The 6th graded meeting of 2014 took place this past Wednesday at Irishtown stadium. After all the early Saturday morning track sessions the graded series presents the perfect opportunity to test out some new events and get some new PBs.

There was 5 lads from the club running the 800M.  First up was Conor Keating. Running well in his first track race Conor finished strongly to claim 2nd place in a fantastic time of 2:14. Next up  up was Conor Tully, Will Greensmyth and Michael Cunningham. Will with a renewed focus on middle distance was first home, just narrowly edging out Conor in a time of 2:10. Conor finishing in 2:11. Michael after a few longs runs  tired on 2nd lap but ran a respectable 2.17 in his first 800M.

I was last up in the 800M.  Strides and warm-up done as the announcer says “toes behind the lines gentlemen” the nerves settle down. As the gun goes getting out fast enough for the first 200M is always tough. On Tuesday it was an 8/10.

In the 800M you must remain in your lane until you come around onto the back straight. On Wednesday with a good start I came around and was in 3rd. In the early part of the race it’s fine line between pushing hard and not blowing up. Happy with my position I kept pushing going through 200M in 28 and then 400M in 59  it felt much better than my previous 800M, 4 weeks earlier. It’s amazing that a pace that seems tough in training seems so much easier in a race.

Happy with my position I kept running the inside line. As the race came up on 550 M 3 guys flex past me, with 2 guys in front that were starting to slow I  had to slow down to go around rather than covering the move. The final 200M was spent trying to make up the lost ground. Going over the  line in 2:03 I was delighted with a new PB. The race felt  both harder and easier than any 800 I have ran before.  That mixture of having the stamina but also pushing to the edge. Weary of passing out at the finish line I  kept the spikes on and walked it off.

A fine job by all those involved in the organisation of these great meets.  Thanks to Kevin and Emily for their support. There is 3 more graded meetings this year that are open to everyone to try.