Wednesday, 19 November 2014

How many loops did you do? Sixmilebridge Eddie Murphy Memorial.

After the inspirational night on Friday at the Galway Gorta Self Help Africa Gala Dinner it was fitting that I had a race within 48 hours. Still buzzing from the words by the amazing people from the charity all roads led to the village of Sixmilebridge in the Banner County for the next race in my preparation for the 12 Marathons in 12 months challenge in 2015!

BMOH AC, the local club were holding their annual Eddie Murphy Memorial race. Due to the tragic passing of Eddie Murphy in April 2011 , BMOH AC hold a multi marathon event each November in Sixmilebridge in Honor of him which takes place on a unique one mile loop. Eddie had completed45 Marathons himself.

Words of thanks first. The organisation was amazing, the Stewards brilliant, the MC with the mike very witty, the weather condusive to running. These women and men live and breathe running and it shows, I'll be back in 2015, hopefully for the 30 Mile. BMOH, be proud!

The 1 mile loop has a challenging enough hill that covers about a third of it. The distances available on Sunday were 52.4 Miles (Double Marathon), 30 Miles, 26.2 Miles (Marathon) or 13.1 Miles (Half Marathon). That means 52, 30, 26 or 13 times that hill :) Due to a continuing recovery from a calf injury I opted for the 13.1 mile distance. I started as usual slower than most and came through lap 1 (1.1 mile) in 10:30 and 23rd position. As you can see from my lap times I started to enjoy the race more and more and managed an excellent negative split with a final mile in 7:57, the injury seems history. Here' my lap times, I finished 13th in 1Hr54!

Lap 1 (1.1 Mile) 10:29
Lap 2 (2.1 Mile) 09:00
Lap 3 (3.1 Mile) 08:58
Lap 4 (4.1 Mile) 08:47
Lap 5 (5.1 Mile) 08:47
Lap 6 (6.1 Mile) 08:42
Lap 7 (7.1 Mile) 08:43
Lap 8 (8.1 Mile) 08:44
Lap 9 (9.1 Mile) 08:41
Lap 10 (10.1 Mile) 08:41
Lap 11 (11.1 Mile) 08:36
Lap 12 (12.1 Mile) 08:30
Lap 13 (13.1 Mile) 07:57

It's back to training this week with a 10K tonight and I've started bit by bit making nutritional improvements and have contacted the Yoga instructor with a view of strengthening my core, breathing and mental game. Next race on December 6th at the Waterford AC Half Marathon in The Déise County.

Happy running and remember to smile every mile!!

Saturday, 15 November 2014

A motivating experience at the Gorta/Self Help Africa Dinner!

I'm just back in the office on a Saturday morning after a visit to the Galway Gorta/Self Help Africa Gala Dinner in the Meyrick Hotel on Eyre Square last night.

There were 250 generous guests; amongst them TD's, a Senator and the Galway Mayor (who has some mean moves on the dance floor, respect). There was some really nice food and lovely wine and loads of spot prizes. There was a real good will feeling in the room.

What struck me most though was the people behind the organisation. If ever I needed motivation to do this 12 Marathons in 12 Months challenge in 2015 I got it in spades from CEO Ray Jordan's speech on the analogy between him being at the Ireland v Springboks game and the 'matches' he sees African women farmers play with the opportunities they are given with the farming projects that are set up with the help of Gorta/Self Help Africa.

I got it from the genuine passion, empathy, energy and professionalism of Ronan Scully and Ciara Tallon whom I thank sincerely for their enthusiasm about my challenge. I know it will be an emotional and tough road yet I walk away from this event with even more energy than normal (scary, right??), an iron determination to make this work and help make a difference, a plan and a fantastic back up team.

There is no doubt in my mind this was the best place for me to be in the world last night, thanks for the invite and Let's just 'Keep on Running with a smile' and create more opportunities for African farmers.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

My 12 in 12 challenge! That's 12 marathons in 12 months.

Hi all,

I am just an ordinary bloke who somewhere along the line got lazy. Lazy living life, lazy physically and lazy mentally. And I could find all kinds of circumstances and people to blame for my laziness. And you would believe me and sympathise with me. Because some parts of my story would make you say 'Awww that must not have been easy to deal with, I understand he bailed out there!'

But I'm not going to because I have since found out that to let things go you need to move on. You need to live in the Now, you need to forgive the past and create the future one day at a time. So I'm letting go of my laziness by getting active. You see 7 years ago in 2008 I decided to run Dublin Marathon for charity. My first run was 3/4 mile and I had to walk back home after that. That's how lazy I got. But I stuck to it and finished Dublin 2008. Since then I have ran 17 marathons or an average of 2.5 per year.

And that's where the danger of getting lazy crept in again. I am getting stronger and can do these Marathons with less training. So it's time to move on again.

This was my post on FB last night after watching an episode of a Flemish TV program called Tomtesterom where the presenter Tom Waes went from scartch to finishing the Marathon des Sables, one of the toughest foot races in the World:

'Just watched something about running online I needed to watch and it came to me by 'accident'. I know my limits are self imposed. I know I can do stuff in running 99.5% of the population find unthinkable. I made a decision this year that my 17 marathons in 7 years (that's just under 2.5 a year) were only a beginners attempt at running long distance. So my ex 30 cigs a day smoker/ex 35 pints a week drinker attitude from a mere 7 years ago simply needs to be transformed into a 'real' long distance runner. First challenge Minimum 12 Marathons in 12 months for Gorta/ Self Help Africa in 2015. I'm going to need your support for that. Can I count on you?'

So there goes, it's Public now. I am running a Minimum of 12 Marathons in 12 months starting January 2015, just 47 days from now as my first running challenge at the tender age of 48 (I know I don't look and feel that age ;) And I am going to need your help. This Blog will be kept going as a Challenge blog. I will keep you updated on my progress and on How you can Help. You can also find more info as the Challenge progresses on my Facebook page.

I am of to a Gorta/Self Help Africa charity event in Galway tomorrow evening to talk to them about the event in more detail. Mean time feel free to check out the charity on their website

One more mention goes to Marathon Club Ireland. These women and men are the most inspirational bunch of runners I have had the pleasure to meet and run with. Without them this would have been so much harder to plan. You'll here them mentioned loads of times!!

Run Proud! Run Happy! Run Smiling!