All is quiet on this race so far but I'm not shy at being first past the post to get a race report out.

Training for this consisted of three weeks solid training. Probably upwards of fifty miles per week all on hills and tough ones at that. This was part of my build up to Longford at the end of the month where I'm hoping for another sub 4:00 marathon. I knew I was fitter than I have been and because of the Galway Races I had one week of 'rest' which gave me a chance to recover and then to get one more easy week in. It seemed ideal and I was confident of breaking 1:40 and was happy to tell anyone who'd listen that my half-marathon PB going into this was 1:46.

This race is fab. Great atmosphere all round - at registration, on the bus to the start at Louisburg, during the warm up and through the speech which was light hearted and funny at times. There was a head wind which threatened to slow us up and in hindsight the first cracking quote of the day was from Mick Rice 'there won't be any fast times today lads'.

I was looking for a pacer to take me out around 7:30's but Seb was hoping for 1:55 and Mark Flannery was talking 1:50 so I was pretty much on my own, or so I thought. Seb and Mark both started with me and we went through the first mile together. Mark had the time, 7:05 and Seb said his goodbyes. We settled nicely with splits, from memory, of 7:05, 7:10, 7:15 and then I stopped asking. The wind was definitely a factor but I was handling this pace just fine and was nicely relaxed at mile six. Mark was hanging on in nicely so I suggested he get in behind me for a breather. He did and relaxed through mile seven and eight. He obviously felt he had to share the workload and moved ahead of me for a bit and then dropped off the pace. So now I was on my own, not knowing what my time was and just focusing on two runners about 100 yards ahead. I was gaining slowly but kept what I thought was a steady rhythm. When I finally caught them I asked had we passed the bloody 12 mile mark yet, needless to say I was delighted to hear it was about 1/2 a mile back! Head down and onto the finish. I was hoping to hear 1:39, and was absolutely stunned when found out I had actually crossed the line in 1:32:22.

Mark had a fantastic run too and came in just two minutes later in 1:34. Seb did well to considering his injury woes - 1:47 (I think). And the we got the great news that Mick won in 1:16 odd and Peter came 5th in 1:20 ish.

So Mick doesn't know what he's talking about - wind my a*rse!

The funniest quote of the day, for me anyway, was when Peter saw me coming over the line -

'Ray, what are you doing here? You shouldn't be here yet!' Excellent.

Our 'Time Calculator', using the formula T2 = T1 x (D2/D1)^1.06, predicts that you should be able to run the marathon in 3:12:34.