As I struggled up the hills of Howth last Wednesday evening, I had this nagging feeling I might get landed with a race report request – with only three Sportsworld runners in the race the odds were concerning.  Low and behold, once she had finished insulting my Strava photo, I received a WhatsApp message from Olive asking for a race report and a mini-DNS promo. The neck!!

But sure anyways, here I am. More convinced than ever that in terms of race-to-race reports ratio I would be top of the pile!

So with my moaning over I shall begin the actual report 😊

I put a message in the IMRA whatsapp group earlier in the week about the Howth mid-summer race that was coming up on Wednesday.  Anyone up for a northside adventure to the lovely Howth I ask?  Eileen’s most admirable mountain running dedication aside, I was met with what only could be described as deathly southside tumbleweed. Eoin, most likely out of pity for me, eventually muttered something about needing to go Cork so he mightn’t make it.  To go to Cork of all places to avoid crossing over the Liffey seemed a bit extreme but sure that seems to be the level of Sportsworld southside snobbery I was dealing with!

Not deterred however I lashed on an extra layer of tan and signed myself up for the event.  Now living on the northside I felt a sense of duty to represent!

Wednesday turned into a glorious sunny evening so my loyalty was vindicated (I heard it lashed in Terenure!).  The usual lovely friendly IMRA vibes upon arrival.  I happened to know the race director too as I had car-pooled with him in previous years so nice to support one of his races.

It was my second time doing Howth and in terms of views I think it is hard to rival.  The panoramic 360 views across Dublin and over the Irish sea especially basked in the evening August sun were truly spectacular (gu’an da bleedin’ Nartsoide!).  The race itself is challenging enough – some steep climbs requiring a bit of scrambling, lots of tight sharp turns and narrow passageways requiring ducking.  There were lots of narrow trails too providing a few tasty bramble and gorse scrapes and grazes that offer you a friendly reminder of your efforts for a couple of days after the race.

Given the auld muffin top is a “healthier” state these days, in terms of the running I was happy enough with how I held up. After the horror show of Djouce a few weeks back, I was definitely fretting about finishing last at one point (Looby’s bullying clearly taking its toll) but ultimately happily came in mid-table.  Eileen had a great run looking as fresh as a button when I met her at the finishing line.  When we posed for a photo as I nearly collapsed over the finishing line, I asked her do I look as bad as I feel? I admire Eileen’s response as she refused to lie – she just chuckled awkwardly before staring at the ground for a few seconds! Eoin made the race in the end and although seemingly ran the race via Cork given he covered a much greater distance than the rest of us!  He did get some cracking photos as ever though – hopefully the website people of Sportsworld will include them in this report

All in all, with no muggings to report, a fantastic evening had on the fantastic northside. The IMRA events with their scenic routes and consistently friendly vibes never fail to leave you happy you made the effort to get involved. Well done to all that raced especially my Sportsworld comrades Eileen and Eoin!

Lashing of fake tan