Not exactly Roger Bannister, nor were the cameras there, but a milestone of sorts nonetheless. On Christmas morning I ducked just under the fabled 7 min mark in the GOAL Mile at Irishtown – yay for me! In Foster-esque style I saw off the early challenge of a couple of 6-year olds and lapped a lady with a buggy. It was a good morning all in all with about 10 ‘heats’ including a fast one with the Crusaders’ best male runners. A few of our young group had a go too, and no doubt a few quid was raised during the morning.

Then over to the west of Ireland and the Fields of Athenry 10k the following day. A very-well organised run out of town, around the ‘fields’ celebrated in ancient song, and back into town to finish underneath the arch. The organisers claimed a huge and record entry of just under 1,000 though there were inevitably fewer than that at the starting post. I never really got going and contented myself with enjoying the race-day experience, the scenery, and the company of my fellow runners. Still, I finished strong, picking off more than a few scalps in the second three miles and got name-checked as I crossed the line in 55.02 by my reckoning – even slower by gun time of course. (Later – 553rd out of 829 finishers including the walkers – official time 55.30)Nice spread afterwards including homemade scones. I missed the presentation which was to have been made by Paul Hession of Athenry AC. The Hesh was agonisingly one place away from making that historic 200m Olympic final in Beijing.

Right, off for a little road test to see if my legs are recovered enough for the Bandon 5 a bit later.