At 10.30am the 30k and 50k cyclists took off, followed by the 10k runners and 5k walkers at 11am.
The route was exactly the same as last year, starting at the soccer club and finishing at the gaa club.
We ran out the Limerick road before turning left, at the 3km point. Running along a relatively straight road through Ralehine and again turning left, just before the 6k mark. The next 1.5k was relatively flat before heading up a long sharp incline in Ballycar. The last 1.5k was relatively flat before coming back into the village, finishing at the GAA field.
Orla, my mother, Colin and I walked the 1 mile distance from the house towards the start line. We used this as our warm up.
We were lucky enough to see the cyclists set off at 10.30 from Halpins garage. My little man was facinated to see so many cyclists in one place!
My mother took Colin around the 5k route so we said our goodbyes at the start line. The nerves were hitting me in a huge way and I felt it in the pit of my stomach. Standing waiting for the horn to sound I felt a tap on my shoulder. A lovely lady, who is met at a number of races last year, told me how she was following my progress ever since meeting me last year. Honestly it was such a nice thing to hear and made me smile and forget about my nerves!
Orla and I set off and stayed together until the 2k before she took off at her own pace. To be honest I was quietly delighted because I had gotten so used to running on my own, listening to my running playlist, so running with her almost put me under pressure as I felt that I needed to make conversation when I just wanted to concentrate on my breathing. I'm sure Orla too was happy to run at her own pace.
We passed my parents house at the 1 mile mark and I would have loved to have gone in for a cup of tea with my dad and not bother running!! It's just as well that I didn't because dad passed us on the road at the 2.5k mark!
I wasn't too confident going into this race because my training has been so poor this year. I had decided that I wanted to run 5k and anything after that was a bonus.
I passed the first 2 water stations, at the 3.5 and 6k points, feeling good. I had brought gels with me so instead of taking water I had taken the gels and felt great. At the 7.5k point I drank some water and began walking, I probably could have kept going but the hill in Ballycar was just ahead and I knew from last year that it was tough. I was happy with what I had done up to that point so I didn't feel bad walking. Once I reached the top I began running again.
Upon reaching the top of the village the support was evident, with the spectators and stewards cheering us on. As usual I sprinted to the finish and I'm delighted to say that I crossed the finish line with a smile and absence of pride! Last year I was miserable, even crying afterwards! I ran the 10k in 1 hour and 8 minutes and I'm thrilled with that!
This race gave me such a buzz. I thoroughly enjoyed it and felt like doing it all again the following day. It's given me such a lift and I'm filled with confidence. I now feel ready for my next 10k.
I have to say that this event is fantastic. It's clear to see the passion of each and every committee member and volunteer. It's an event that they should be hugely proud of and the fact that it is in its 7th year says it all. I didn't know Pakie Ryan himself but I have no doubt that he would be proud of all that has been achieved in his memory and for such wonderful charities.
What's Up Next
Next up in race 3 of the Run Clare Series, the Eamon Moloney 10K. This was my favourite race from last year. It was my first time ever running a full 10K non stop. The buzz that I felt was amazing and I hope it will be the same again this year!