By Sinéad Foran

Kinvara was buzzing from early morning, I had picked up my number the evening before so, that pressure off, I met up with Deirdre [Hassett] and Sinéad eile for a cuppa and a pre-race chat. Everyone was so relieved to see sunshine and nice conditions – given the nasty predictions during the week (rain, cold, wind and even hail!)

I hadn’t raced a half marathon in earnest before and was a little apprehensive. Start time approaching, we readied ourselves and re-convened at the muster area. Noel Fox and I had planned to start out together and try and hold a steady pace for the first couple of miles — Noel ran 1.35 last year — and, with Jane-Ann’s speed sessions under our belts, I figured it was within grasp again this year. However — sometimes the best laid plans go to waste — I panicked, broke away and went out too fast (nothing new there!). A lap of the town and some uphill to start — a bit disconcerting — but with that out of the way, settled into what felt like a comfortable enough pace.  Around the 3-mile mark a guy fell into my slipstream who’s target was 1.31 so I had a fair idea I was going too fast. The sun was shining and conditions windy enough but I still felt comfortable and didn’t slack the pace (that would have been sensible!).

I hit the 6-mile mark at 42 mins 40 on my Garmin — way too fast but I was finding it difficult to get the right pace — and I knew I’d run out of steam if I didn’t.  John Langan appeared beside me looking very comfortable and we caught up with Thomas Ruane at mile 7. Noel Fox then caught up and we all ran together for a while — there was some craic and funny exchanges on that long stretch of road across the Burren: miles 7, 8, and 9 just right when distraction was needed most! We were ahead of schedule and doing well even though there was a serious headwind to contend with.

So Noel set the pace from there — we broke away and he tracked the way, the tough hills, dips and dales throwing some humour at our darkest parts — telling the stewards at one stage that he reckoned they’d forgotten to put in the flat bits!  Mile 10, only 5K to go and good advice from Noel  “put the head down and concentrate on winning this now”. There were similar words of support from others and so, seeing we were still well ahead of schedule — that’s what I did — but I was paced brilliantly.

Mile 11 and finding it tough, not enough 13-mile training! Mile 12 and Noel’s wife Claire had made it out on time to supply more encouragement and good wishes. Finish line in sight and 1.33 something on the clock, didn’t matter, we could sub 1.34 if we gave it a bit of welly — so that’s what happened — over the line and very happy.  

So, Kinvara was a success — good conditions, great scenery, great after race teas, coffees and buns and great club spirit – all in one place!


12 years 2 months ago

Congrats Sinead on a great win, im sure theres another target in sight :)