{Ed's Note: This is hot off the press; no results available yet but Jane Ann has been reported to have taken a super second place overall in the women's race, and Chairman Maeve has also been reported to have knocked a huge chunk off her half marathon PB - congratulations to both. }

Above picture is courtesy of Peter Mooney - more of his pictures can be seen at the following location on Flickr:

Marie Curran's Half Marathon Report

After a busy weekend, which included a run around the 10k Burger Run thanks to James Corbett and crew and a day at Jog In The Bog to witness Darragh McShane win for the second year it was nice to bring Sunday to a close with the Longford Half Marathon.

Stephen Quinn drove Elaine, Maeve, Deirdre and me to the start in plenty of time for a bit of a chat with the rest of the Athenry gang and a warm up.

We were assembled as a gentleman and a loudspeaker advised us of the race route, I have to admit my brain failed to take in most of the information but I got the general gist... follow the person in front if possible. Jane-Ann and Owen were right, I should have written the instructions down.

I sat out the back of the field and was adamant this was a training run to be done at just over ten minute miles. Frances kept me company as I tried to keep up with her. All was fine until we hit about 2.5 miles, we passed a young man in a hi-vis vest on a roundabout and he said hi to us as we veered left.

Then we hit another roundabout and realised he had not told us to follow the road we were on and we had no marshal to advise if we were now to take the first or second exit off our current roundabout. In typical Irish fashion we ploughed on straight ahead figuring if we didn’t come across the three mile marker in half a mile we were on the wrong road. Thankfully a hundred yards on there were marshals to reassure us.

Our heart rates calmed and we were back in our stride, that was until Frances got a fit of giggles which could not be stopped for some time, but this distracted us to the first water stop, we came upon it as they were packing it into a boot but a lady did have two cups left out for us in case it was needed.

From here we veered right up a nice quiet road. At about 4.5 miles a marshal past us in a car, double checking all was fine as we ran along. By mile 5 I realised I'd gone under ten minute miles so told Frances to run her race and I'd sit happily behind her. She upped the pace to the six mile marker and ran back to meet me as we headed for mile 7. Frances pulled the pace back here, we had two different plans for the day and she had nailed hers!

I hit the main road and used the cars as motivation to keep the pace and then I caught sight of a runner in front of me, she was doing that run fast, walk fast, run fast technique and I had her marked. Mile nine saw me pass her and I found myself on a country road in my own company. There wasn’t a sinner in sight bar some cows, which I had to say hi to… a habit I need to stop…

After a mile and a half, I hit the main road again and was happy as I was running back towards the urban sprawl of Longford. Mile 12 saw me pass a lady and I hoped I hadn’t passed her too soon, keeping the image of her sitting on my shoulder to the end. Liam, Deirdre and Maeve passed me on their cool down as did Elaine and Edel and I moved up a gear to get me home in a time of 2.11.20 adding another medal to the collection.

There was time for a cool down and a change of clothes before heading home. As my fellow passengers know, there was also an unscheduled quick pitstop, who said you grow out of car sickness??? Thankfully the ditch was reached before my party piece took place.

Thanks to the organisers for a lovely race, it was great value for €15, definitely one for the diary next year.