8th – 1h57m
One of the excellent IMRA events, which I completed for the 4th time. Conditions were calm and mild, and a lot drier underfoot thank I’d expected. It’s nice waiting at the start in Ballinstoe. Watching the Ultra runners reach their halfway mark, just as we set off. Fair play to them all.
I knew I’d have more completion than last year. From the off 3 guys took off, Des among them. I settled into 4th with Brian close behind. My legs were tired & sore all week from last weekend’s exploits in the Knockmealdowns. But I felt good on the climb along the boardwalk to Djouce. Passing lots of ultras and meeting many hikers on the way too. A lovely day to be out.
Brian’s descending skill/speed was apparent as he flew by me off Djouce. I wasn’t worried, as all I can control is my own mind. I knew I could make up ground on the climbs. Through Crone Woods, I was passed by a guy from Sligo and Turlough caught me, descending well.
That pushed me on, so I made up a gap climbing towards Curtelstown. I knew I’d need that buffer before the final descent past Prince William’s Seat. I could see Brian about 90 seconds ahead. He was within sights but not close enough.
I didn’t eat or drink – except for a dried fig and a few nuts. I knew if I could get to the bridge I should be ok. 2km to go – Brian in sight but too far ahead. I passed Adrian who was running well in the ultra.
Then a “Dave left” – 200m from the finish line! I mistook the tape for the bus stop as a marker, so went up a lane to bring me into Glencullen Adventure Park – the wrong way. I just got to the line as the 2 lads behind me had arrived. Damn. I felt like such an idiot – it’s ever over til…
I was impressed to see so many first times a well as regulars. The growing popularity of the ultra shows how people who do a 50km run at the weekend are not all superhuman or weirdos. A few of them definitely recovered in Johnny Foxes afterwards.
My recovery involved a lovely refreshing swim in Seapoint and well earned chowder & stout afterwards. Now the Masters golf to relax to. A good day out.
Photo thanks to Greg Byrne