Running On Plenty

Mon, Aug 27, 2012, 01:00

Race of the week:UNFORTUNATELY, entries are closed now but perhaps the big one of the weekend, the Dingle UltraMarathon and Half Marathon will both provide a big test for all runners.

Those hills are not easy on the legs, but the views are famous and the rewards will be earned by all who finish the races. As a half marathon alternative, on Sunday theres the Run for Rescue in aid of Mayo Mountain Rescue Team.

The route is pretty scenic too, going from Louisburgh to Westport, along the Clew Bay and under Croagh Patrick. And its a great cause. Entry is €40.

Competition winner

WE ASKED for your most embarrassing running story in 200 words or less and they came in faster than a runner being chased by a dog. The winner is Niamh Garvey and she wins a stay in Sligo’s Radisson Blu hotel, and two race entries to the Sligo Half Marathon on September 15th.

For more info on the race:


Ah yes – running. A rich mixture of personal goals, elation and achievement, yet not forgetting an essential sprinkling of challenging encounters of course.

Such encounters have included; the painful memory of pulling over to violently vomit at the 21 mile mark in the Dublin Marathon in front of horrified child spectators, apologising profusely in between attacks.

Or maybe the recurring incident of having to add an extra 200m on to the Sunday morning long run around Howth by having to make an emergency dash through the car park and lobby of a very understanding Sutton hotel to avail of their facilities.

Or possibly when returning home recently on a sunny, Saturday afternoon from a tough but exhilarating training session in the Phoenix Park, to have my natural high a tad crushed by the jibe of “fat arse” being hurled at me by a couple of tracksuit clad locals eating chips. Ah yes. Challenging times alright.

Highs, lows, laughter, tears, PBs, injuries, running buddies, rivals, banter, slaggings, sunburn, frostbite, bodies behaving badly, schizophrenia and goody bags. Right, where are my runners? – Niamh Garvey


It’s September 2011, and I’m in the middle of Noel Carroll’s brutal marathon training programme, preparing for my first Dublin City Marathon. The UK hotel I was staying at had a fully-equipped, though compact, gym with four threadmills in front of a small exercise floor complete with weight benches, exercise balls, etc. The evening was lashing rain and so the gym was packed full. I managed to bag one of the threadmills and start an aggressive hour’s running at 13.7kph.

Half-way through, my iPod nano detached from my shorts, but was held on by the earplugs and not wanting to interrupt my programme in mid-run, I attempted to re-attach the iPod to my shorts. Sweaty fingers lost hold, and the iPod fell onto the threadmill, being promptly whisked away at 13.7kph precisely. My immediate reaction was to turn and look, whence the machine shot me away, at yes you guessed, 13.7kph, bouncing me onto a large exercise ball, ricocheting on my posterior onto the exercise floor.

Amid my erstwhile athletic colleagues’ jeers, I didn’t dare comment so as not to let my English empathisers know it was an Emerald Isle posterior that was hurt, not to mention some Meath pride. – Ken Russell


Many years ago, while jogging to college across the bridge in Galway, which I did as much to save money on bus fares as for matters of fitness, a friend on his motorbike was stopped at lights. He nodded to me as he moved off when the lights changed but he pulled over in a small layby a little bit down the road – as he often did – to give me a lift as I thought. I was glad of it as it was raining and I was a bit late. I hopped on back of bike and told him I was on but he didn’t move. He turned to me and said “Get off the f******g bike, I’m doing my f*****g driving test”.

Standing right beside us was the motor bike tester – clipboard in hand, head shaking side to side ominously as he made some notes.

My friend told me to run ahead and he’d catch up with me, which he did a few minutes later. “Get on,” he said and I asked how he got on. “F******g failed” was his only response. – Gerry Savage

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