Report and photos by Emmet Wardell
According to the online Oxford dictionary the definition of a race is a ‘competition between runners, horses, vehicles, etc. to see which is the fastest in covering a set course’.
Eoin, as we all know, is a stickler for a race report often circling around the unsuspecting and exhausted race finisher, demanding he/she script a few words. Admittedly however, although we all dread being the chosen one, most of us do enjoy the end result and agree it adds to club camaraderie etc.
So the Irish ¾ marathon, in which I duly took part, took place in Enfield on Sunday last. Crucially here, my approach to the Irish ¾ marathon was purely as a final training run before DCM in three weeks’ time. On the day not one concern did I have which runners or horses or vehicles managed to cover the course faster than me (see definition of race above). So given the training nature of my Enfield endeavours by the letter of the law no ‘race’ report should be required (I know, I know, I should have been a lawyer….), however, given I am the bigger man etc etc (/do enjoy waffling on every now and then!) and had a quiet afternoon at work I said I would voluntarily step up and offer a few anecdotes from the days’ events. Besides I actually managed to get some photos so am determined to use them!
As per my report last year last year (for the 2015 report: Click here), Myles still had me slightly terrified about entering this race event so I was well aware that I going flat out for the full 31.7km might do more harm than good so close to the marathon itself. So the plan was run 22km easy-ish and then see could I push on and maintain marathon pace for the final 10km on legs that were already fatigued.
Race Reporter Emmet with his stash
Myself, follow Sportsworld member Sean Duffy and another pal of mine said we would run the easy-ish section together. The easy-ish pace, which was definitely easier for some than others, ended up being about 4.55 min per km, slightly faster than I had planned. While I moaned about the pace (I’ve been known to find moaning a great distraction on the long runs) Sean however, focussed on moaning about his hunger. While all I could think about was slowing down, all he seemed to be able to think about was the possibility of a chicken fillet roll (spicy not plain for the record). At one point he was even asking around for the lend of a fiver, so that in the unlikely event the route took us past the local Spar, he would be armed for a purchase. Alas, no deli counter was to be encountered and poor Sean had to make do a couple of half bananas and a load of (my!) gels although as I note later it was not to negatively impact his performance.
So along comes 22km and the plan to kick on. Despite not feeling too hot I was delighted that my body and legs responded well to this instruction and I managed a pace of 4.42 per km for the remaining distance. Sean also kicked on, I suspect inspired by hunger more than actually achieving marathon pace, managing an impressive 4.10 per km for the last 10 kilometres (when I finally got over the finish line, low and behold I spot a tall man in a Sportsworld singlet hunching over the table shamelessly gorging on orange quarters and Nature Valley bars!).
Inside the clubhouse the impressive post-race spread continued, and also on offer was, believe or not,……crisp sandwiches! We all agreed that only in Ireland would you find crisp sandwiches as the recovery fuel of choice. Most entertaining! That said, as well as enjoying the hilarity of it, we all happily horsed a couple of tayto sambos into us!
I also must confess that a slight case of pot and kettle developed here as I had mentioned once or twice to Sean and Davy on the way around, I felt slightly aggrieved by the lofty entry fee of €45 for the event (I’ve clearly been spoiled by free entry into the SSE Airtricity sponsored race series). So in order to recoup my losses, I decided to take as many of the post-race post-event goodies as possible – see pictures – although I don’t think they quite do justice to the amount of food I actually ate as well as took back to Dublin!
Ultimately though, I think we all approached the day with sufficient caution and I believe everyone returned to Dublin happy out that travelling across to Enfield for the final long run ahead of DCM was a worthwhile excursion.
In total four Sportsworld singlets were to be spotted. Their times are listed below – apologies here if I left anyone out.
With the bulk of the training behind us, think we are now all well excited for the big day. Roll on October 30th !
Sean Duffy (thanks to Paul Brady for the entry here) 2:28:55
Sean Donegan 2:29:36
Emmet Wardell 2:33:43
Al Hynes 2:53:26
Martin Keenan 3:23:07