I do my best to try and do some new races each year and with the opening of the brand new Abbotstown indoor track last year it was a good excuse to try indoor track running for the first time. The races over winter on a Thursday night were a great introduction to indoor track, they were professional, good atmosphere and everyone who went had someone to run/race against. The next logical progression was the Leinster indoors a couple of weeks ago and now for the big time, the national indoor masters in Athlone.

Unfortunately Derek Saville and Martin Keenan who have a lot of indoor track experience are out injured and Gareth is thinking of filing his emigration papers in America. So it was left to Catherine Eliott Mulleady and myself to fly the flag for Sportsworld. Neither of us had ran in Athlone or done the National Masters before but there was nothing to loose.

Catherine was up first in a tactical 1500m race were the race was controlled from the start to finish by Kelly Neely of City of Lisburn who finished in 4.53 but could of taken 20 seconds off that time if she had to but Nationals is not always about time its more about controlling the race and getting the medals. Catherine just missed out on a bronze coming in 4th place but every race you learn a bit more.

Pretty shortly later I was up. 7 in the race with 2 age categories so everyone knew there was an excellent chance at a national medal. The first couple of laps was fast but tolerable (3.27/Km) and everyone stayed in a very tight pack but then the pace increased to 3.20/Km and now you were working hard to stay in the pack but still no one was breaking away. What I’m learning about indoor 1500m is that the first 1100m you need to be working hard but comfortable the race only beings 400m to go. With 400m left, 2 laps, the pace went to 2.54/km. Your really tired at this stage but this is were the experts make there more, take their position and really push for home. At this stage my muscles were not getting enough oxygen, 400m to go felt like 400miles. I pushed as hard as I could but the medals positions were just 1 or 2 meters out of reach.

Catherine Eliott Muleady 1500m 5.28

Michael Cunningham 1500m 4.35

Indoor track is similar to outdoor track but it has it differences. Its definitely different to marathon training or cross country so if you like running you should give it a go. There are loads of masters runners in the club who have a real shot at getting National medals. All the times from the races can be found in the below link so when your training on the Tallaght track you can see how your times compare to those in the national indoor.