A short and belated report on the Cork City Marathon 2018. It all seems a long time ago now – 6 weeks – and any ill-effects of the day are long behind me at this stage.
The Cork marathon occurs just before the start of the State Exams for secondary school children in Ireland. A time of the year when the sun finally comes out to taunt the kids with blisteringly hot (by Irish standards) days of unbroken sunshine (by Irish standards). The implication for the running fraternity of this sudden seasonal shift is that months of training in horizontal rain and single digit temperatures are replaced by a race day of double digit temperatures, high humidity and no breeze.
Thankfully my race plan was so modest the hot weather on the day was more of a discomfort than a show stopper. I was running with my Brother-in-law and we had agreed a get around in one piece pacing plan that saw us aim to hit under the 4-hour mark. Easy-peasy on paper.
As my thumbs started to sweat by the second mile and the flags hung limp I knew that the perceived effort for the pace would be high.
And so it proved to be. We cruised along for the first 10 or 12 miles chatting and commenting on the Noah’s Ark of runners we passed and then, on the Mahon walkway it suddenly seemed to be a much harder run than it should’ve been. The sweaty thumbs had become sweaty ears and other body parts normally immune from sweating and the lack of a breeze meant that the sweat was pooling in our socks and arse cracks at a rate faster than we could shift it. We stuck together until mile 15 where we got to High-5 our families and then we agreed to run at our own pace.
The exposed section of the course from miles 16 -20 proved little respite from the muggy conditions and like an unwatered flower we wilted further. The copious amounts of water provided by the organisers, the classically sarcastic encouragement of the spectators: you’re flyin’ and the encouragement of my family meant that I made it around the second half of the course with a negative split on the first. the last mile saw the traditional fast sprint that has characterised my failure to pace races recently. My Brother-in-law followed me home and we regrouped with his wife (running the half-marathon) and my family and walked home………….slowly.
A good day out.