A year ago today I was in my spiritual home of Cork City, strolling out along the Lee estuary at Monkstown and generally relaxing ahead of the Cork Marathon on the Monday.  Today I’m virtually an ex-runner.  There does come a time for most people of course when they fade away off the running scene – this must be especially true for those of us who weren’t really runners in the first place.  It’s only recently I realised that good, older runners like Sam O’Hare and Richard Sowerby no longer feature in races.  The legend that is Barbara Parker hasn’t raced for a year or two now, but I suspect that is more a question of cumulative injuries rather than age.

The only running I’ve done this week is to take my present small Couch to 5k group out on Tuesday and Thursday; and this morning about an hour of gentle jogging with occasional strides down at the almost-deserted track.  At least there’s an excuse for an empty track with both men and women ‘playing away’ in the British League this weekend.  The men have to schlepp up to Glasgow via Edinburgh, but the women have a comparatively easy hop over to Kingston upon Thames.  Both squads are short due to exam commitments, but it’s nice to see Kathryn Rothwell named.  Kath hasn’t been training since Christmas but hopefully she’ll come back again at some stage.

In the clubhouse Michele Leerson was going through the old boxes of medals to see what could be salvaged for the forthcoming club championships; she and one or two others are determined to bring this day back to the excellent event it once was before people lost interest.  Also I’m delighted that there are plans for Spartans to have a desk at various forthcoming schools meetings with information, leaflets etc.  The schools are a natural hunting ground for young members and we’ve been ignoring them even though they’re on our doorstep.  No other sport would miss these opportunities.  There is only a small window in the summer term that the schools do track & field and the youngsters are enthused.  We need to capture that enthusiasm.  It’s the sort of initiative that gives me a little hope for the future.

Sadly a mooted trip by Crusaders to the club championships hasn’t materialised this year, but perhaps next.