Sunday, October 06, 2013

Galway XC Championships

A day best suited for ark building and was dreading the run on the drive out to Loughrea. By some miracle as I arrived the rain stopped and to be fair it was quite a pleasant afternoon. We were told that all the races were running early so after changing and having a quick warm-up on the course, it soon became apparent that the races were actually running late so some hanging around watching some of the junior races, followed by the women's race, before being called to that start line.

The siren sounded and we were off. As I suspected loads of the juniors started quickly and I deliberately sat back using the first lap as a recce. The course itself was superb - despite all the rain the ground was very firm underfoot and the 1 mile loop had it's fair share of twists, turns, ups and downs. By the end of the first lap I was probably in 7th or 8th position and I took the opportunity to start working my way through the field. All was going well and upon completing the second lap I found myself in 3rd position.

The 2 leaders were a good way up the course and as I started the 3rd lap I knew that 3rd would be as good as it gets. But I was definitely making inroads on 2nd place and as we got about halfway round the lap, the 2nd placed guy stepped off the course promoting me up one position. That gave me a bit of a lift but there was nothing I could do to close down the leader who was flying. As we started the last lap I started to flag. My team-mate Keith went straight past me and I shouted at him to try and close down the leader. From then on I was hanging out for the finish. I almost took a wrong turn as we approached the finish area and after realising I had a decent gap on the runner behind me, I took the opportunity to coast over the line for 3rd position.

Delighted with the run and I certainly performed better than I expected. Very difficult to get into any sort of rhythm and even though the ground was good, you are still being thrown off at different angles each time you land so there is lots of lateral movement. My Garmin measured the run at 6.37kms at an average pace of 3:27/km pace. Not super-quick by any stretch of the imagination but I certainly didn't leave much out there.

Congratulations to Jason who won the race easily. Really pleased to see the big man running well after a long spell of injuries and illness. Certainly nobody could begrudge him that win today. GCH won the team gold in a very tight contest - despite finishing on equal points with Craughwell we won by virtue of our 4th scorer finishing one place ahead of their 4th scorer. So a bronze senior individual medal and a team gold medal - not a bad days work.

All up 12.4kms for the day. And that's 75.0kms for the week.

Got home to watch the end of the football. Tottenham conceded 3 goals in 15 minutes and being somewhat upset by that I had consumed 3 beers in the same time period. Oh well, you can't have it all...

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