Wednesday night was the last race in the Exclusive Run 5K Series. The final race was in the beautiful surrounds of Bunratty in Co Clare. The race start time was once again 7.30 so I left work at 6pm and managed to get to Bunratty for 6.45. For once the traffic in Adare was fairly good! Orla met me in the car park and we began our usual routine of checking in, going to the toilet and warming up.
The evening itself was ideal. It was cooler than it had been but yet still warm and the humidity seemed to have disappeared, although not completely. These, for me, were ideal running conditions. This race attracted the biggest crowd of all 3 races. I think that is because Bunratty is so easily accessible from the motorway and it was a nice evening weather wise.
(Our View From The Start Line)
We started just outside the car park of the Bunratty Castle Folk Park, at the Durty Nelly's end. We then ran down past the Folk Park entrance and turned left into the Folk Park. For the next 1K we ran in a ring around the Folk Park, eventually coming back out the same gate and turning left. We ran straight up this road for another 2 km where we then turned around and ran back to the finish.
The finish line was just across from the start line except we had to take a sharp left in order to run through the line. The organisers unfortunately had to change the route during the day and had not planned on having such a sharp turn at the finish.
I had ran my local 4 mile road race in Dromcollogher 2 days before and if I'm honest my legs were a little tired. I felt it during my warm up but I felt like I needed to give the 5K my best shot, and that’s what I did.
Orla and I set out as usual, saying goodbye and good luck at the start line. She usually finishes 5 mins ahead of me so I would only be holding her up if I were to try to keep up with her! I'm generally happier running by myself with my headphones in. I often see people out running having full conversations. I am not that fit yet and find it really difficult to keep talking. My breathing goes all funny and I sound like I am about to fall down so I just find it easier to keep to myself and my headphones.
I found the race itself went well although I really didn’t think that I would beat my time from Craggaunowen but I ran another PB so I am extremely delighted. I ran the 5K in 31 mins 44 sec. Somehow I managed to shave a full minute off my time. Its such a great feeling knowing that I am starting to make progress with my running.
(Orla & I with event organisers Lorraine & Jason)
The race went well however I think the hardest part was possibly the first kilometre, running through the Folk Park. The ground was uneven in places so it's not ideal for running, even though the surrounds were beautiful. My ankles went twice, which doesn't normally happen to me, so I was glad to see the smooth even surface of the road for the other 4km. I don't want to take away from the race and the organisation that went into it because it really was another great road race.
Unfortunately the route had to be altered that morning so I think the organisers did a fantastic job to still manage to produce a great race. Regardless of all this spirits were high among participants and spectators!
Orla and I don't normally stay for the prize giving a but we did on Wednesday night. As much as I'd love for our names to be called out to receive a prize, they weren't but that's something for us both to aim for! Well done to all of the winners, event organisers and participants and thank you to the spectators for your support and encouragement, and to the many photographers for catching some great memories and moments!
Whats Up Next
Run Killarney is coming up on the 18th of July. Orla and I had decided to run the half marathon but we have since changed our minds and decided to run the 10K instead. We both just felt that our training wasn’t where it needed to be to run another half marathon. I'm happy to running the 10k and I'm hoping to improve my time. I'd love to run it in under 1:05:00 so that is what I am going to aim for!
Also just to let you all know registration has now opened for the Run Clare 2016, sign up fast because demand has already been huge! For more information and to register click here.
(Images thanks to Martin Molloy Photography and JDJ Photography)
Until the next time, always remember to be:
Dee-Termined To Glam & Glow