Siobhan Guinan has submitted a report on her part in the recent Galway Bay Half Marathon where she was a member of the successful womens team on the day.


What started out as a week I was not looking forward to training wise actually turned out to be quite eventful.

After our speed session on Tuesday evening I was approached by Jane Ann wondering if I was taking part in the Galway Bay Half Marathon and did I want to be part of their team, Jane-Ann, Ruthann and Sinead.  I was a bit unsure as I would not be anywhere near the speed of these girls but I guess they would not have asked if they didn’t think I could do it.  I decided I would do it as it would be great to be part of a team and by the looks of it, possibly a winning team.

The rest of the week went by quickly enough but by Friday I was a bit nervous.  I am training for the Dublin marathon so I have the mileage done. but I was worried that I might not be quick enough.  I had also taken part in the Athlone half marathon two weeks earlier and came out with a PB – but could I do it again?

We all met at Jury’s at 10.15 on the morning of the race for a warm-up, nice and easy.  It started off a lovely morning, sun was shining but not too warm, there was also no wind whatsoever, perfect running conditions.  We met up with some fellow Athenry AC members and Mairead Blake, especially, gave me a great pep talk (Thanks Mairead).  All of a sudden we were off, I was very cautious not to go out too fast as this is a bad habit of mine. I kept a steady pace around 7:45min/mile & the run out towards Blackrock was perfect with nice inspirational quotes fixed on the street lights to keep you going.  All good until we turned at the back of the caravan park for our route back in and there it was... the wind, so much for perfect running conditions. Along with the breeze the temperature seemed to have increased or maybe this was just me getting warmer and redder!!  The wind seemed to be blowing against us the whole way back and then you have Mutton Island to contend with, definitely my least favourite part of this race.  My pace was very steady, I kept an eye on my watch as I definitely did not want to blow out too early.  Heading out on the second lap of the course, I felt good. It was more or less the same as the first time around with perfect conditions until we turned at the caravan park.  To be honest I started to feel tired once we got back on to the prom but I kept pushing. I was not looking forward to Mutton Island but I got through it. I kept thinking, the girls would be already finished, and as I came out of Mutton Island there was Jane –Ann, pushing me on to the finish. With not a lot left in the tank I was delighted to finish with a PB by about 1 min from the Athlone half the 2 weeks previous and to top it off we were the first team home!

A final note to say thanks to Jane-Ann, Sinead and Ruthann for their encouragement and great performances on the day! :) 

 Edit: Siobhan is being modest here because what she forgot to mention is that the very next day she went out to Loughrea and also took home a bronze medal in the 10km Road Race County Championships in Loughrea.