Its funny how much of a difference the weather makes when recalling a race. Last year in Quilty it rained, it was cold and windy. I usually don't mind the weather, the worst part is hanging around at the start line but this year, the clouds parted and blue skies graced the small coastal village of Quilty as over 500 of us rocked up for the 2nd race in the Run Clare series - The Michael Egan Memorial 5 Miler.
Quilty, Sunday Morning
Myself and Sinead checked in at the local pub (if you take part in all four races in the series you'll get a fine piece of silver wear I can't wait to get my hands on!) before making our way to the start line area. Again, as I'd taken part last year, I knew the route - it followed a square pattern through the village, out along the coast and back around to the start. So we gathered at the start line half way up a hill and waited for the whistle...
Myself and Sinead at the Start Line
Waiting for the GO!
My aim was to run it faster than Gort a few weeks ago (38:13) so I was watching my pace as I made my way around the course. I stayed just under 4:30/km for the first half of the race but I hadn't accounted the fact the second half of the course is on an uphill gradient. The weather conditions were perfect, the water stop at 5km had paper cups (pet peeve), a man tried to have a conversation with me around 6km but I was having none of it... that being said, I was still ready for my photo-op when I saw the camera man :)
Thumbs up from me (Pic by John O'Neill - Facebook)
At the 7km mark I was confident I could break 38:13 but I just had that last hill before the 250m downhill to the finish line. I powered up the hill and down the other side, crossing the finish line just before 38:00. I sat on the wall with my bottle of water happy out watching the others power across the finish line. Fab run, super conditions and a great spread in the pub afterwards where I finally got the coffee I'd be thinking about throughout the run.
Race 3 awaits - The Eamon Moloney 10K, which takes place in just three weeks time (Saturday 25th March) in Ennis. Before that though, I'm going back to Kinvara this weekend, back to where it all began - The Rock & Road 10K.