17 June 2012

Great race, Galway

Great race, Galway 10km Sunday 17th June 1:30pm

The heat blasted down from the sky and all looked up before the race started.  My friends Stephen and Noreen were joining me for the race. Noreen only registered a few days before hand and Stephen was registering on the day. We arrived early as there was only limited entries on the day. The best part was that both of them got the t-shirt even though there was a cut of registration date with t-shirt.

With good time to wait before the horn sounds, we did some warm ups then there was some commentary coming out over the public speakers. We took to the race stand and the  kids 1km race was on. There was great support with even Dads running the course beside them encouraging them on.

We did our final checks and went down the start which was half way around the course. I had drank plenty of water but still felt a bit dehydrated. Stephen was taking to the front to get a good start where he will challenge for his sub:40. He came so close in Ardrahan the previous month with a time of 40:03.

Noreen and myself was planning on doing it together. Nice crowd turned up. Maybe 300. We took off in a nice pace and it was flat and then slight decent for the first few kms. Then we took a turn and it was a increase for the next few kms. At km four, there was a person out filling cups of water, myself and Noreen looked so excited to see a water station but we didn't stop. There was a little queue and kids filling the drinks. We passed the station but half kilometer down, we were basically gasping for water. I was beginning to wonder did we make a mistake on not taking a drink but then as we took the turn, WATER. Full bottle of water, I couldn't hold my breath by this stage to down the drink so shoved it to my face and what went in be great. Put some down my back to cool me down. Still running on the slight accent, we then looked to our left. Turn off from Tuam road is a hill, maybe 200 to 250meters in length.  I looked up but quickly looked down. Did get nearly all the way up but Noreen and I stopped. Noreen was walking fast and this is where we separated. She took off again but I needed a few more seconds and said catch back up to me. It was nice after that hill. I focused on catching back up to Noreen and I was getting so close. I hadn't run this distance in a long time and I was feeling every bit of it in the scorching heat. I was back up to 10meters just before the 8km marker. I stopped and walked some more, maybe for 30seconds. I knew catching back up to Noreen was off the cards but my goal was to complete the 10km under 1hr. Looking at the time at the 8km marker and I knew I was on for it. All i had to do was keep ticking over and not stop. I had made up enough time so I didn't have to push, just get to the line. Final 2km was around the racecourse, it did feel like a long 2km but I the finish line was big and bright. I crossed the line. I seen this mat on the ground, so many already finished over the line but this mat just looked like it was put there for me. A women gave me a bottle of water and there I fell, heart beating hard, I fell to the mat. I achieved my goal and reaching a time of 58:10 (official time just in as I write this)

Noreen kept up her pace and came in with an official time of 56:34. Then there is Stephen, he cracked it by coming in with a time of  39:24. He finished in 13th place overall.

The whole event was well organised. I didn't get my face painted at the end but there was that option. Ok that was for the kids. Plenty of refreshments,  With the start and finish in the the racecourse. There was plenty of parking, No queueing for toilets and plenty of sitting down areas. Everything organised exceptionally well. There was great advertisement in promoting this race. Since this was its first year, if it becomes a regular occurrence, I can see the numbers rising. Maybe if the Galway mini marathon on the following week, it might have dropped a few runners.

Overall, great day out. :)