Still smiling after the Dingle Marathon three years ago in 2014.
My late father in law once said of someone out running; “Stop him, he’s mad!” So what chance have I got? Well for what it’s worth, I’m still running. I remember someone saying ‘write about what you know,’ and as I’ve been lacing up my runners for over thirty years now, I probably know a thing or two about this physical activity.
It’s a damp Irish Spring morning with the clouds low and the mist soaking everything. So why strip down to shorts in February? Even if I am moving slower these days, at least I’m still moving. Breathing harder and hurting no one but occasionally myself.
Thankfully over the years I’ve only fallen twice, once in the backside of Cratloe woods when some stones, or was it a root, tripped me up, I only suffered a bad bruise then. Running for over an hour can make the body a bit weary at times. More recently I had a close encounter with a footpath, having misjudged the height as I had to jump up quickly while on the move as a car rounded a corner. I only knew I’d cut myself when the bright yellow tee-shirt suddenly gained a few darker blotches and I figured this was going to leave a mark or two. It did, I’d two fine bruises for a week or so on my chin and nose and looked as if I’d been in a fight. On that occasion a car stopped not far away and offered me a lift home, though they were complete strangers I was very grateful as I was actually shaken a bit and I took the lift. I wasn’t too far from home anyway.
With the increase in charity runs from 5k to marathons, there’s usually some poor soul pounding the footpaths or river or canal banks somewhere not too far away. At fifty eight I’m delighted to still be one of them.
Getting out the door always proves to be the hardest part but with a little will power and a total dismissal of what others think of you, it’s all systems go. Gear on including the vaseline in important places, water bottle filled, watch set or smartphone if you decide to bring that along to ‘map the journey,’ sometimes these are better left at home. Fitness and adventure are gained and this doesn’t have to cost a fortune, Aldi and Lidl sell great running gear. The only thing I don’t scrimp on are shoes as they can be the difference between healthy legs and trouble.
I ran my first marathon in 1984 in Dublin. It was fifteen years before I ran another one but I’ve run sixteen since and a few shorter ones along the way. Is it an addiction or just something to enjoy. I enjoy it and highly recommend running, seek advise from those who’ve trodden the roads, join a club or just ask someone out there who runs. There are a few around, mad but still running. Last year thousands ran the three distances of 5k, 10k and good old 42k-that’s the marathon, in Limerick for the Limerick Marathon on the May bank holiday weekend. I’d hoped to run Dublin again last year after a long gap but I left it too late, such is the popularity of the event and it had been capped. So there certainly are others running out there.