I’m a self proclaimed back runner, I run for leisure and not speed. Well I’m sure if I could run faster I definitely would but for now I’m happy in my skin doing the pace I am.
I have had an irrational fear of small races basically because I always check the previous years times to see where I would end up. Most the time I’d end up last. So taking on Shore 10k on Monday night was a mental challange for me to over come more so than a physical one.
There is no doubt I can run 10k, flip I managed a half marathon 3 weeks ago. However it is fighting the fear of small races and coming last kind of puts you off.
Monday marked Day 1 of Marathon training for Dublin Marathon and I decided I should face the fear.
Afterall I’d promised Selena I’d visit her in her new house and it was in a part of the country that I’d never ventured to so was a win win. Michael had a last minute head stagger to do the race and off we went.
It was a lovely summers evening and it looked like they had pulled in a sizable crowd in comparison to last year. Yet when you look around and see the vast array of club colours about you know there was going to be very few “amatures” like myself. But I was there and if it took me for ever, so be it.
As always the support of Murlough pre race was fantastic. Although I was anything from 10 -30 minutes slowere than them everyone wished me well and made me feel no less than them.
The race got underway and within half a km the group of just under 90 participants took off. I’ll be honest by 1k I asked the marshall if there was anyone behind me as I began to see people disappear into the distance. Thankfully he replied there was so my aim was not to let them catch up.
I plodded on and at 3k took a bad cramp.in my leg. I managed to shake it off but feared it had eaten into my time and flow. At that point I ditched the headphones and just ran for the view.
As a back runner its a completely different race. You have the medics follow you the whole race, you have cheers from the marshalls wondering if they can leave their posts and the support around the course sometimes feels like pity. I try to keep up the craic and banter with anyone on the course and this meant even taking the hand out of the police motorbike crew on route.
I don’t think people realise that I don’t require pity. Yes I may be 5 minutes behind the next person but this time last year I wasn’t even running. This time last week I was only coming back to running post op and my first 10k ever took me 1hr28mins so I am improving and know my own abilities.
It was a beautiful run and I suppose if I was focused on actual racing and being fast I’d have missed out on some absolutely stunning views.
By 8k I had the mental block lifted that the end was in sight. I spotted a murlough vest on the horizon coming towards me and it was Sean. He was running back to his wife who must have been behind me. Absolutely delighted someone else comes back for their significant other.
As I came down the last hill onto the main street I spotted Selena in the distance. If there’s one thing I love about being part of the club is the team spirit. Now I’ll be honest I’m not sure what it’s like for the front runners but for me there’s always plenty of love. I had picked up my pace knowing that I’d only to run the length of the street but boy is it a long street.
It went on forever but crowds cheered and Selena kept me in great spirit. Michael joined the entourage at the pub where I arrived to cheers from the tipsy men.
But I was no sooner coming down the street and behind me I heard the sirens of the police motorbike. ..He was getting even probably for my comments around the course. So literally I got a police escort down the road and also caught on camera too.
Seeing the flags of the end in the near distance meant I kicked a bit too soon but still with Selena and Michael at my side I kept on and even registered a km pb for my final km. Wherever that came from.
Crossing the line my legs bagan to give in. Once I stopped they both seized and even hobbling on my toes wasn’t helping.
After the prize giving, I walked up the road with Selena and Joanne…who actually was the first lady home. So the race selfie goes like this… first lady home, middle lady home and me…Nearly last lady home (3rd last to be exact) lol
So I didn’t come last last, just nearly last. I done a good enough time in 1hr 11. I’ve to get myself gathered now for Sea 2 Sky on Friday. 5k climb for a 5k downhill. This should be fun