Trio take on Wicklow Mountain 50k Ultra

26mar2016

Wicklow Way Ultra: Three members braved a 50km Ultra on the Wicklow Way on Saturday the 26th of March 2016. The mountainous course entailed a tough run/climb of approximately 32 miles (50km) and a total ascent of 1940m. Well done to all three who completed the challenging course:
33 Grellan McGrath M50 5:18:20…3rd M50
53 Neil Mackay M40 5:39:04
120 Charlie Byrd M50 6:39:43

Results

Advertisements

Club trip to the IAAF World Half-Marathon Championships in Cardiff

Cardiff_26mar2016d

Report by John O’Callaghan

As most of you will know a group of five Eagles traveled over to Cardiff this weekend to participate in the Half marathon world championships. I had never raced abroad never mind getting an opportunity to be a part of a world championship event (not many sports out there give you that). Four of us (Killian, Ronan, Alan and myself) flew to Bristol with Ray travelling separately.

Cardiff2016_a

Killian, ALan, John & Ronan

We flew into Bristol airport where Killian had organised everything. He had a car rented and drove us to the YHA Hostel in Cardiff where he had gotten us a room. All I can say is that the room was very clean when we got there but as the weekend progressed and more warm ups and shuffles and sprints and half marathons were chalked down the running detritus started to mount up! 🙂

Friday was a lovely day. Weather was fine and bright a slight breeze and very little cloud. So nice in fact that we ate outside and enjoyed watching the many athletes passing up the main street. Kevin Seaward trotted passed out for a prerace reconnaissance. Gearoid O’Laoi looked in deep conversation with an Ethiopian athlete. Teams of Spanish, Japanese and African athletes passed us. The enormity of the occasion was beginning to dawn on me.

Back to the YHA we togged out and went for a “20 minute” shuffle. Killian had not scouted out a route here so we chanced it and ended up in what can only be described as industrial wasteland. Bits of car exhausts littered the path and an enormous steel works to our left (turns out to have been the location of an explosion 6 months earlier). 40 minutes later we’re back. Not the most picturesque of rambles, but the job done!

That evening there was much discussion on “Storm Kate” coming in from the south west and due to hit around midday Saturday. A map of the race route was rolled out and we made plans. All agreed that miles 12,13 would be trickiest into the wind, while miles 4 to 11 looked like we had Kate behind us and could make some banked time. I think most people we met had very similar plans.

We woke late on the morning trying to minimise the time we needed to hang around waiting for the start (14:10). We togged out and went for a shuffle to the nearest Boots store to pick up last minute supplies. Back to the YHA and time for some brekkie. As usual I stuck rigidly to my “one slice of toast and as much coffee as will fit” pre race diet. The lads on the other hand looked to have cooked an entire field of oats and were chomping their way thru it, bagels, fruit and whatever else lay close at hand! Sharing the table with us were a few English lads obviously down for the race too. I spotted a few of their race bibs (10 and 11) and calculated we were in the presence of 65 minute race time estimates. Not too shabby!

Kate was well and truly upon us at this time so we donned the provided ponchos and trotted down to the start line. It had started to pour down at this stage but we easily got into our race pen and met up with some Togher AC lads (Eric and Tony). The elites came out with 5mins to go to a huge round of applause. Time to get going!

Cardiff2016_b

The route was superb. Flat out and where there were speed bumps or obstacles there were marshals shouting to make us aware of them. In all a very impressive operation. The first few miles were choc full of athletes. These miles were going south and so we had some wind to contend with but as there were so many people it wasn’t difficult to tuck in and get some cover. The rain had stopped just before the start too so at least we were dry (for now!). My plan had been to run even 6:05’s but with Kate and mile 11,12 straight into that wind my new plan was to run 6:02s, bank some time and spend it later on into the wind.

Just ahead of me was Eric Brown from Togher AC. It looked to me like we were running the same pace and I was making plans for later on…but as we rounded the most southerly point and crossed the bay now heading back north with Kate behind us Eric increased the pace and I said goodbye! The next few miles were fantastic. The crowds out cheering us on, big screens showing Mo just ahead of up the road (!!) and a nice wind at our back. I held my 6:02s not really knowing how I’d react beyond 10 miles, whether the wheels would come off from going out too quick or what.

Cardiff2016_c

We had a few drags to contend with further north as we ran onto a dual carriageway (closed for the event), I knew this area as our YHA was close by and I knew that the lake and the 11 mile marker turning weren’t too far ahead. Head down and keep the pace. Somewhere in mile 9 Kate got sick of pushing me and decided to swing round and let her presence be felt. Wham! I was almost knocked off my feet. The lake was off to my left and I could see that wind was just whipping across it. Now I was starting to fight for my pace. Crossed the 10 mile marker in 60:32. Lost a good chunk of my banked time in the last half mile!

Cardiff2016_d

And then “the deluge” arrived. You wont of seen this on the telly cos it knocked out the Satellite connection with the cameramen. I watched the race afterward and had to laugh at the frozen picture on screen and the scrolling “we apologise for loss of coverage at this time”. A wall of rain best describes it. It zapped you taking all heat out of the body instantly. It happened so fast that the crowd didn’t even disperse, they were as soaked as we were now and opted to stay on shouting encouragement – fantastic!

It stopped as quickly as it started but now I was frozen and acutely aware of every leg muscle screaming. The 11 mile marker passed in a 6:17. And now we turned back south for what we had predicted would be toughest 2 miles back into the wind. It was around this time that a runner from Derry came alongside and we setup our own mini race within a race. Just what I needed a kick in the ass to get things moving again. We duked it out for the next 2 miles running 6:01s to the finish (in fairness to her she got a step ahead of me in the last 400 and I had nothing in reply!).

Crossed the line in 1:20:05. Not far off a 3 minute PB for me. And the cherry on the cake, Mo Farah passing through the finishing area I stuck the hand out and got to shake the mans hand. Class.

Ronan finished less than a minute behind myself another PB chalked down for himself (and a top 5 M50 in a world championship to boot!).
Alan went sub 75 and was most likely already back at the YHA having a shower while Ronan and I were still congratulating each other!
Killian, who the day before was still unsure if the foot would even hold up came home in a very respectable 1:26:38. (and still managed to get back to the YHA before Ronan and myself!)
Ray had another great day of racing and only for a problem with his shoe looked comfortable to drop under the 1:30.

A fantastic event and one I couldn’t recommend highly enough. The organisation was smooth and made the whole thing feel very easy to navigate, not an easy trick to pull off when you have over 12 thousand participants!

Pos Name Cat Cat Pos Club GunTime Chip ChipTime
140 Alan O’Brien MS 81 Eagle AC 01:14:44 01:14:42
246 John O’Callaghan M45 6 Eagle AC 01:20:14 01:20:05
301 Ronan Boland M50 5 Eagle AC 01:21:34 01:21:25
702 Killian O’Connor MS 412 Eagle AC 01:26:48 01:26:38
1263 Raymond Harrington MS 724 Eagle AC 01:33:20 01:32:46

Cardiff2016_e

2016 County Road Novice and Masters Championships

17mar2016aCounty Road Novice and Masters Championships: We had nine representatives at the County Road Championships held in Castlelyons on St. Patrick’s day. Well done to all- Alan O Brien, Ronan Boland, Kevin Geary, James Ryan, Neil Mackay, Charlie Byrd, Joe Murphy, Andrew O Farrell and John Quigley. It was a very successful morning for the club, with a total of nine medals won:
Alan O Brien 3rd Novice and also 3rd O/35.
Ronan Boland 1st O/50.
James Ryan 2nd O/50.
Joe Murphy 2nd O/60.
1st O/50 Team – Eagle AC (Ronan Boland, James Ryan, Charlie Byrd, Joe Murphy).
Eagle were 4th Novice Team.

The unofficial 2016 Barcelona report…by John Dunleavy

A report by John Dunleavy on the 2016 Barcelona Marathon in his own inevitable style

Barcelona Marathon 2016
I remember the night well when I read Tim’s email regarding Barcelona and a trip away to run the marathon and even though I was sober at the time I decided it would be a good idea to run it and so the adventure began.

Many days and nights of training through the wettest Winter on record culminated in me being about 50% ready on March the 13th to run my fourth marathon.

We traveled to Dublin on the 11th and I was collected by Martin and Derek for the drive to the airport. Martin had cleaned his car out especially for the occasion to the extent that we were able to get one of the carry on bags in the boot and I only had to share the back seat with the other two. Despite his previous warnings Derek managed to keep the nerves at bay for the drive and the dozen or so sick bags that were discretely stashed in the car were not required. We arrived in Dublin without incident and got settled in the departure lounge but only after Derek had been swabbed from head to toe by the security police. A few of the messier members of the group decided to have a few pints to relax themselves for the trip but the serious athletes ( and you know who you are) stayed on the coffee and water.

We arrived in Barcelona on schedule and this was where Tim’s excellent organisational skills came in to play. The bus we had booked was nowhere to be seen!! After walking around the airport and several phone calls later we were met under a statue of a horse by a smiling Spaniard holding a piece of cardboard with “McCarthy” written on it. He led us outside and we loaded up our bags and set off. Then just to take the piss out of him for being late Jacek decided to make him turn around and go back to the airport because he had lost his passport. He waited until we were almost back at departures before announcing “it’s ok guys I found it”. We turned around again and headed into the city centre to the apartment Derek, Martin, Glenn and myself were sharing where Tim’s organisational skills came in to play again, there was no one there to meet us!!.

Barcelona_pix_13mar2016d

Mr.Organiser on the left with an apprehensive looking Damian on the right

After another couple of calls the front door was opened by a young lady who seemed a little distressed to see 10 people outside rather than 4. We ventured into the house and nominated Glenn by pushing him forwards to go into the world’s smallest lift with our lady friend and the rest of us would follow after. Once the lift eventually came back down the three of us, and this is where we were very lucky that myself and Martin are possibly a little less that than average in size, managed to squeeze in with our bags for the long trip to the fourth floor. On arrival Glenn had already been relieved of his credit card and instructed on the rules of the house so we settled down and made ourselves at home. We met up a little later for a nice meal washed down with a drink or two to combat the jet lag and then headed for bed. Well at least some of us headed for bed and some decided to check out another few local bars purely for research purposes.

As arranged we met up in the morning to take part in the breakfast run which was to follow the last 4k of the 1992 marathon finishing in the Olympic stadium. We headed off with about 2000 other runners and had a few good laughs along the way all the way to the stadium where Damian was taught a valuable lesson in never assuming you have won when Glenn dipped to beat him at the finish line.

Barcelona_pix_13mar2016h

Breakfast Run

It was also during this run that we discovered Alan’s special way of posing for photographs, drop the hip, swing the shoulder and slide your hand down your thigh then turn your head slightly and smile. From here on known as “the blue steel look”. After another bite to eat and another couple of drinks we headed off to the Nou Camp for the match where Tim’s organisational skills again came to the fore and we realised that on a beautiful sunny day we were sitting in the shaded side of the ground and it was bloody freezing so much so that poor Derek had to go and buy a hoodie to keep warm and Jacek and to keep going to the other side of the ground for a bit of heat from the sun.

Barcelona_pix_13mar2016e

Damian and Mr.Organiser looking for the sun

Despite the cold it was a good way to pass a few hours and everyone picked up a few souvenirs to take home especially Jacek who showed his haggling skills by beating down some poor sod from €5 to €3 for a selfie stick. We headed back to the square to go for yet another bite to eat and a few muscle relaxers before going back to our apartments to settle down for the night.

Glenn was first to bed at around 8pm, there was a vicious rumour circulating in our apartment that someone had been snoring the night before and had kept him awake so he was hoping to get ahead of the game by going to sleep first.(it didn’t work ).

We were all awake early in the morning and copious amounts of porridge and toast were consumed before we all got kitted out in our best club gear to head down for a club photo before the big event. Once the pictures were done we headed off to our different starting areas except for Jacek who decided to check out the toilet facilities in the nearby hotel before hand. The time finally came around and we set off, I was running with Blue Steel and Tim who had reliably informed me that they were going to be running around the 4 hour mark and would see me home safely, me being easily led and gullible believed them.To be fair this plan was working out up to the 30k mark where Blue Steel sauntered off into the sunset and then at 35k Tim followed suit. I kept him in sight for the next 4k but then my brain won the battle with my body and convinced it to stop running. I walked, jogged and even hopped a little to come home in 4.06 and end what was a very enjoyable day out with a fantastic atmosphere around most of the course. As had been arranged I hobbled to a nearby bar where the best part about running a marathon in a sunny place became evident and we sat outside soaking up the sun while doing our best to drink the man dry of Estrella Damm. Once the sun had left our lovely spot we headed back to our apartments for showers and a change of clothes before venturing out for a nice meal and another drink or two. This became a drink or ten and then the drink began to have its effect ( except on lightweight Damien who had already been back to the apartment for a lie down and was in great spirits) and we decided to head for home. Derek then got a call from Marco Polo O Leary who had managed to get lost between the bar and our apartment. So off he had to go into the night to rescue him from the Guardia Civil.

Barcelona_pix_13mar2016f

Marco Polo O’Leary with Derek

Eventually we were all tucked up safe and sound and when I awoke in the morning it was to the sound of Martin and Derek scrubbing the floor in the living room just to be sure that we left the place exactly as we found it 😉
There were a lot of sick and sorry puppies on the bus to the airport but it bought to an end what was an amazing weekend.

Congratulations again to everyone who ran PB’s or completed their first marathon or who just enjoyed the experience (39k of it anyway).

How many will travel next year I wonder.

John Dunleavy

Photos

Barcelona_pix_13mar2016g

L-R…Glenn, Jacek, Damian, report author John Dunleay centre, Mr.Organiser, Blue Steel and Derek.

Race Report on the 2016 Barcelona Marathon…By Glenn Kenneally

Race Report on the 2016 Barcelona Marathon…By Glenn Kenneally

Race Preparation

When the email came around from Tim McCarthy back in October for the opportunity to do a marathon in Barcelona, I jumped at it. I’ve always wanted to do one in a European city, and as it turns out, I couldn’t have picked a better group to travel with. It was the perfect combination of supporting each other and taking the mickey at the same time. This was to be my 5th marathon but unfortunately it was the one I was least prepared for. On the very day I booked my flight and race entry, I picked up an injury at the track in my right abductor.  Seven physio visits later and a lot of missed weeks of training, I tentatively started back training the week of the Dungarvan 10m race after yet another 2 weeks rest. My previous PB was 3.17 in Cork last year and before the injury I had planned on targeting 3.10, but at this stage, having no threshold or speed work done, I had resigned myself to just going to enjoy Barcelona and forgetting about any chance of a PB. The last 5 weeks consisted of slow runs and marathon pace runs, just to nurse myself to the start line. On arrival in Dublin airport, it was clear to see that the guys were taking the Carb loading seriously, albeit in liquid form. We arrived at our apartments in Barcelona, and arranged to meet for the following mornings ‘Breakfast Run’.

Barcelona_pix_13mar2016a

Breakfast Run: Alan Foley’s ‘Blue Steel’ pose became legendary in Barcelona

Breakfast Run

The breakfast run consisted of a 4km run, the day before the marathon, along the final stages of the Olympic marathon route and finishing in the Olympic stadium. There was a great atmosphere at the start area with a crowd of approximately 2,000 runners and a band beating drums. This excitement seemed to get the better of us and we soon found ourselves running a lot faster than planned. The 2nd mile was a 7.30 pace uphill mile which was faster than most of us had planned for the marathon itself. Nobody seemed to want to ease off this pace and we stayed together all the way to the stadium. With about 300m to go on the track, Tim decided to make a break for it followed by Damian and the rest of us in hot pursuit. I went past Tim with about 150m to go with Damian a further 20m ahead. I said to Tim that I was going for it, and set about trying to close the gap on Damian. I knew the only chance I had was if he didn’t realise I was coming up behind him so I kept willing him ‘don’t turn around, don’t turn around’. He must have been picturing himself standing on the Olympic podium with the gold medal around him, because he started to slow down and when he finally did turn around, it worked to my advantage as I was just going past him with only about 20 metres to go. This allowed me to gain the few metres on him I needed and with the two of us dipping on the finish line, I held on for the win- barely. Although we were all a little more tired than we planned to be, I would definitely recommend this run to anyone doing the marathon in the future. It definitely added to what was already turning out to be a great weekend and with Barca to watch later that afternoon at the Nou Camp it was only going to get better.

Barcelona_pix_13mar2016b

Nou Camp: The day before the marathon

The Marathon

On the morning of the marathon I woke around 4am even though I hadn’t planned to get up until 5.45. Having not raced in months, I really had no idea what kind of shape I was in. A few weeks earlier I had run 15 miles at 7.45 pace on a training run and I felt sure I could maintain this pace for the 26.2. It was a little cool on the morning of the race but the sun was shining, so the conditions were perfect. We all met up for the pre-race photo and with the ‘good lucks’ exchanged, we all set off for our respective starting zones. Because I had originally planned to target a time of 3.10, I found myself feeling a bit like an imposter, beside Damian in the sub 3.15 section. We found it amusing to see guys trying to do a warm up by running in really small circles. Just after 8.30 we were off to the sound of Queens ‘Barcelona’ and the sprinkling of confetti.

0 – 5 Miles: 7.50, 7.50, 7.59, 7.35, 7.52

I knew that a lot of the drags came in the first 5 miles of this course so I planned on going out fairly easy on miles 2, 3 & 5 and making back a little time on the easier mile 4. There was much talk leading up to the race about following the blue racing line around the course and for the first few miles I certainly tried. I found however, that at times this blue line was trying to play tricks on us. It rarely took the tightest line around bends and sometimes it disappeared altogether, only to magically appear on another part of the road. As the race went on I decided the blue line was no longer my friend and I gave up on it altogether.

6 – 10 Miles: 7.19, 7.33, 7.33, 7.47, 8.50

On mile 6 a Kamikaze old couple decided it was a good idea to cross the road in the hope that they wouldn’t get bundled over by the thousands of runners. I was able to check my stride just in time to avoid the collision, though I don’t think the runner behind me was quite so appreciative. Mile 10 obviously stands out as the slowest mile, because it was at this point that the bladder demon won the argument going on in my head and I had to stop for some relief. His winning argument was ‘why should I run in discomfort when I’m not chasing a PB anyway?’

11 – 15 Miles: 7.00, 7.42, 7.50, 7.20, 7.30

I knew that mile 11 would be a nett downhill mile so I thought I would try to make up some of the lost time and hence the 7 minute mile. My left Achilles had also started to trouble me a bit at this stage and it stayed sore for the rest of the race but thankfully didn’t get bad enough for me to have to stop. It’s just another old injury that likes to let me know that it’s still there from time to time. During this stage of the race was the first of the two out and back sections. I thought this would be a difficult section, but because I was distracted looking across the road for other club members it seemed to go by rather quickly. The only other runner I managed to see was Damian who was going really well at this point.

16 – 20 Miles: 7.44, 7.47, 7.38, 7.32, 7.38

After miles 16 and 17, I knew that a sub 3.20 was beyond me, but I wanted to finish strongly so I focused on keeping the miles in the 7.30’s which I managed for all, but the hillier mile 23. Another wave to Damian on the 2nd out and back section and we were on the home straight. The support from the crowd along the entire route was incredible and the bands playing, really added to the carnival atmosphere.

21 – 26.5 Miles:  7.36, 7.35, 7.49, 7.21, 7.27, 7.29, 7.01

This was the strongest I had ever felt, coming to the end of a marathon which made me think I had under estimated my target time, but I don’t think I could have improved upon it by 7 minutes in order to get the PB. On the long uphill finish, a runner went past me with a green vest with IRL on the back. I figured I would stick close to my compatriot and use him to pull me up the hill. He duly obliged weaving in and out of the runners who had started to struggle in this finishing section. I later found out he was a Watergrasshill runner in disguise. With about half a mile to go, I had to say goodbye to my new found friend and I decided it was time to push on to the finish, so I picked my pace up to about 7 minute/mile for the last half mile, high fiving the crowd as I went and finishing with a time of 3.23.39 and my first negative split marathon.

Race Post Mortem

Only ever having ran the Cork and Dublin marathons, I don’t have much to compare this marathon to, but I couldn’t recommend it highly enough. The route, the crowd, the organisation and the atmosphere, made it a fantastic experience. A swollen Achilles tendon and a blister on my small toe, big enough to water the garden are the only negative effects. Everyone from the club did really well with Damian Kenneally finishing in 3.13, Michael Forde in 3.16, Martin O’Leary in 3.30, Amy Newman in 3.40, Karen Bevan in 3.53, Derek Costello in 3.54, Alan Foley in 3.57, Tim McCarthy in 3.58, John Dunleavy in 4.06 and Jacek Jabiewicz in 4.11. With six PB’s from the 11 runners it was a definite success and even though Tim’s sub 4 was not a PB, it was a great performance on very little training due to injury. We all owe a huge thank you to Tim for flawlessly organising a fantastic weekend, which was of course rounded off by some celebratory beers.

Barcelona_pix_13mar2016i

On arrival back in Dublin airport, we were greeted by Mundy playing in the baggage hall and several Aer Lingus staff trying to rope us into some dodgy looking dancing for their social media website. As we weren’t in the best physical condition for dancing, we can only be thankful that our exposure on the final video was very brief.

Barcelona_pix_13mar2016c

Richard Piotrowski finishes 3rd in British Masters Cross Country Championships

Richard_Piotrowski_13mar2016

Congratulations to club member Richard Piotrowski who finished 3rd in the M65 category in the British Masters Cross Country Championships. This was held in the city of Bath on Sunday the 13th of March in dry and sunny conditions. Richard’s time for the 6km course was 24m 30s.

In November of 2015, Richard won a Silver medal with the English team at the British & Irish Masters International Cross Country in Dublin.

Results from the 2016 Barcelona Marathon

The annual Barcelona Marathon has become one of the major marathons in Europe and this year it was held on Sunday the 13th of March. Out of the nearly 17,000 runners that took part, there were 192 listed as coming from Ireland.

Barcelona620pix_13mar2016a

Following on from the successful outing last year when 8 members traveled, a total of 11 members made the trip this year. After months of training, there were plenty of personal best times recorded with some doing their very first marathon.

These are the Eagle results….

Damian Kenneally 5871…3:13:43
Michael Forde 6626…3:16:29
Glenn Kenneally 5031…3:23:39
Martin O’Leary 6487…3:30:58
Amy Newman 9162…3:40:07
Karen Bevan 16094…3:53:06
Derek Costello 9005…3:54:30
Alan Foley 4118… 3:57:15
Tim McCarthy 6836…3:58:46
John Dunleavy 14685…4:06:03
Jacek Jabkiewicz 4188…4:11:22

It wasn’t all running of course. Some of the group traveled to the Barcelona V Getafe CF football match on the Saturday (Barcelona 6 : Getafe CF 0) after a light 3km jog that morning.

2017…???

Barcelona620pix_13mar2016b