and indeed, in my experience has always been a blue sky, beautiful galway day and just great atmosphere, fun event.

The real show, however, will be in Dublin XC tomorrow.

As for me, today’s 10k gives enough confidence now to start sessions, so will hopefully be able to do XC this winter; and yes – i know, i know – roll, stretch, plank, squat, sweat, etc etc

Ostensibly my aim is to get competitive. But really, just want to hang out with all you Sportsworlders. I miss you guys!