I was actually entered to run the Fields of Athenry 10k today but (a) I was not in Galway and (b) that excellent race was postponed anyway due to the wintry conditions still prevalent in the Republic. Instead I rolled up for what I think was my first ever Boxing Day run with the club. My preference has always been to do a long run on Christmas Day but this time I didn’t set foot outside the apartment on the 25th.
There was a nice turnout at the FB Fields with a fair sprinkling of Santa hats, elves, pirates etc. This run is billed as a ‘run’ not a ‘race’ but that didn’t stop Danny Halksworth from speeding off through the car park as if he had the Devil on his back. Back down the field it was pretty obvious that no one was going to bust a gut even though race numbers were worn and the run was being timed. I settled in for a while behind two elves before edging ahead of them as we set out westward on the Coast Road towards La Rocque.
A totally gorgeous day for running – crisp and still with hardly a cloud in the sky. I came across Debbie Donaldson and we had a little chat – her talented children are lost to swimming at the present time. We closed the gap to Judith Russell, Ellen Barr and Victor Gonsalves and, by and large, we sort of maintained that group all the way. Which is fairly unusual for me. I generally choose not to run in groups. I do 100% of my training alone and in races I can’t be doing with running alongside people; I either let them go on or press the gas a little myself. This is of course all to my detriment as (a) I’d be a better runner with the benefit of group training and (b) I miss out on being with some genuinely nice people. These few that I ran with today are a good example of all that is good about the sport of running.
Although not racing we weren’t dawdling about either. Running solo it’s not easy to keep to a nice tempo, and so today was a more than useful training run. The course turns left at what is still known as the Post Office at La Rocque, though few can now remember it operating as such. Through the quiet lanes behind there and onto the Inner Road for a couple of miles back to the FB Fields.
In keeping with the season of goodwill our group crossed the line together in 54.26, the most pleasant of ways to spend an hour or so. I hope some of the runners noticed the dedication of Zane and Shadine Duquemin training in the shot circle – I wouldn’t put it past them to have trained yesterday as well.
Miles on the week – 17.8
Miles ytd – 1,331.5