01 May, 2018 - Barry MurrayFirst of the summer league munster races and it got the weather it deserved. A beautiful part of the country too. A few km's west of Clonakility, drive then towards the coast and the registration was in small woods apparently where there used to be a lot of Freke's.
After Silvermines the previous week, I had my mountain running legs ready. But this trail race didn't need them in the slightest. This trail race needs the fast legs. Lovely wooded trails, and a unique section on the beach with just a couple of slight uphills. Great for people new to mountain running or for those fast road runners who want something a little different.
Not as big a crowd as I expected but I saw Tom Blackburn in his singlet so I knew I'd have a race. The legs weren't feeling too fresh from a 3hr bike ride the day before. Then to add insult to injury, I tore my calf muscle while doing a few short sprints while warming up. Excuses aside, RD Paul Deane set us off and I went off first in an attempt to ignore my strained calf. I didn't last too long as some chap with a bag on his back ;) (Paul Minogue) ran ahead of me and looked to have a spring in his step. Another lad I didn't recognise overtook me next and sped off to catch Paul. It was myself and Tom then fairly evenly paced. I wasn't feeling too fresh and by 2km I was just holding on. After some nice wooded trails, we were out on the beach. A great idea and with the sun blazing and a blue sea it was a pretty picturesque setting.
I had Tom and Paul just ahead of me as we plodded up the beach. The young lad was flying a good bit ahead of us. I knew he must have been some local fast road runner !
The only little hill was a path up to a cross. Tom was just ahead of Paul and I was starting to catch Paul on the climb. We touched the cross and then it was downhill dash to the finish. I had no pep in my step . Paul did and I saw him sprinting by Tom in the last 100m to finish ahead of Tom. Just a few seconds between the 3 of us. Young lad , Andrew, was over a minute ahead of us. A look at his recent 5km race which he won in 15.48, explained that !
With the sun shining and blue skies, we had our first "after party" outdoors back in the car park. Its been a long winter for everyone so it was nice to not be rushing to a pub with a warm fire, for a change.
A unique race in a beautiful part of the country. Thanks to RD Paul and crew.