Run Clare 2016 - Race 4: Sonny Murphy 10 Mile

Sunday was a cold one. Myself and Sinead arrived ahead of time for the last race in the Run Clare series, the Sonny Murphy 10 mile which started (and finished) just outside the village of Kilnaboy. The rain didn't help the cutting wind as we stayed sheltered in the car parked in a field until 5 minutes before the start when myself and Sinead made our way up to the start line - about 400m from the check in hall.

Baltic - making our way to the start line!
(Pic from John O'Neill's Facebook - link)

I ran this last year so knew what the course had in store for us - a nice triangle shaped route with the Burren on one side for the first few kilometers before turning onto the main Gort - Corofin road, running through the village and back around into Kilnaboy. The run started right on cue at 1pm and it really took the first few miles to warm up. Everything was cold as the wind (and rain) blew through us.

I was happy enough keeping up a 5:00/km pace and I felt surprisingly good considering the weekend of indulgence I had just put down. The road rolled gently enough into Corofin (12km) at which point I felt confident I could push to try and beat my previous time (1:19:47). Despite the numeous water stations on the course, I ran with the bottle I had taken at the first stop and never once drank water. I also never fuelled which was probably a mistake in hindsight but I felt strong as I made my way back into Kilnaboy and across the finish line.

Thumbs up as I cross the finish line
(Pic from John O'Neill's Facebook - link)

I finished at 1:19:20 which was almost half a minute PB. I haven't PB'd in so long I didn't know how to contain my excitement! (Disclaimer: This was my second ever 10 miler). My main issue with 10 miles as a race distance is that I'd much rather clock up the extra 5km and do a Half but for the purpose of this race series (Run Clare), it makes a hell of a lot of sense working up through the race distances - 5km, 8km, 10km and lastly 16km.

The Run Clare medal

The Medal (available only to those who had completed all four of the races in the series) is without doubt one of my favourites I've gotten. The race series itself really can't be faulted. For your entry fee (€50 early bird) you get four races along with a souvenir gift at each race. Throw in all the buns, sandwiches and cake after each run you really can't get much better value when it comes to race entry and bang for your €€€.

On a final note about the race series, I also want to give a shout out to the other amazing runners I ran alongside. I've said it before but really, the running community is amazing and seeing friendly faces at the start line, along the way and at the finish line really make it all the more fun! You guys are super and encourage & inspire me to dig deeper, run harder and be better! (Apologies also to Eugene who I never got a pic with).

Myself and Paula who is about to clock up her 25th marathon

With Denise from Dee-Termined to Glam & Glow (FB link here)

Myself & Sinead

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