The Wind that Shakes the Barley: Kinsale Regatta 5 Mile

Friday 4th August 2017

By Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin

On a showery and sunny and then showery and sunny again evening on the Friday of the August Bank Holiday weekend a few of us find ourselves in Ireland’s food capital to build up an appetite for ourselves.

(Race route)

The rolling landscape around Kinsale and its patchwork of deep green fields of grass and ripe golden grains made for the backdrop for this hilly race. Starting at the top of the town the route works its way outward to the tidal estuary of the River Bandon and then following the river back into the town again. Scenery at the start and then the atmosphere sprinting through narrow medieval streets to the finish.

(Paul taking it out)

A gentle breeze and light rain made for reasonably good conditions. I’d struggled in the heat in the other races earlier in the summer, so the conditions were welcome. The race started at a fast pace, our own Paul O’Connell taking it out and quickly disappeared from sight. The small number of runners meant that we weren’t being dragged along by a group, and you couldn’t sit on someone’s shoulder, so one had to focus and push a bit harder than normal.

(Denis and I, what time is it?)

I’d paced myself well enough but was struggling coming to the end of the race and knew I was slowing but roughly on target. On entering the town I knew the finish was near. The shouts of encouragement from the people was great. I came across Paul on the final straight who gave a good shout and gave me a good boost. Coming to cross the line I saw the 29 on the clock and gave a shout, a long time goal finally achieved.

(Final Straight)

Denis who the week before had a great weekend of running, breaking 5 minutes for the mile and winning his first Parkrun, finished strongly as the 4th master. After catching our breaths and taking on some water, the important business of interrogating the après race spread was undertaken with gusto. Hunger sated, glycogen stores restocked.

(Denis flying it)

It was only when attempting the warm down jog back to the car did the effects of the legs pounding themselves on the hill presented itself; ouch. Took a few days to recover from, but more than happy with the day out.

8th         Paul O’Connell 27:42
15th       Diarmuid Ó Súilleabháin 29:50
26th       Denis McCaul 31:08 (4th Master)

A video of the finish was uploaded by Cork Athletics to Vimeo;