Race report from Phil Killgannon

Well after my confessions of a teenage drama queen on facebook about my travails of the marathon, I’ll try and keep this report short and sweet. I will say it’s been great to be back on the old sod the past couple of weeks and enjoying rather than enduring my running. Congrats to Damian and Breda’s kids first and foremost on their great runs. Watch this space…………

Gerry Farnan set out the Munich Lap in the Phoeno for the great Eamon Coughlan back in the day and it is a staple of the running fraternity (and not forget sorority) since. The course is a classic mix, with a really testing double dip in the valley, which really knocks your rythm, a steady climb up out of the woods and wide open straights to open out the legs. This race is a sight to behold, with seniors, juniors and (ahem) masters all taking off like a heard of buffalo taking off across the plains. The first lap is a bit frantic, so you just really try and get out a nice bit through the crowd and find your corner, while the race takes shape around you. It’s easy to get caught up in charge up the field but if you do your done. The second mile lap of 5 sees the groups start to take shape. Again the temptation is to go after the next few guys, but its a case of just keeping a steady tempo and they’ll come back to you in time. Any kind of a spurt will just hurt you two fold quite quickly. This race is more akin to a half marathon on the road than a 5 mile.

The race only really starts on the third lap and only if you’ve kept your powder dry will you be in contention. Yesterday, I was thankfully able to pick off guys steadily from here on in. The hills take a progressive toll as the laps tick by and its crucial to use minimal energy getting up these as otherwise your ‘goosed’ at the top of the hill. I’ve always found pushing on a few yards after getting up hills like this in training important to simulate a race. Anyway lap four was a case of getting to lap 5 and I’d been informed at this stage that I was where I needed to be, so just needed to consolidate rather than pushing on unnecessarily. Seeing a Rathfarnham supporter taking pictures of someone quite close behind me was a good kick up the arse on the last lap and knicked a few on the way in.

Apologies for the mix of past tense and hypothetical, facts and rambling but that’s how it comes out and sure it’s more polished when its unpolished. Many thanks to all the sportsworld support who its not an exaggeration to say carried me around the stitch inflicted last lap. It was like playing at Anfield yesterday with the sea of red.
Fionnula Briton ran away with the ladies race today, which contained some of those vying for European cross places. This was a welcome return to form for the mercurial Wicklow talent. Jean was denied a place on the Masters team by injury, which will be the weaker for her absence but class is permanent and she’ll be back.