|Kilmore 10km 2009|
“I’ll Just Jog It”
The world is creaking and groaning with tales of dread. A quick shuffle through the Sunday Papers will bring rapid personal rain clouds and a deep fog will follow a deep depression.
In a turbulent world, there is no better antidote to misery, worry and fear than running and the company of running friends. Theirs is a positive, happy and encouraging outlook. Runners are not gratified by the material. They have long since understood the effort and the reward comes from better feats. They understand achievement, goals and fun better than any company or business. Theirs is an inherently positive outlook and the glass is always half full. A running club is way more important than running; it’s your tribe, your support and your community.
It’s a haven for heady headaches and it’s a reminder of what really matters.
Then again, at Sportsworld, we are very lucky. Lucky because we have a passionate Coach who is inspiration personified. In a previous note I said “Emily Dowling didn’t just teach us to run, she taught us how to live” How true that is today.
The start of the Kilmore 10k is a well disguised hill. It seduces then pulls and bites your heels. Dermot Bates is a wily fox. Local knowledge (witness the amount of Bates at rest in the ‘Grandstand Graveyard’!) knows better. Dermot’s family come from Kilmore and this gentle start is known locally as … you guessed it … ‘the hill’
Yours truly was on an escape weekend in Kilkenny. The lure of a race and the company of friends were too much to miss. Dermot, the inspiration, creator, producer and director of Project Kilmore was persistent. His early morning text and we were off winding our way from Kilkenny to Wexford.
The huge windmills were singing and dancing. I knew we were near, I remembered their silent presence from last year. Registration and fluorescent signs added to the rural relaxed charm. The sun came up and the wind died down. Sportsworld were out in force.
A little local knowledge and we headed off to the 2.5 mile mark. It’s a sleepy winding lane that destroys your rhythm after 2 very fast miles. Its beauty compensates. Quickly Pat Byrne came over the brow. He was working hard and oh so fast. He was out on his own but relentless in his work.
Soon, our World Class Master Ed was striding through, Michael on his tail. It makes you very proud to see your club mates doing so well and the red and white still cuts a dash.
Lucy came next as fast as fast could be. Still smiling, still striding, and still winning. Lucy is both the art and the science.
Jean, the most understated Doctor, was just behind. She glided and set a scintillating pace (Jean later told me she is ‘not fit’)
One by one our runners strode past. There Was Breda with Husband Jim and both setting super times. Dermot ran with Brian and they ran out of their skin to set fast times for guys who had not raced for some time.
Joe Byrne had run 8 miles around the waterworks in 55 minutes that morning. Joe ran Kilmore and promised his bride-to-be that a PB was hers. He did not disappoint and Mary came in 2 minutes better than her previous PB.
Perhaps the ‘best’ performance came from Rachel Morgan just 10 seconds behind a very fast Mary Finn. You see, Rachel is already a Mum of One and as part of her training to be a Mum of 2 she just had to run 42 minutes – that’s 6:48 pace whilst taking it easy!
Ronan, Jaceb, Clare added to our fabulous spectator fun.
The finish was furious with a teasing little hill. Sprints ignited and smiles widened. A tough course but they were all home. The setting summer sun was becoming a little autumnal but there was an evening of banter, stories and fun ahead.
The next day, two thoughts stayed with me. The first was from Joe Byrne. It was a text and like the rest of us, Joe needs his running to keep his business sane. His message said ….”There is something very natural about tea and biscuits after a rural race” There is. It’s a reminder of what’s important and how ‘pace of life’ will be better served by having a regular dose of a good running ‘pace’
In the end, it’s all about making the most of life and of these special days. Trips away and the trip to Kilmore does that to you and for you. The golden years are not ahead, they are now.
At registration I bumped into Ray Carpenter. Ray is an enigma. A man so content, relaxed and balanced. He makes everyone smile. He oozes calm and he inspires fun. Ray does not get anxious.
Just before the start Ray and I chatted. I was beginning to feel I should have attempted the race. I had chickened out. Not Ray. Though not at peak fitness he would “give it a go”
At the 2.5 mile mark Ray was right at the back. I wasn’t fooled. By the time I had set up camp at 5.5 miles Ray was right up front. At the finish, his race done and many scalps later, he was still smiling. I smiled back, shook his hand and reminded him of what he said…. “I’ll just jog it”
My reply? …. Sadly, it’s not fit for fit people!
Next year, get fit, get ready and get down to Kilmore. These Bates people know a thing or two about running fun.