I signed up for this run several weeks ago and was in good shape (ish) but then I picked up a chest infection and was out of action for about 10 days and only finished the antibiotics 3 days before race day. So I only made up my mind to run it on the Friday evening, next thing I know its 7.30 and I’m on the way to Longford.

Race reporter Ronan in Longford

The race start was 10am and on the start line it was prefect weather, bright and cool. There were 4 races running simultaneously on a 5k loop – 10K , half , marathon and Ultra. I had opted for the Marathon, along with about 80 others. There was a lovely relaxed, friendly atmosphere and quite a bit of support at the start /finish area and most importantly there was a drink/gel  bag drop area so you didn’t have to carry anything.

3,2,1 and we’re off , I started at a steady pace , but to be honest I had no interest in time , just completion – “Only  8 park runs to go”. I tend to count laps down not up , to try to trick my mind that im getting close to finishing. The first 2 laps went quite quickly with no issues, I felt great with lots of energy.

By lap 3 I was getting very hot and by lap 4 the sun was high in the sky with no cloud, as this stage I was roasting and dehydrating fast. Anyone who runs with me knows I don’t run well in the heat ( or cold ) so all I could do was slow a bit and drink as much as I could. The next few laps were hard work but then I was finally on the last one. “ only 1 park run left” this lap was quite nice , everyone I met had the “Thank god it’s the last” look on their faces and there were a lot of smiles , and then it was over , job done. Time was 4.11 but as I said the goal was finish line not finish time and more importantly I was able to do 8 miles in the park the next morning, so no ill effects.

In summary, it was probably a bit hot for my liking but a great event. The course was lovely but laps are not for everyone, and the big question – Would I do it again ???? Yes , I’ll be back next year but next time I will rope in a running buddy , as 4hrs on your own is a long time.