Last time I was on here I'd planned on running the county novice cross country until a characteristic change of mind got me to the start line of Cork to Cobh instead. I'd had a few nice weeks training with the marathon crew on Saturday mornings coupled with regular wednesday night or 'Sergi sessions' on the track that had got me in reasonable shape if a little short on mileage to think I could run good for the fifteen miles to Cobh. In any case the road scene was going to be quiet for me after this so destination Cork. One of the oldest races on the Munster scene, theres a good atmosphere here and it's one of few point to point races on the calendar.
A strong headwind sorted the race out into a few front runners, a few groups of evenly matched runners and a few misfortunates that got stuck between groups in no mans land. Myself and Don got cosy in the 2nd group running steady 6.20 miles into the headwind. It might have been on the easy side of comfortable at times but I'm confident I wouldn't have lasted too long if I tried to leave them into that wind and would have found myself out the back soon after.
This is my third time running here and the entrance to Fota island and crossing Belvelly bridge seems to be the place to push on if you have the legs. Its a bit more sheltered along most of this section and if your feeling strong there are a few hills to test yourself and those around you. I ended up with some lad from Clonmel who had a bit of an edge on me and made sure I got a good workout all the way to Cobh. A lot of those running here use it as a testing ground for Dublin marathon and anyone hoping to do well in Dublin should be running strong here too, they're easy to spot as they have the legs to finish strong all the way to the line.
I had sore legs for the week after and wound it down in an effort to be fresh for this Sundays County Intermediate cross country. I'd seen the video of the novice race and I decided if I wasn't fresh it could turn into a slog. I have yet to run cross country but its an itch thats been there for a while, long before I started running. Thing about running with Grange Fermoy AC is there's a bit of a daunting history and there's something in the back of your mind that makes you feel you can't let the side down so I'v been doing some thinking about it and it seems theres nothing for it only to toughen up. John Hartnett ran for Grange AC, went to America and did some damage while he was there. Maybe its just the passage of time but there is something fascinating about these guys and that generation. Tough as nails, not a whole lot of technology behind them, none actually - Run lots of miles and run them hard - take it or leave it.
Two Corkmen doing damage back in the day. John Hartnett (435) is a local legend around here and Donie Walsh (447) is the same in Cork.
So finally I'm going to have a go. Fully aware of whats involved but ready for a go. Easy week planned out - bit of a session Wednesday to keep a bit of sharpness and tick over 'till Sunday. Simple.
A sickening snap, a fibrous tear, vividly audible even now - did I really do that? I knew that Kerb was there? How do you turn back time again? just five minutes. Think, think, think hard, its a distraction from the pain.
|For Sale :-(|
Nice article here from John Walshe on the years before I got there.