In less than 24 hours my run in Portumna will be over. I’ve only completed one race of this distance before, in Gloucester in January 2008, and I was quite happy with how that went. On that occasion I finished in 3:24:32 and that’s my target tomorrow. Like most other runners, I’m sometimes in thrall to numbers but thankfully less so as time moves on. The race will take place over 5km loops through a beautiful forest park and I expect the weather to be cool and reasonably calm tomorrow. If I can manage the same for myself I’ll be doing well. All in all it should be an enjoyable run. Whether the numbers on the watch at the end will be pretty of not is a different question and not really the most important one.
I’m still a little sore from a 10km road race that I took part in last Monday in Annaghdown, Co.Galway. I had hoped that I’d recover completely in the four intervening days, but that hasn’t happened yet. My guess is that while my joints might still be a little achy tomorrow that I’ll be reasonably fresh having only run 11 easy miles since the 10km. The race starts at 06:00am, which suits me perfectly. While I’m not really a ‘morning runner’ I can do it when needed and it’ll be cool to run through the early morning forest light in the company of some really cool people.
In 2002 I was told that a new marathon was being set up in Galway and was asked if I’d be interested in taking part. That I responded ‘yes’ on that occasion was a stroke of great good luck. The race in question was the first Connemara Marathon and just twelve people lined up for the full distance on the day. If nothing else I’ll always be able to say I finished the first edition of a truly great race. The race in Portumna has a similar feel to me today. There’s a pioneering spirit that surrounds the whole event. I’m told that there will be relatively small fields taking part in the marathon, 50km and 100km races – but that makes the whole effort more interesting.
Onwards through the fog.