Irish Mountain
Running Association

Downshill Trail Race


Brian O Murchu

How to get podium

Samson effect: This is surely a correlation and not a coincident. The best mountain runners have flowing locks, case in point; World Champion John Lenihan. The longer my hair has grown this year, the better my results...

Get on the IMRA committee: An outlet to really foster one's enthusiasm for mountain running which can be released at races. It's not all about the training.

No sleeves: After a conversation with Paul M. at Lug, I realised the error of my ways and invested in a sleeveless running vest. Two podium finishes in three races, another correlation am sure.

To taper or not to taper?: I ran 80 minutes the day before the race, and 35 minutes the morning of race day. Is tapering overrated?

Hydration: Staying hydrated is really important as well as getting in ones 5-a-day, so I killed two birds with the one stone by having prosecco & sherry the evening before the race #efficiency

BBQ effect: With a prospectus post-race BBQ, it offered a more salient focus to the days eating plan. One meal a lunchtime to stay hungry...literally and metaphorically for the race

Enforced warmup: After not being able to catch my breath on the first uphill at GOTD, Downshill's race start was 1.3km from registration allowing time to find my running groove before start time.

The views: The inspiration of the views can in turn inspire one's performance. This is surely the reason I fared so poorly at Lug in low visibility.... Downshill's race had some amazing views of the mountains and sea.

Photographers on the course: There was a high number of marshals at Downshill and almost every marshal seemed to have camera. The importance of trying to look fresh and happy for the camera, repeatedly, takes over and can lift one's performance.

The downhill: After getting pasted by varying numbers at EVERY LL race on the downhill (see the race reports from Glasnamullen!), the trail league races do not hold the same disadvantage with their smooth underfoot fireroads. Being able to run without holding back on the downhill was a big relief from the scared-and-clammed-up approach to LL downhills.

Learning to do a handstand: There was one point within the final kilometre just after the gate, the descent was quite steep and the track had changed to a very rough and narrow trail. There was a split second that I felt I had lost complete control and it seemed as though I would have to do a superman flying position over the stones...but I managed to regain control and not fall over. I think the balancing practice of learning to do a handstand the past 9 months paid off, and I was able to react in a way that maintained by upright position #phew