The Baldy Man Run takes place every year between Christmas and the New Year in Tramore. The race consists of a full loop of the peninsula at Tramore beach before returning to the prom via the Back Strand. Named after the largest of the sand dunes in Tramore, the Baldy Man is an 8km course and has a great variety of terrain including stones, sand, dunes and sometimes the sea. No prizes for guessing why the sand dune is called the Baldy Man.
The conditions on the day were tough going (think cross country meets Takeshi’s Castle) with a lot of wind and rain thrown in for good measure. The only respite from the ankle deep sinking sand on the beach was a couple of rocks and pebbles every 30m or so – as such most of the course involved either trying to not break your ankles or wondering where your ankles are. The tide was also in so hard sand was tough to find unless you wanted to find yourself paddling.
My melodrama and excuses aside – the race was a great morning out. After a little chat with myself in the car about how it would probably be all grand, I eventually plucked up the courage to get out and collect my chip before doing a short warm up. The pace was quick to start off with (too quick from me as usual) and I could see the kilometre splits getting longer on my watch as my calves got progressively heavier on the sand. A slog is the word that springs to mind for the first 7.4km – I was close enough to euphoric to receive the welcome feeling of tarmac under my feet for the last 600m – I crossed the line in 32:50 and 12th overall. Very happy to get the experience of another race under the belt and after a week of eating and drinking over the festive season it could have been much worse.
This year’s event was organised primarily to raise funds for WLR’s Be A Little Star Christmas Appeal in aid of St Vincent De Paul. The race was efficiently organised and there was a great buzz about despite the conditions the day threw at us. A shoutout to the race stewards and Coastguard for their support throughout is definitely also warranted.