A week on and still reflecting on a race that had many tales that turned. It was hard for me having run the 24hr, not expecting the race to happen so the planning had changed a bit. Having felt off pace reverted back from the 50k back to the 100k.
Arriving in Dublin on the Friday early evening I managed to meet up with my work colleague John who lived close to the accommodation.
Roll on Saturday morning bright and early to Mondello race track, sadly the ACP competition didn’t include England unfortunately and a decision made by the England Athletics. Regardless we still came out and more importantly I went over to pay my respects on what my coach Norm had built with bringing back both Southern and Northern Ireland back into the competition. Myself, Mark, Andy and Ollie ran the race regardless to help for selection in 2022 for the ACP and was fortunate to have Mark’s coach Marcus to help us and Rob Turner’s (Team Scotland) mates so it was a bonus to have this extra support when we all travelled alone.
It was hard for me as I had to conduct a speech first and struggled with the sadness behind him not being there. After collecting the memorial award on his behalf and Anne it was time to run the race.
The course wasn’t completely flat but easy to navigate, however the weather made it a challenge seeing every season in the 8+hrs from humid muggy weather to full on storm with Thunder/Lightening/Snow and sun it was crazy. Explains why the grass is so lush in Ireland!!
The race was very sociable but on an undulating race circuit and ran the best I could in the conditions and with the last few months of emotional and physical stress. Everyone was really supportive pre, during and post race. I lacked a bit of top end speed but pleased to manage to hold on to 3rd place, despite dropping the pace in the middle section. I finished comfortably in 8:03.46 and so grateful to the support from Ireland, John O Regan and team for the memories they have created for Norman.