Monday, 29 June 2015

Waterford Viking Marathon Race Report!

It took me 20 years of residing in Ireland to finally see Tramore Beach. It was a running visit as part of the Waterford Viking Marathon yet great fun and I will have to go back to see it properly.

I arrived on Friday early in the afternoon in Ireland's self proclaimed oldest City Waterford! I was here twice before and I must say just like it's near neighbour Kilkenny it is worth a visit. There is a nice atmosphere in a city that is so obviously proud of it's medieval history. Evidence of that past seems omnipresent. The Marina Hotel was really easy to find and comfortable with very friendly staff. In fact everyone I met in Waterford was really friendly.

I decided to walk to the Waterford IT Sports Hall to collect the number as it was fairly warm on Friday and it was only just over 2 Miles of a walk :) Again the volunteers in the Hall were very pleasant, informative and professional. A theme that runs through this Marathon. Well organised, well informed volunteers, upbeat marshals en route and loads of water and sports drink stops. This makes for an event you will tell others about and as a result I will return.

We started Saturday morning at 9am on the Mall together with the 1/4 and Half marathon participants. This made for a crowded yet good humoured and pleasant first few miles through the City Centre. The 1/4 runners split away after about 5 miles that went very smoothly. I passed the 4hr30 pacers then the 2hr10 Half Marathon pacers and settled with the 4hr15 pace group. The 1/2 Marathon runners split from us at mile 10. During this time I met up with Shane and Declan from our Club and we would run together until we reached the wonderful Tramore Beach front at mile 15-16.
Thanks Helen Richardson for the action picture!!

I still felt OK so I went and followed the superb pacers (thanks Ger Donohoe) of the 4hr15 all the way until Mile 20-21 when the ankle suddenly played up and the humidity got to me at the same time. I had to let them go but kept a pace about 1 minute slower than them for the 5 remaining miles.

It was the first time I have run a Marathon were the finish is on an athletics track in a sports ground. It was great fun running into the RSC and run a lap of the track to finish in 4hrs20mins. For cycling enthusiasts I felt like finishing an epic Paris-Roubaix in the Roubaix Vélodrome.

There were so many members of the Club at the Finish that saying hello to all nearly took more energy than the last 5 Miles. What a Club MCI is!! In fact we took 1st place in the Women's Club competition and 2nd in the Men's!! Go Marathon Club Ireland!!

So that's that then. The 3 Milestones have passed. 3 Marathons in 1 calendar month. Done. Beating the record of 7 Marathons in 1 calendar year. Done. Running 25 Marathons. Done.

What's next? Portarlington Marathon des Escargots in 12 days for number 9 with a view of completing and beating the 12 marathons in 12 months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa. Reaching the 50 Marathons Milestone by end 2016. Running my first Ultra in 2016. Running a Back to Back. Starting Core work and speed sessions. Improving Nutrition.

Why? Because I like pushing limits. Because I can. Because I want to do this to the best of my ability.

And that's the trick to living your passion, whatever that may be. Simply doing it to the best of your ability. 24/7. To the best of your ability. Irresistibly relentlessly moving forward! To the best of your ability!!

You can sponsor me for the Challenge on

Friday, 26 June 2015

Breaking through boundaries in Waterford!

It seems longer than 4 weeks since Cork Marathon and 2 weeks since Portumna Forest. The body is feeling it as well. In the middle of 5 Marathons in 8 weeks. Did I prepare to the best of my ability? No is the answer, I need to do more core and improve nutrition. Am I getting better at it and getting closer to the best of my ability? Yes. It's a journey and I'm loving the trip.

A couple of hours after writing this I'm travelling to The Déise to take part in the 

I have only been to Waterford twice. Once to give a motivational talk in the Tower Hotel and the second time last December to run a PB (Personal Best) for the Half Marathon organised by Waterford AC. Both events went really well. I like Waterford :)

This is also a weekend of Firsts! 3 milestones are reached in 1 weekend:
1- It's the 25th marathon of my young life. :) A 1/4 century which will see me getting a medal by Marathon Club Ireland at one of my next races!
2- My record number of Marathons in any year is 2014 with 7. Tomorrow will be my 8th for 2015!
3- It's my first time doing 3 Marathons in the same calendar month. Cork was June 1st, Portumna Forest the 13th and Waterford tomorrow the 27th.

I reflect back as I do often on my first run on a cold February day in 2008. I jogged for 0.75 miles and had to walk back home. I cried that day. How unfit was I?? How was I going to run 26.2 Miles at Dublin Marathon that October??? The answer was really simple: by running 1 Mile the next day!

And now in 2015 I am enjoying running my 3rd Marathon in 1 month! I'm not just telling you this to show off. I'm telling you this because of the awareness that we are self limiting creatures. We constantly think smaller than what we can actually do.

What is your 0.75 miles? What thing would you like to achieve? What one step can you take towards doing the thing you always wanted to but thought beyond your limits? As we say in MCI, 'dare greatly' and take that 0.75 step today!!

Your potential is limitless. I'm reminded of one of my favourite running posters:

As for me I'm going to enjoy my weekend trip and the run from Waterford to Tramore Beach and back. At whatever pace I manage. Knowing that I am already thinking of shifting my limits again for 2016.

I'll talk to you Monday with a race report. For now please if you can sponsor my chosen charity Gorta Self Help Africa on

Chalk it down boy!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Weekends are for love and passion!

As I am writing this at 6.15 am on a Monday morning I am reflecting on the weekend just gone. How different it was from the weekends I used to have. And about choices that have become easy and almost natural to make.

A few short years back my weekends would have consisted of chilling, not doing much, watching a few sports games, going to a party, having a few beers. I pretty much lived for the weekends.

Then I discovered running. At around the same time I was introduced to personal development. And over time they have become my 2 passions. The change has been slow as my previous reality was determined not to make way for the new stuff easily. But the change was constant and is now winning hands over fist. And as a result I now run Marathons and run a Coaching, Mentoring and Training practice. Which I am turning into a business.

You see everything in life includes a choice. You choose your reaction. Like this weekend. I was tired on Friday evening. I had some long working days during the week and had completed 2 marathons already this month. Yet somehow I still laced up and ran a 10K in training. I made the choice to follow my passion even though it wasn't easy. And I enjoyed every step.

I went to bed at 11pm. A choice. To get up at 7am. By choice. To have breakfast early and go for a 7.2 mile run. Then head to the market for Lunch and the office and do some work on the business for the afternoon. One passion followed by a second. Good choice. I also went to the Polish/Slavic Midsummer Night festival in the afternoon and was asked to come back later for the band and party. I didn't. I would have dearly loved to meet some of the people again yet I made a choice. I have a Marathon on Saturday next. Time for bed at 10.30pm.

To get up at 7am Sunday. For breakfast and a 9.5 mile run in excellent weather conditions (overcast, drizzly rain and a slight breeze) ;) Then back to the office for the afternoon after a stop at the market for Lunch. Instead of going to the Limerick v Tipp Hurling game, or even watching it. By choice. And then to the leaba at 10.30pm.

On all 3 nights I took some time to peruse social media and read articles on running and self development while also listening to some music and watching a show on street food in Osaka, Japan. And a documentary on Portland, Oregon.

To lots of people this might sound like a boring weekend. Yet I loved every minute of it. It was filled with my passions. Running, Food, Personal Development and Travel. I would do it again in a heartbeat. And will. By choice.

This Friday coming I will travel to The Déise where I will take part in my first Waterford Viking Marathon on Saturday.

This will be number 8 this year as part of my 12 Marathons in 12 months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa.

You can support me with donations for the challenge on

Friday, 19 June 2015

7 steps on how to make sure all your limits have short life spans!!

I haven't gone for a run since Portumna Forest Marathon last Saturday. The ankle went sore on me and the idea of having to pop the bone back into place again didn't appeal to me.

It is normally really hard for me not to run for more than 1 or 2 days. This time it was easier. Not easy, easier. Because my body felt tired and in need of recovery. Because I did as many Marathons in 140 days as I did in my record year in 2014 in 365 days. And I am only just under half way to my target. Pushing the limits but mixed with a bit of clever and self awareness.

I have planned 6 runs for the next 6 days and will let you know Monday how tonight, Saturday and Sunday went :) 10K, 15K and another 15K hopefully. Pushing the limits constantly thinking of moving forward.

Funny things are limits. If you relentlessly move forward, even one step at a time, the limits get in on the moving act. In 2008 I ran 1 Marathon, in 2010 I ran 2, 2013 was my first year doing 4, 2014 saw me complete 7 and now in my 12 Marathons in 12 months year for Gorta Self Help Africa the limits moved within that year from 12 to a target of 16.

So for your benefits here's the 7 steps I use to move the goalposts and stretch my limits in sport, business and life:

1- I visualise what would be a really cool thing to achieve that also frightens me as I think about it.
2- I write down all the reasons why it frightens me and what might go wrong.
3- I try and meet with/read about people who have achieved what I want to do and get answers to all the points in number 2 :)
4- I make the decision to do it!
5- I tell all my supportive friends and family what I'm doing (accountability)
6- I focus on enjoying the journey
7- I achieve and repeat the process on moving the goalposts again!

Hope this helps and/or inspires you to try. If you have any questions please contact me on Facebook or Twitter

Have a wonderful limit smashing weekend and talk Monday.

Donations for the Challenge can be made at

Monday, 15 June 2015

Portumna Forest Marathon race report! Feck, that hurt!

The plan was hatched a good few months ago. Get strong enough to step up the 12 Marathons in 12 Months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa to include 5 Marathons in 8 weeks in June and July. All was going well. After the initial 2 Winter Marathons in Lilliput and Lough Derg I ran 4 Marathons within 3 months all between 4h05 and 4h15.

I was feeling strong and am getting stronger. So I ran for 7 of the 11 days between Cork Marathon and Portumna Forest Marathon. Last Sunday I felt great and ran just over a Half Marathon in training in 1H54! Getting stronger by doing more. The way I like it :)

Got up Saturday at 7am to get ready and leave for Breakfast at our beloved Limerick Milk Market at 8.30am. A cup of Harper's Coffee always gets one going. Then we set off for Portumna and arrived within the Hour just around 10am and registered for the 12 Noon start.

Heard noise, clapping and cheering from near the registration desk so I headed that way as that kind of noise at a Marathon usually comes from Marathon Club Ireland members, the slightly bonkers people I am privileged and honoured to call friends and club mates! Brian and Julie's camper van was the MCI HQ for what was a feast of distance running (Half, Full, 50K and 100K) in a stunning location! On a 5K loop we ran through the Forest, past the Marina, the ruins of what I think looked like an Abbey and a stately home. Gorgeous place, great route and I must say superbly organised. Sebastien Locteau and crew are pro's; I'll be back!

Some of the amazing MCI gang before the Start!

We started supporting and assisting our club members that were running the 100K and 50K Ultra's until it was time to head to the start which for the Marathon was 2km195 from the 5K loop finish to get the distance right. We started on time and I settled at the back of an 85 strong field as I always do. In the first 4 laps of 8 after the 2Km start I had gone past about 30 runners and was feeling great and that's where it happened.

We ran on paths, gravel and road and the continuous change in surface requires concentration. On lap 5 I saluted a fellow runner on a loop back and misplaced my foot. The ankle that had given me trouble in March and April locked out of place. In other words a bone settled in the wrong place. I had about 2K to go to the finish line and tried to run it off but the pain got worse.

When I arrived at the finish line I 'dashed' behind the camper van, took off the left running shoe and had to click the bone back in place. A dart of pain shot through my left leg.

I am privileged to not have had a DNF yet at a Marathon. DNF is the dreaded Did Not Finish. So I am willing to do whatever it takes to keep that record as long as possible. After clicking the bone back in place, I concentrated on the fact it was only 15 more kilometres, that's less than 10 miles.

This is where the unreal people in the Club become gold dust. They spotted I wasn't 100% and limp running lap 6. I got shouts of encouragement, offers of assistance, offers of pain killers, food and drink. Some of them had completed 60K and had 40 to go and they still offered me their time and goodies. What a Club. If you are in any way inclined to do Marathons, MCI is literally THE club to join. All you need to fit in is 1 Marathon completed, a positive outlook on life and a givers attitude.

I got through laps 6 & 7 slowly and concentrated too much on the leg so I dehydrated slightly. At the last stop someone offered me part of their electrolyte drink and Brian told me melons are a super food for long distance so I tucked into them. Lap 8 was my fastest since half way and I finished in 4H42, about half an hour slower than normal.

7 Done!

What I remember is: Great location (it's only an hour from Limerick too), fantastic organisation, I am privileged to be a member of THE best Club in Ireland, Marathon 7 of the Challenge done and number 24 in total, still no DNF. I am not a quitter and love a Challenge! Now to implement that in my business :)

Next up we will attempt the only 12 days from NOW!! *insert scared looking face here* Looking forward to the trip to the Deise with nervous anticipation. It will be my 8th in the Challenge and my 25th in total. A quarter century of Marathons, that will be something to be proud of :)

You can sponsor me for the Challenge on

Friday, 12 June 2015

Relentlessly moving forward! Portumna bound.

'If you take the M7 it's Limerick to Nenagh' was my response when asked for the umptieth time how far my next Marathon was. They are all 42Km195, except for Ultra Marathons, Mini Marathons, Half Marathons and 3/4 Marathons. :) A full Marathon is the distance from Limerick Centre to Nenagh Centre over the M7.

Tomorrow morning the 12 Marathons in 12 months Challenge moves it's HQ to Portumna Co. Galway for the , number 7 this year!

2km195 from Portumna town to the Forest and then 8 loops of 5K. It's on at Noon so this is a drive through Marathon. Drive up, run the race and drive back to Limerick same day.

I am getting lots of learning from this challenge and running in general that is applicable to life and business. I used to adhere to the common knowledge that humans need regular breaks from what they do. To be able to relax, to chill out. To reload the batteries.

I have now learned to challenge this. If what I do is true to who I am, true to my purpose and my core then how would it serve me to take a break from that? What good will come from ceasing all my beloved activities and taking a break?

Instead rest is purposeful, done at the right times in order to make my indefatigable, relentless forward movement more efficient.

Because that's what life is. A relentless forward motion. Stillness is part of that motion. Enforced stillness is the arrest of that motion.

In a Marathon regardless of tiredness levels, the worst thing to do is stop. It stiffens you up nearly immediately and requires extra energy to restart the engine. Energy you might already be short off. Instead keep moving forward, speed is of no importance here, just a relentless movement forward.

That's the life lesson. Regardless of where you are at energy wise, just keep moving forward. Standing still is akin to regressing.

It's all forward for me as my next Marathon after Portumna is exactly 14 days later in the Déise at the

You can sponsor me during this challenge on

Monday, 8 June 2015

Limerick based man reveals the secret to 'getting in the flow'.

Getting in the flow is the feeling you get when you 'persistently do what you are passionate about to the best of your ability'. That's my quote for you for life. Find your passions and then let them consume you. Immerse yourself in them. Persistently and consistently. 24/7. In the NOW. That's how living can be done.

In the flow means you don't need a break because everything you do is life and who needs a break from life? In the flow can be perceived by others as hard work. To you it is mere passionate fun. You do it because you can. Because you want to. Because it drives your internal engine. Because it is you.

One of my passions is running. It consumes me. I live it. That means going to bed at 10.30-ish every night, including the weekends. That means getting up at 7am in the weekends. That means eating better than most. It means running 6 days a week. It means no alcohol for me. It means controlling my sugar intake. It means not watching that much TV.

And yet every step is 'in the flow'. Every mile is a gift I give myself. Every ounce of me wants it. It is my space, my joy, my peace of mind, my relaxation. This last week I ran 60.21 miles, that's 96 kilometres and included a Marathon race on Monday and a Half Marathon in training yesterday. In The Flow!

Guess what, you can do that with most things in life! Give yourself the gift of discovering your passions and immersing yourself in them. Give me a shout on if you want more info on how to do this.

This week I'm probably running 10K's on Monday to Wednesday and then start preparing for Marathon number 7 of my 12(16) Marathons in 12 months challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa, the Portumna Forest Marathon which takes place this Saturday at 12 Noon.

You can donate to Gorta Self Help Africa on

Tuesday, 2 June 2015

Cork City Marathon Race report!

The weather forecast had made for grim reading and viewing. Met Éireann, the Irish National Meteorological Service, had issued a Yellow weather warning for the Monday morning and afternoon. We were promised high winds and lashings upon lashings of rain. At the registration the afternoon before the race weather was the main topic with fear on most people's minds and tips on how to deal with the rain were plentiful.

I just remembered a particular Dublin Marathon where I had to remove my running shirt 3 times to wring it out as it got too heavy to wear from all the rain and actually running a couple of miles barechested. I still got there that day so I knew it would also work out fine in Cork. The only concern was the possibility of high winds in the wrong direction around Blackrock as that is an exposed part of the Cork City Marathon course.

When I hopped out the front door of Isaacs Hotel in McCurtain Street on the Bank Holiday Monday morning I bumped into 5 or 6 members of my running club, Marathon Club Ireland. Our group grew to about 20 around the start area on 'Pana'.

One of the benefits of being a member of this Cub (and there are 100's) is that these are all experienced marathon runners so all nerves are removed by the jovial atmosphere of people who have seen it all. It is best described as 'here we go again' and 'how's life with you'. If you have just 1 Marathon under your belt you can join and reap the benefits of their experience too. It is worth running your first Marathon just to be able to join and meet these 'lunatics'.

The rain and winds had the decency to wait until we had completed our first mile and had warmed up a bit. After that it was relentless for the next 25 miles with the density of both rain and wind increasing throughout. Luckily the wind in Blackrock was to our side. I settled with the 4.15 pacers for about 5 miles together with a Teddy Bear (a nice man dressed as one running for a charity). Then my running flow settled for something slightly faster than that.

I ran through Half Marathon in 2H03 and a fellow runner joked that it would be great to run the second half in the same time. Her words were prophetic as I continued to take energy from the weather conditions and seemed to be one of the only runners in my section keeping the same pace. This led to me finishing the race in 4h06, with a copy 2h03 for the 2nd half.

That's 6 marathons for 2015 in the bag of my 12 Marathons in 12 months for Gorta Self Help Africa.

I learned a few things from this race. 1- I looove rain and colder weather for running. 2- It suits me better to walk through water stations and have a calm intake of fluids and nutrition. 3- I really enjoy challenges and thrive in them. 4- I'm becoming a stronger runner at 49 :) 5- I am more focused now than I ever was (as I write this Portumna Forest Marathon is only 11 days away). 6- Most of the above 5 can be transferred into 'real' life.

Running is more than a sport, it is a lifestyle. Talk to you again on Friday.

You can donate to support the challenge for Gorta Self Help Africa on