Monday, 14 March 2016

Back to Back Fun - Tralee International Marathon race report.

If there is one overriding personal piece of awareness from the weekend's running it is that I have really learned to live in the moment.

And that living in the moment is empowering, peaceful and engaging.

When you love what you do and engage with it fully in the moment you get to be 'in the flow'. Being 'in the flow' means living more of your potential and unmasking your self imposed limits as liars and cheats. Being 'in the flow' allows for higher level interaction with similarly minded people and achieve together for the benefit of each individual.

These are the lessons. It is what I took from it.

Strange as it may sound there is no euphoria, no massive sense of achievement today. It is not the result that has me spellbound, instead I marvel at the journey of continuous growth and learning. The journey that allows for more and more doing what I love most, leaving less and less room for the other stuff. The journey that is intentional, engaging and in the moment.

It is that awareness which colours my today so vividly I can feel its vibrations in my core. It is those vibrations that rule my thoughts and energise my actions. This is intentional living in action and I am choosing it in all areas of my life and want to inspire and engage others to do the same should they wish to.

Arriving on Thursday evening in Tralee I knew 2 things. 1- I have loved every race in Tralee so far. 2- I was going into the unknown.

I had gotten lots of tips on how to prepare and taken what I thought might suit me. That too is intentional living. Pick what will work for you.

Here's what worked for me.
1- Jog a 5 miler on the day before a race just to get the legs and mind at ease. It is not a recommended action in many people's books but it works for me.
2- Eat what you are used to eating rather than high carb loading and have a breakfast of cereal and tea with toast. This is not what is recommended in most running circles but it works for me.
3- Eat a Full Irish after the race and a Full Meal 3 hours later. You get it by now, it works for me.
4- Between the 2 meals lie on a flat surface with legs raised on a pillow or books or such. Works for me.
5- Soak for 30 minutes in an Epsom salts bath. Works for me.
6- Drink 3 pints of Ale at night between the races. Works! :)

Tralee is beautiful. And Marcus Howlett, Jim McNeice and Vivienne Li know how to organise running events with the runner at the core of what they do. This is not about money, this is all about the love for running as a sport and lifestyle. And it shows. I LOVE coming to Tralee for Run The Kingdom events and will come back to many more.

Friday the 11th of March 9am. At the far side of Tralee's Aquadome for the start of the Marathon Club Ireland Directors Race. About 20 odd souls left at 8am to run the Tralee Marathon Route. Leaving just 5 of us for the 9am start. 26.2 miles ahead of us. Thanks to Vincent Guthrie for organising this and to all who helped that day!! Without you we wouldn't be doing this!

I had made a deal with Paula Wright from our club to run this one together. We have similar pace. Paula also has a wicked sense of humour, is a tower of positivity and a strong runner. We agreed to run at a pace that would see us finish in 4hrs30. The roads were open to traffic so we had to mind ourselves and stay concentrated.

Paula had done 2 Back to Back Weekends in the last 5 or 6 weeks and knew what to expect. I didn't. I learned so much from her on Friday. She kept pulling me back on my pace as I felt good and naturally ran faster than agreed. I have thanked her numerous times since for that wisdom. We had an amazing time running that day in most gorgeous scenery passing through Ardfert, up and down the steep Barrow Hill and running the length of Fenit Pier and back before returning to Tralee the scenic and undulating way.

 At 13 Miles with Paula on Friday! Happy running!

It was a true pleasure to run with my new found friend. We laughed more than you think would be good for 2 people running 26.2 miles on hilly roads. Thanks again Paula for everything, we must do this again. And she kept her word, we came in 4Hrs28.
At the Finish Line on Day 1, 4hr28!

After the race I went through points 2 to 6 in the list mentioned above. That evening I sat down for some food and the 3 pints with 8 other members from the Club. Between them there was over 1,000 Marathons of experience there. Yes over 1,000 marathons. I learned a thing or 2 that evening :) Thanks Collette, Eimear, Brian, Julie, Gerard, Finn, Adolfo and Hugh (I really hope I got you all in)!!

Saturday the 12th of March 9am. We assemble at the same spot with about 300 runners of which at least 100 of them were Marathon Club Ireland members. This would be a great run. I however did not know what to expect. I was running my own race, I had to. For my own mind's sake. Just mind myself around the course in a state of meditation and live in the moment.

To keep a long story a bit shorter (I can tell you more if you want but it'll cost you a pint of Smithwicks), I settled in with Ger Donohoe and John Brady who were pacing 4Hr15 and drifted around that pace for 5 miles, then 10, 15, 20. I was surprising myself. I was 'in the flow'. On the hill at mile 22 I went ahead (I love hills) yet nearly paid for it at Mile 23.5 where I got a wobble. I consumed some jelly beans and that sugar rush sufficed.

While eating them I spotted Paula again. She was about 100 yards behind. It dawned on me how nice it would be to finish together again. We met up and the 4.15 pacers were now 100 yards ahead with 1.5 miles to go. Paula suggested we catch them. I didn't think at that moment we would. Regardless of that we tried and succeeded with 200 yards to go. Result 4.14.25 for Day 2. First Back to Back Marathons done and 14 minutes faster day 2. Ended up 9th in my age category.

 Day 2 Finish line in 4Hr14, thanks Mary Mockett for my favourite picture of the weekend.
Thanks for company on Day 2 to Paula Wright, John Brady, Ger Donohoe and Cathy Quilter. 

That was fun. Must do that again. Running in the moment with great running friends. Living fully engaged doing what I love doing most. Let's do that again!!

What I want to do reflecting on it this Monday is to share the intentional way of living with others and finding ways to contribute to make this world a better place to live in for as many people as possible.

That's what I took from my Back to Back experience. It is about NOW, about OTHERS and about a deep LOVE for what you do.

Next living in the moment Race is on April 2nd in Listowel, Co. Kerry for another Marathon Club Ireland event. If you want to join us you can register for only €20 here:

Miles with Smiles,

Patte xxxxxx


  1. Plezant he. 3jaar geleden ook eens gedaan.

  2. Heel plezant Ingmar!! In juni doe ik er nog eens 2 op 3 dagen. En in de juli nog een B2B als alles meevalt. Hopelijk alles goed met jou lopen!