This is the first June bank holiday weekend in almost 6 years that I have not been obsessing about the Cork City Marathon. The religious carb-loading, being cranky and nervous in equal measure are not for me this weekend.
I’m off for a long weekend with the family in West Cork (the California of Ireland).
To anyone who is running the marathon I wish them good luck and if it’s their first time my advice would be that to enter and finish are achievement enough.
My own thoughts on the Cork marathon are that it is very well organised and supported but as in 2009 you can get stung by the weather. If it does get hot (or you find yourself getting overheated) then make full use of the 16 water stations and wet you head, back of your neck, wrists and thighs. Do this early on as well. Half in/half on is a good idea. If you still can’t manage the heat then slow down. As someone who has ignored this advice himself I can tell you that the worried looks on the doctors’ faces as they stick you with an IV line in the medical tent at the end of a marathon make you feel neither big nor smart.
I was away up the country with work yesterday and I followed up on my threat of taking to the hills. I pitched up in a forest car park at the foot of the Galtee mountains and went for a run.
I hadn’t a clue what I was doing and following a morning of googling maps I realise today that my effort was the running equivalent of taking an inflatable mattress into the sea as the tide is on the ebb. Still, ignorance was bliss and it was very enjoyable.
I gave myself an hour and tried (and failed) not to track the mileage. I ran uphill for 35 minutes and then just turned around and ran downhill for the remaining 25 minutes for a total of 6 miles (which included me running around the car park at the end to get the GPS from 5.85 miles to 6.0 miles – no OCD here!).
I was mainly running through Glengarra forest and it was all very beautiful but what I really wanted as to do a bit of muddy running. I only got in over a mile of real dangerous land-on-your-head stuff through the heather but it wasn’t bad for a first go.
I had a few stumbles but nothing spectacular. Although I did have one baby-giraffe-learning-to-walk moment that ended with me chinning the ground at the start of the descent.
when you’re climbing you never thing you’ve ascended very far until you look around and then realise that maybe you have.
Here are a few images.