Don't Run Too Fast!

Boats In Harbour

Well, we love 'em, our spouses, don't we, but what do you say when you are training for a marathon and you hear "Don't run too fast"! ...

I had planned to make a bid for a goodish time in Dublin this year for my first marathon but a bad chest infection in early Summer meant that I couldn't train so the time schedule fell back a little and I scoured the Internet looking for the very last European marathons for the calendar year 2005. Fortuitously, RyanAir opened a new flight to Nantes in southern Brittany and just bit further south on the coast, I saw that La Rochelle was planning one for Sunday Nov 27th, so that had to be the one. It gave me the bare 18 weeks that many consider the minimum training time needed. Dublin was four weeks earlier so I could run a slowish one there to prove to myself that I could run the distance.

Failte Ireland Connemara Marathon Places On Offer

Connemarathon Start 2002

Ray O'Connor, Race Director of the hugely successful Failte Ireland Connemara Marathon races (, has decided to award a small number of complimentary entries to the 2006 running of his events to successful runners in this year's Proactive Fields of Athenry 10K road race.

Complimentary entries will be made available to the first man and woman past the post on St.Stephen's Day in Athenry and also to the first man and woman past the post who can claim to have participated in all previous Fields of Athenry 10k races. According to our records the select band of runners who can claim to have taken part in all three previous versions of the race to date are as follows;

Connemarathon 2006 Entries Surge Ahead

Entries for next year's Failte Ireland Connemara Marathon Races are well ahead of last years numbers even at this early stage in the build up to the races.

Paul McNamara Takes The Lead
Paul McNamara Takes The Lead

Race director Ray O'Connor said today, "We've been blown away with the level of interest from all over the world. We have triple the number of entries on hand than we did at this point last year." The Connemara Marathon, Half-Marathon and Ultra Marathon have rapidly become 'must-do' events for many runners, both from Ireland and further afield. Ray and his race team recently exhibited the race at the 'expos' which preceded both the Dublin and New York City Marathons. "The atmosphere around the stand in both venues was electric", said Ray O'Connor. "We were showing some video footage of last years race and it just seemed to rekindle all the enthusiasm people have for running in Connemara."

Gary Thornton Takes Hollymount Title (Updated!!)

GCH Runner Gary Thornton won yesterday's Hollymount 10k International Road Race in fine style relegating many people's pre-race favourite Noel Berkely into third place in the process. This historic race celebrated it's fortieth running yesterday and the field for the senior men's race enjoyed almost perfect running conditions on the day. The scenic route for this fine event takes runners on several loops around the surrounding countryside and when all the 'looping' was done Gary found himself in the lead crossing the line. All in all it was a great day for GCH as Gary's clubmate Gerry Ryan was victorious on the roads of Clare in the St.Cronan's four mile road race.

Ray O'Connor - A Year of Six Marathons

You know, I haven't really written a proper race report in ages, and I'm not sure if this rambling will end up to be a long or short account of my latest marathon adventures, but here goes anyway. I'll keep this as short as possible. (I'm typing this after writing the full report to apologise for the length)

A look back first to fill you in on the background here.
I started running in April 2000 after giving up 30-40 fags a day and a stressful life. First marathon in November that year - New York in 5 hours 15 minutes! I've done a few since and the intention at the start of this year was to finally have a shot at a 3:30 having posted a PB of

Ray & John O'Connor Run New York Marathon

Our esteemed comrades Ray and Johnny O'Connor completed yesterday's ING New York City Marathon in fine style. Johnny lined up for this race with perhaps his best ever months of training behind him, while Ray had only run the Dublin City Marathon six day's previously.

As it turned out both Athenry runners made it home in highly respectable times. Johnny struck out initially at a cracking pace passing the 10K point in under 45 minutes. He maintained this pace past the halfway mark, which he saw with only 1:36:07 on the clock. Although the 'wheels' didn't come off in the second half of Johnny's race they must have run a bit short on oil as it took a slightly slower 2:01 for him to cover the second half of the famous New York Course. He finished with a highly commendable time of 3:37:58.

New Sponsor For The Connemara Marathon

From the Galway Independent

New sponsor for Connemara Marathon 2006

This year’s Connemara International Marathon has a new title sponsor ”“ Fáilte Ireland.

Welcoming the new sponsor, Race Director Ray O’Connor said: “I would see this sponsorship as a natural fit with Fáilte Ireland’s strategy to attract more visitors to Ireland. This marathon is already attracting participants from the US, Australia and many of Fáilte Ireland’s key markets in Europe.”

This year’s marathon will be held on 26 March in the heart of Connemara. The website where further details can be found is:

Alan Burke's Dublin Marathon 2005 Report

It was raining. Heavily. It was cold and the wind was blowing.

Marathon day had arrived. I had the training done, logged the miles, bought the runners, wore a revealing running singlet. I was ready.

Its 8 am on a Bank holiday Monday morning and I'm standing outside Tescos on Baggot street questioning my sanity. This wasn't, despite Peter Delmer's protestations, 'ideal marathon weather'.

Now, I had done some training runs in abject conditions, weather you wouldn't put a dog out in, most notably in Connemara, always thinking, 'marathon day could be like this. you may as well be ready just in case'.


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