It was a sea of saffron in my hometown of Newmarket-on-Fergus Co Clare on Saturday for the annual Pakie Ryan Memorial Event. It was my first ever 10K and it didn't exactly go according to plan for me!
The event consisted of:
30k family cycle
The event itself is in it's 5th year and has grown and grown ever since. The event was organised by the local GAA and Soccer clubs in conjunction with The Ryan Family and friends in remembrance of local man Pakie Ryan who unfortunately passed away from cancer in 2009. To date the event has raised over €180,000 and 12 different charities have benefited from it.
Pakie himself was heavily involved in the local sports clubs so what better way to mark his life and memory! It's amazing to see the sense of community at the event and to see the numbers of people out walking and running in preparation. It's an event that has really captured the community spirit within the village.
My First Ever 10K
My sister, her friend Caroline and I ran the 10k, while my mother and my little man Colin, walked the 5k. My parents house is 1 mile from the start line so we walked in and used this as our warm up! When we arrived up to the start line, at the soccer field, the atmosphere was unbelievable! Mr Motivator, Richie Clifford, was conducting a warm up and really created a buzz among the crowd. The DJ had tunes pumping and everyone was in fantastic spirits, ahead of the start. The weather was glorious, you could not have wished for bluer skies!
For me the nerves set in the week prior! I went up home the previous Saturday for a family lunch and the committee members were out marking the roads and that was enough to set my stomach into knots! I felt sick beforehand, the same way that I would feel before an exam! I think the reason that I was so nervous was knowing that I had a sore foot over the past few weeks put a halt to full training. I also knew the route quite well and so I felt sick at the thought of having to run up 2 hills within the course. The first hill was at the 1.5km mark and the second was at the 8km mark. I struggled at both!
I'm quite disappointed at my performance. I ran non stop until the 6km mark and then I was doubled over from a horrible stitch. At the 4km marker there was a water station and of course I took a drink. It was a beautiful sunny day so the water was a relief. I found out afterwards that apparently you are not supposed to drink the water rather take it into your mouth and spit out! This may have been a reason for my stitch. I'm no expert so I cant say for definite but I it wasn't from eating to close to the start because I had breakfast 2 1/2 hours before the start.
I walked for 1/2km and started running again but it was so hard to get my rhythm back. Once again after the next water station, at the 7 1/2km marker I walked. I walked up the hill and began running for the last 2km. I wont lie I was so annoyed with myself for walking that I shed a few tears at the 8km marker. I pushed on and started to fade again towards the end but knowing that I was almost there, kept me going.
When I reached the top of the village the stewards and supporters started to cheer me on and that gave me such a lift! I sprinted the last 100m and it felt great knowing that I was finally finished. My time was 1 hour and 10 mins. For my first ever 10k I'm sure its not the worst but for me I'm just so disappointed that I had to walk. I know I'm very hard on myself but I feel that I have to be. If I allow myself to get too relaxed then I know that I wont reach my goals.
When I finished I was given a lovely medal and there was loads of refreshments waiting for us, in the GAA field. The atmosphere was amazing and again there was a DJ playing which gave everyone a lift. I met up with my mother, sister and Caroline to discuss how we all got on. I couldn't help but cry at my disappointment. My mother gave me a big hug and just said that she was proud of me and my achievements. Even at 32 the reassurance from my mother was so comforting! Once I had calmed down we walked back home, with a trip to the swings, in the playground, for Colin. There was a cool down being carried out in the GAA field but we didn't stay for that as the walk home acted as our cool down.
Bernard Dunne (the boxer) is extremely friendly with The Ryan Family and makes an appearance every year in support of the event. He mingles with the crowd and poses for photos, no questions asked! Of course when I saw him I just had to get a photo (Like a crazy fan!!!!)! He was so lovely and was only delighted to oblige!
Congratulations to the 2409 participants and well done to the committee on organizing a fantastic local event. I can only speak for myself but I will definitely be taking part again next year and who knows maybe I might win the 10k, stranger things have happened!!
ext Saturday I will be taking part in the Eamon Moloney 10k in Ennis so fingers crossed I will do better. I have been reliably informed, by a fellow blogger, that it is a much easier course and is relatively flat. I'm going to aim to shave 5 mins off my time, I know its a big ask but the course seems to be much easier so why not aim high!
(Photos courtesy of: Paul Hayes, John O'Neill and Up The Banner Photography)
Until the next time, always remember to be:
Dee-Termined To Glam & Glow