Report by Ronan Murray
Photos by Anna Delaney.
This time last year myself and Stephen Willoughby travelled to Portumna forrest park to take on the half Marathon. It was one of those races that I really enjoyed and promised myself that I would return another year. 12 Months later at 4.00am and I was on the road back to Galway , this time I decided to try the 50K option ( just for the craic).
The race started at 7am and I was met on the start line by a couple of club mates Clare and Louise. We chatted for a few nervous minutes and then we were off.
Race reporter Ronan and Steph – before the race
The race is 10 x 5km laps which means that you don’t need to carry anything as you will be back at your bag drop in 30min or so to eat and drink your own supplies. I like to count 5k laps down in park runs – “ only 9 park runs left” etc. The first few went ok , I felt strong and comfortable but as time went on it got hotter and hotter.
There was no sun but it was really humid and about 20 degrees. Because it is laps and there are three distances going at the same time , you never know if you are in first or last ( more than likely last) so you have to just run as you feel. I went through half marathon distance in 1.47 and still felt good so I tried to maintain that pace for as long as I could.
About 2 hours into my race the half marathon started and all of a sudden there were plenty of runners around me . Sportsworld only had one representative in the half – Stephanie Bergin .
I caught the odd glimpse of Steph flying by me on the return leg and she eventually came home as 6th female – Great running. We also had one spectator – Anna Delaney , Anna was our cheer leader/ photographer / motivator and supplier of energy shots.
Louise and Claire
A few hours later and I was coming up on Marathon distance , by this time I was suffering the heat quite badly ( even though Anna kept shouting that I was looking good – Liar) , Marathon distance time was 3.41 and I only had 5 miles to go. The minor climbs from the earlier laps were like mountains by now and every step was hurting. Finally I had gone up the last hill and had 1.5 miles left.
I looked at my watch and in a tired stupor I worked out that if I ran my legs off I might get in under 4.30 , so off I set. I had been running about 8.50 pace for the last few mile but I needed to run sub 8s to hit my time. The last mile is slightly downhill , so I could pick it up a bit and managed to get down to 7.30 pace to get me home in 4.29.31 which took over 22 minutes off my previous 50K. To say I was elated is an understatement and to top it off , the next day the results were posted and I found out that I placed 8th overall. Best race finish position ever- Wohoo.
All in all it has to be one of the beat race experiences I have had so far although today ( Monday) I still cant really walk but it was worth it.
Murray Ronan 4:29:31 – PB & 8th place!
Kearney Louise 6:26:09
Harrington Claire 6:26:09
Bergin Stephanie 1:41:01
Ronan, Louise and Claire have all been added to the Sportsworld Records for their performances: Click here