by Marie Bradley
Saturday 6th August 2022 seemed so far away when I decided to enter Run Killarney earlier this year. I knew we were going to be in our usual West Cork holiday destination so a 75km trip to Killarney for an early morning race seemed like a good plan and an excuse for a family day out to visit Killarney National Park.
There were two races organised – a half marathon and 10K and I signed up for the 10K challenge. Everybody that knows me is aware of my aversion to hills – when I reviewed the elevation profile and saw this I said ……
However, as I approached the start line it was clear that the race was going to be a relaxed affair as participants with various levels of running experience were heading in the same direction – some were members of running clubs while others were meeting friends and family. The event was very well organised with ample parking, toilets and changing facilities.
I met Siobhan and Padraic in the Gleneagles Hotel before the race and we had a good pre-race natter in the beautiful sunshine. The music added to the atmosphere. There was no rain and a mild breeze so running conditions were perfect. The race start time was 9.30am and after a short race briefing, we were off.
The race started at the Gleneagle Hotel and we ran for about 4km along Muckross Road. Just before Torc Waterfall we entered into Killarney National Park and ran another 4.5km through the woods and gardens and past Muckross House. Once we exited the park there was an upward slope towards the finish line at The Gleneagle Hotel. Along the route there were two water stops and lots of support from the locals.
There was plenty of space along the course – despite this a gentleman from behind clipped my shoes as I was running through the trail in the park. Thankfully I didn’t fall and he did say “sorry”…..But there was no apology from the Galway lassie who came from behind at the 8km mark to pass me out…she told me that there was plenty of space on the left hand side so I should run there….cheeky or what….I have her name and will be watching out for her.
I ran a steady race and tried to keep an average pace of 5 min/km. It all worked out well with a finish time of 49.45 – I was delighted to achieve a sub 50 min time on my second attempt at this race distance. Now I can retire!
Siobhan and Padraic are seasoned runners who were fitting the 10km run into their marathon preparation plans. They rang a further 23km the following day – I take a more steady approach to my running and haven’t ran since…..!
The race was followed by a beautiful lunch and some shopping. I’ll make an effort to fit this race into the yearly calendar if we continue to holiday in West Cork – maybe we can organise a Sportsworld weekend away some time in Killarney to show off the red and white singlets – it’s a great destination!