Monday, 16 May 2016

Lakes of Killarney Race Report - Running Naked.

On a Friday in Summer the route to Killarney takes a bit longer to travel. Came across massive tailbacks through Adare, Newcastle West and Abbeyfeale. It added 45 minutes to the journey.

There is a reason for that, Kerry is a beautiful place and in Summer it shines even more brightly. And lots and lots of people know this and travel there on Summer weekends. I was one of the Kerry bound people this weekend. And it certainly was a Summer weekend. 20+ degrees for the 3 days.

Feeling privileged to be able to enter and take part in the Lakes of Killarney Marathon 2016 just 2 weeks after the Great Limerick Run Marathon, I headed for Killarney with the anticipation of meeting many friends and running a couple of miles with a few of them as well as contributing whenever and wherever I can to make it as joyful a sport for others as it is for me.

Registration on Friday in the Castlerosse Hotel was smooth and efficient and done with a smile. In fact fair dues goes to Alan Ryan, Hardman Events and all the wonderful, friendly, obliging marshalls and volunteers. Without them we have no Marathon. Without the volunteers at the water stations many would not have finished. The Focus was very much on the athletes and their wellbeing and Alan's personal touch adds a sense of togetherness to the event. I'll be back. Thanks again to all involved.

Having a Chat after the Race with organiser Alan Ryan, Brian O Se and 1st time marathoner Simon Hallissey.

Race Day itself then. Both the Full and Half Marathon start at 9am. At 2 different locations in the Park. Logistics nightmare? Nope. All seemed to go fine. Met with lots of MCI buddies before the race and the craic and camaraderie always takes the edge of the start of a race.

Running with MCI buddies is the best! Here with Derek Mackessy, David Wrenne, Adolfo Garcia, Catherine Guthrie, Julie Byrne-Hilliard and Siobhan Dowling.
The second thing that has taken the edge of races and turned them into runs has been that I have started running naked recently. It is so liberating. You can run on feeling rather than the restrictive way I was running previously.

Oops, I should maybe mention to you that running naked in Marathon terms means running without a watch. In case you form disturbing mental images. ;)

Look, no watch, I'm running naked again and it is so much fun!
We set of at 9am and within a couple of miles I had the pleasure of running in a group with Catherine Guthrie, Shane Dunphy and David Wrenne. As they are all established marathon runners and the weather was fantastic (not my weather at all, but this is not about me :) ), the mood was one of jolly. At one stage a visitor to the National Park remarked she was taking up running if it was as much fun as we seemed to be having. We laughed so much it hurt.

Running with Catherine, Shane and David was so much fun! (And look at the scenery behind us!)
I was able to stay with them until about mile 15 when the knee issue from Connemara popped up again. It took about 3 miles of mind over matter to get rid of it. The good news is it did abate. At Mile 19 I found a fellow runner in need of assistance. The heat combined with tiredness had turned their legs into jelly and the person was threatening to fall asleep. I stayed with them and asked another runner to stay with us. We tried to walk and make sure they got the right nutrients in. At mile 20 we made the decision to go look for help so I ran ahead to find the Medics. They were 3/4 mile away so I upped the pace a bit. My training as a First Responder helped as I informed the medics best I could of the symptoms and location of the runner. Philip Delanty, you are a champion in my eyes for staying with the person in need while I ran ahead.

When I got back from the loop around Ross the person was safely in the care of Medics and was at the Finish line later in fine form again. I actually heard another story later that typifies MCI and Marathon running in general. Paul Comerford came across a fellow runner who was struggling a bit. Paul had just completed a 2 mile loop the other runner was starting. Giving up his own time Paul did the loop again to keep the other runner company and they finished together. Paul, you are a champion too.

Another champion is Mary Mockett who keeps taking the most wonderful pictures making my blog even more appealing to read! Thanks Mary!

More champions came in the form of Jerry Forde, Team Noah & Team Murphy! Well done all. Congrats to the winners of the Full (don't know who won the Half sorry): Dolores Duffy and Alex O'Shea. 2 wonderful athletes part of a group of 400 wonderful athletes who took part. Also congrats to Michael McEnery on receiving his Marathon Club Ireland 25th Marathon medal from his neighbour Cathy Quilter.

Michael McEnery getting his 25th medal from Cathy Quilter.
Having ran naked I can't tell you as yet what time I ran. Nor does it matter. I had a great time. The course was littered with stunning vista's and plentiful with great people. It was an absolute joy running this and all going well I will be back for this. This was number 43 for me in total and number 10 this year.

And I'll continue my naked running in 3 weeks time at the Cork City Marathon on Monday June 6th. Followers of this blog might know I'm a big fan of Cork as a City and it's Marathon is a must on my calendar.

Have a great day and as always it's miles with smiles,

Patte xxxxx