Maree 8km Race Report (15th February 2009) by Miriam Wall

I never knew when I joined Athenry AC that I needed to be a sports writer as well as everything else. (So be warned if you are thinking of joining up).

With near perfect running conditions the Maree 8km race took place. A nice cool day with a little wind. No rain too, which is always a bonus in Galway!

I arrived to register in plenty of time, relaxed in the car for a while drinking water and snoozing. The race was my first since the Galway Bay 10 miler in early-October 2008. I am in the middle of marathon training (my first) so this race would be a good indication of how my training is progressing. As races go, my focus is on the big one, Paris, so I was probably more relaxed prior to this race than usual.

After a 15 to 20 minute warm-up I went to the start line. Looking very smart (if I may say so myself) in my brand new Athenry AC top!!

Now I am one of the gang! And we were offโ€ฆ

Pacing wise, I *ALWAYS* start out too fast. So with the help of my new marathon training toy (my Garmin) I set out to do 4.30 min/km. I have been trying to do a 35:00 8km (did 36:09 sec in The Streets last year).

The first km was downhill so was nice and fast. Then I settled in to my 4.30 pace. There was a bit of a head wind on the way out. It was a bit of work maintaining pace while running up and down those hills, which James described so well in his report. I could see the leaders ahead and not too many people were passing me.

Coming toward the 5km marker and the leaders were on their way home. Then, as expected, Ann Carter passed on the way back in and then a second girl. It was at this point that I realised that I was the third girl...never in my wildest dreams did I expect this. I turned around the cone and started the return journey (17:44). The fourth lady was not too far behind and I was still wondering if Valerie was going to surprise me. So now the race had changed completely for me...I had a chance for glory! Be it in Oranmore and not the Olympics...who cares!

So on I plodded trying to hold pace and waiting for the attack. At 6km my rival caught up with me and she was tall with long legs...HELP! So the battle began. I managed to keep ahead of her for the next one and half km. Each uphill I was stronger getting to the top first only to be passed on the downhill and me regaining position on the flat. So while James hated the hills I knew I would not be in the running, literally, without them.

With about half a km to go she got ahead of me. I let her go a little ahead so she could not hear my panting. She was always one step ahead of me as could hear me. I knew the race finished on a hill...could I counter-attack? When she reached the bottom of the last hill I sprinted for all I was worth and flew up that hill passing her and one or two guys. While her number was being called out for 3rd lady home I crossed the finish line first...happy first non-age group prize. As they say "It ain't over 'til the fat lady sings"...and she is still singing!

I finished up with a time of 35min 22 sec (a PB by 47sec). So I can only agree with everything James said about me in his report! I also should thank all the faster runners out there who did not run last Sunday! Like I said "Every dog has its day".

Iain Shaw

15 years 4 months ago


Great report, great race. Look forward to many more of both.


Jane Campbell

15 years 4 months ago

Well done Miriam. I'd love to know who the mystery lady runner was as I was down as coming fourth but I saw the two of you battling for 3rd and was well back from you!!??


15 years 4 months ago

In reply to by Jane Campbell

I spoke to her afterwards but cannot remember her first name. Her surname is keaneally. She is not a member of any club so myself and Valerie were trying to recruit her to athenry AC. She said her friend is in GCH.

Mick Rice

15 years 3 months ago

What a great write-up on the race. Congratulations on running so well and also on a very well deserved podium placing - the first of many I'm sure. Good luck with the rest of your training up to Paris,