The 2015 Rock & Road took place yesterday, and myself and 25 others from work lined up at the start line ready to show Kinvara what we were made of. The Kinvara Rock & Road will always be special for me - it's right back to the beginning. Two years ago I lined up at the start line and ran my first ever 10K. Last year I ran the Half Marathon but this year I was back for some 10K action.
Ready for the Start
It was overcast and windy but that didn't dampen the atmosphere around the Quays in Kinvara as 800+ gathered in the starting area. For some reason, I keep forgetting to place myself appropriately before the start, so both myself and Aisling started near the back. It made the first km more difficult overtaking groups of people walking or running in groups.
By 2km, I had found my stride and caught up with Caitriona (from work). This year we all had nice luminous green t-shirts from work so it was really easy to spot a fellow co-worked from the distance. Myself and Caitriona ran side by side talking until the half way point when she told me to go on. (If running was war, I'd be useless!).
The wind persisted for the first half of the race but it was fine. Running down the wet muddy side roads felt good. My legs (and niggly hip) felt great and I continued to clock 5 minute km's so I was happy. I'm taking it easy in anticipation for the Marathon next weekend so I was happy with my time and efforts.
I knew the dreaded hill was coming around 7km and when I hit it, I was surprised with how fine it actually was - third year in a row running up that hill near the end of a race (its on the half marathon route too) reminded of that quote: It never gets easier, you just get better at it. I powered on and before I knew it, I was turning back on to the main Kinvara road at 9km. I ran happy, ran strong towards the quays and the finish line thinking back to the two previous times I crossed the finish line.
In 2013, my mother, grandmother friends and other half were waiting at the finish line to surprise me as it was my first ever run - and they were there when I crossed my very first finish line. In 2014 I ran the Half Marathon course in just over 1hr 40 and so this year as I ran towards the finish line I thought about the other lines I've crossed over the past two years and how the next finish line I hope to cross will be after running 26.2 miles in Tralee next Sunday.
2013 Rock & Road
2014 Rock & Road
2015 Rock & Road
I crossed the finish line in under 50 minutes (49:26) delighted with myself. The Kinvara Rock & Road will always be my favourite race. They say you never forget your first time... I know I haven't!
Another medal for my collection
Red Faced and Green Tee'd - Post Run Work Gang