HOME STRETCH?Ciara Galvin, and her lucky woolly visor, during the Claremorris Lake 10k. (Picture courtesy of Breda Raftery.)
Going loopy in Claremorris
Diary of a home bird
A boiled egg, two Kelly’s of Newport pork sausages and a cup a tae. Sure it would set anyone up for the day. Problem was, I ate this beautiful breakfast an hour before taking to the start line of the fourth running event in the Great Lakes Challenge Series, the serene and picturesque Claremorris Lake 10k.
My excuse for such poor judgement re. pre-race nourishment and its timing? Well, the bed was too comfy.
Nevertheless, myself and my running companions (for the record, they ran ahead of me), headed off to Claremorris on Saturday week last. On the short journey, John ‘Road Runner’ Murphy and Susan and Micheal Walsh, who flew home from Australia especially for the race (that information may not be entirely accurate), were perfect company. We even joked that perhaps we’d stop into a local public house en route, to rehydrate. Don’t worry, we didn’t.
Conditions were perfect, a little too perfect for someone (me) wearing a woolly visor. Yes, it’s a thing, but as I wore it the last time around, I saw it as a lucky charm.
And guess what? I warmed up this time. Well, technically I just stretched cold muscles, but I looked like I knew what I was at.
I chose the race tactic of staying towards the back, that way you won’t have close to 60 people passing you out before you get past the one kilometre mark.
The route was marked at every kilometre, which was great in the sense that I didn’t have to stalk fellow runners to see what point we were at. However, it did cause a little confusion. As the route was a loop to be run twice, kilometre markers for the second lap were also in place. Let’s just say when myself and Susan reached 6km after 15 minutes of running, we suspected something was up!
And we were right, we had a while to go before we even reached 5km. Not the pros though. The double loop also meant we had the pressure, I mean pleasure, of meeting the fastest runners of the event on their way back from the loop. I gave a wave to Road Runner but alas, he was in the zone and zoomed by.
Soon, even Susan left me. In fairness, I couldn’t blame her. And there I was, just me, Katy Perry and six kilometres of a course yet to complete.
I must say, the organisers of the event did a fantastic job. The witty inspirational signs along the route were great. ‘This race can be a lot shorter if you can swim’ was one sign located at the edge of Clare Lake, and believe me, I considered it. But the constant reminder of the breakfast along the route meant I couldn’t chance it.
Boy it got warm. And me there with the woolly hat on, ‘makin’ maggots’ as the female roomie would say. I did debate taking it off at 6k but I didn’t want to mess with what I had going on.
After a last-ditch attempt to break my Clonbur personal best I charged towards the finish line, thinking ‘Hurricane Fly’s got nothing on me’, but alas, I was slower this time around. I crossed the line in 59.28. I blame the breakfast.
The last run is on in Ballinrobe on April 18. I’m praying for some type of home advantage.
In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.