A few hills and a buzzard

Although Facebook can be blamed for many things, the one thing I love about it is the fact that everyday they do a throwback of memories. The posts from the past 7 years are an eye opener to the point of who was I and look how far I’ve come.

This time 7 years ago I was congratulating my A-level Philosophy students on their results and patting myself on the back for a job well done. This time 4 years ago, I posted about the madness that was having 2 very small babies consuming my life and today, well today I posted about the fact I ran a 10k race last night and had the thought of “oh 3 mile done, only 10 to go” yes mid race I forgot what type of race I was running. Note to self too many long runs lately.

Never in a million years did I think I would ever be a runner. If I was running, you would be pretty sure there was something worth running from, chasing me. Yet here I am in recovery from the 2nd race of the week and preparing for my 3rd race in 1 week on Saturday.

So after saying back in July that I wasn’t going to run another 10k race until after Dublin, I’ve ran 2 this week. Running Blind that you can read about here and last night tackled Rathfriland 10k.

To be honest I can’t tell you now if it was a bad idea or a good one until I run Dambusters Half on Saturday, but I tell you this, it has given me confidence for Saturday I’ve gone from completely shitting myself about it, to just shitting myself!

It was a perfect evening for running. Overcast, not too warm and very still. A local race that was to be a small fundraiser welcomed record numbers to the Milestone and I don’t think anyone was prepared for the vast number of participants for both the 10k and 5k.

I honestly have to say before I go any further I had one huge highlight of the evening that was nothing to do with me, the course, the people or water stations (that where aplenty by the way). My heart beamed with pride and love when I seen Tara and Thomas had brought along Aimee to the race. There is nothing as fantastic as sharing your passion and love of something with your kids. When its your best friend turning up with her daughter, kitted out for her first 5k, I swear I couldn’t cope. A picture perfect moment caught by the photographer. Two very proud parents and a nervous but determined little girl, who I am sure is aspiring to be as fantastic as the two people in the world she looks up to. Thomas was going to do the 5k with her and Tara was taking on the 10k with me. Well she done a 33 minute 5k and boy did she nail the race pose. She has nothing to learn and I’ll put it out there…she’s faster than me! Absolute superstar and a medal well earned. Definitely one to watch that’s for sure.

As I have said, there where record numbers at the race a quite a few of the MAC crew turned up for the race too. The fear of several hills had plagued many of us, including the fact that the fabulous hill we ran down in the first km, we had to run back up at the end, it was like reliving Cookstown all over again.

I settled into the race quite well and didn’t at any point feel that I was struggling. I was in the mind frame that this was hill training for Dambusters and I wasn’t out to bust myself on what was a challenging course. It was well supported as we headed out into the countryside by both marshalls and the locals. My favourite comment from one of the supporting locals was “just freewheel her on down the hill” classic!
By the half way point I was motoring along nicely, I thought to myself, oh yes 3 down 10 to go. No Siobhan it was a 10k not a Half! I did eventually catch on it was a 10k. A mammoth hill at 6k and time lost on it, was soon made up at 7k when the signs highlighting the we were in the Buzzards territory and boy did I pick up pace in fear. Today the eyes of that buzzard stirring at me is still haunting me. As the evening was so still, by 8k I could hear all the people finishing the race with times and names being called out at the finish line.

Nearing the end and knowing I had that hill to do again I did hope I had it in the tank. I just can’t not finish strong. I think its becoming a complex with me now. So as I neared the foot of the hill and spotted the slacker Micéal on the corner (he should have been running but fell asleep- whatever) I got the head up and felt like I was flying up that hill. I even caught up with Geoffery a fellow MAC on the line. I must have been the only person to love that last hill. I felt invincible on it. I finished with a 1.11 which for me is pretty damn good on such a tough course.

As I crossed the line it became apparent that with so many people running, they had ran out of medals. They were quick to take names and numbers and assure us that they would get some ordered up and sent on. Also I didn’t get any ice cream, but oranges and Mars bars done the job rightly and lets face it ice cream was maybe just being greedy.

I have to say I wasn’t too bummed about the running out of medals, no one could have anticipated the crowd last night and the more participants resulted in more money going to Cancer Focus and Pips Newry & Mourne. I guess this is why I don’t mind doing some races. The local races support a whole host of local charities where every little does help.

I was even “treated” to a quick rub down afterwards from Artie Quinn, who is very good at his job and although made me jump in pain a few times was able to give me a few hints and tips to keep the legs on track for the coming race. I will be seeing him again soon as if he can sort me out like that in 5 minutes, I wonder what he can do with 40!

But there is no doubt about it though, last night belonged to Team O’Boyle. From Aimees awesome first 5k performance, to yet again another classic Thomas finishing face, to Taras amazing 52 min 10k. I’m so proud of them. Took their home race and totally made it theirs.






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