Thursday, 26 May 2011

Dan Doherty takes Bronze in Brecon Beacons 40

My Ireland team mate Dan Doherty ran a cracking race in the gruelling Brecon Beacons 40 miler to finish 3rd.The race was packed full of Britains elite ultra athletes.Dan held off some top class opposition to claim the bronze medal position and a performance like this is a massive boost to the Irish Team's chances of success in the upcoming Trail World Championships in July.
You can check out the full race report on Dan's blog

Monday, 16 May 2011

Kildare Marathon

After work on saturday it was home to pack the bags and hit for kildare for sunday mornings marathon.The race was an 8am start so I was tucked up in bed by 10pm.The hotel kindly obliged by having an early breakfast for me before I headed to the Curragh for the race.I arrived at the Curragh by 7.30am giving me enough time for my warm up and a quick chat with my Irish team mate John O Regan who was pacing for the 3.15 hour marathoners.Race start was fast approaching and the atmosphere was building.
Me with the winner of the ladies marathon

The whole purpose of this race was to use it as a faster paced training run and to practice taking on fluids at the water stations.As we lined up at the start there was a few of the 'usual suspects' that I recognised from various other races.As soon as the gun went I found myself out in front on my own.This is a pretty rare position to find yourself in a marathon.........well for me anyway!!After about 4 miles I was joined by Peter Mooney.We ran shoulder to shoulder for the next 16 miles having a bit of a natter along the way to pass the time.Approaching the 20 mile mark we appeared to have a 10 minute lead over the third placed guy.My plan of using this as a training run went out the window!I was now in a position to win a marathon!.They say a marathon is a '20 mile warm up for a 10k race',so once we hit mile 20 I decided to make my move.I opened up a gap of about a minute or so and thankfully held on to take 1st place in 2.40:39 with Peter Mooney a brilliant 2nd only 30 seconds behind.

So my first marathon win in the bag.What an amazing feeling!My focus will remain on the world championships,but I would like to run another marathon or two in between.This might be my first and maybe my last marathon win but now that I have won one I know what that feels like.........and I'm hungry for more!

And they're off!

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

Ennis Track take County Titles

Sunday last was the Clare AAI 4 mile road championships held in doonbeg and hosted by my former club St.Johns.The course was flat and fast but with a very strong breeze to make things a little challenging.Personally I wasnt expecting great things as I had ran 45 miles in the 2 days previous,so it was a case of do as best I can to help the team.As it turned out we secured both senior and novice team titles in the mens race and our ladies took the team title over 2 miles.
Liam Markham used the race as a tempo run and won the mens race in an impressive 19:49!

For me the days training was only beginning as I was off home for a 22 mile run in ballygrifey woods......No rest for the wicked!!

Back to Basics

As an athlete I am always in search of ways to increase my athletic performance,so when I spoke with my Physio Leon down in Physiozone,he kindly donated a pair of Vibram Fivefinger KSO's to try out in training.Over the past week or so I have introduced a little barefoot running to my training.Having read up on the whole barefoot thing all the arguements for made alot of sense!However as I found out the hard way barefoot running can also be quite painfull when running on the road!Thats where the Vibrams come in......They offer protection to the feet while getting as close to barefoot running as possible.So one of my first runs in my new vibrams was the ClareAAI 4 mile Road Championships on sunday,in which I was within 10 seconds of my pb,and that is without having done any speedwork for well over six months.So from a performance point of view they get a big thumbs up!!

As with trying out anything new it takes alot of practice and time and Leon has advised me to gradually introduce the use of vibrams into my training.So its one week down and its all good apart from a little calf soreness which I'm sure I can live with!

Elsewhere whilst I am continuing with my preparations for the Trail World Championships in july I will also be running the Kildare Marathon this sunday.After a few weeks of high mileage training it will be interesting to see how the legs react,especially the calves!!