The Highways and Byways of Craughwell of Sunny Sunday Afternoon in March

Published in Reports on 28th March 2015

Earlier this spring I picked up a nasty flu bug and it put a halt to my gallop for a while, including missing my annual trip down to East Cork for the Ballycotton 10. Last week, feeling a bit better, I ran every day except Saturday, as that day was spent watching rugby on TV, and worth every minute of it too. On Sunday morning I dithered over whether I would go to football, hurling or local horse racing (point-to-point down the boreen from me in Rathmorrissey) but in the end I decided to have a go at the 5th Craughwell 10.

I arrived at the race HQ in plenty of time to enter and while there I met up with Mary Cronin from Limerick. I first met Mary at a veterans' road race in Denmark many years ago. Mary travelled a rather scenic route to get to it and I still recall her unusual choice of eating habits. Well she would, wouldn't she.

Last Sunday she opted for the direct route by travelling via train from Limerick to Craughwell (travel passes are wonderful) and complained to me about the very short walk from the railway station to the marquee. Though later on she had no problem running 10 miles. What a woman!

Anyhow the race got going at 1pm. As I wasn't sure of my capabilities I took it easy early on. After about two miles I figured every runner in the race must have passed me, hence the reason I didn't look back in case I'd see only empty road. There was lots of support along the road and it's nice the get the odd shout, some faces I recognised but 'mea culpa' to all I didn't.

I got to half way in 47 minutes and at that stage the race winner was close to the finish...ah well.

I felt a bit better for the next couple of miles and overtook a few runners and then we turned right into a narrower road with grass in the middle of it. A road less travelled they call it. Then back on to the main road again with about 1.5 miles to go.

You have to admire all the people who waited to cheer us late finishers and and after I finished (95 minutes - remember that last mile is all uphill) I met up with a few friends who didn't run but went along to lend a bit of support. I met Bridget &  Lyall, Betty, James, Andrew and that lovely local man Tom Finnegan who told me he decided not to run as he's concentrating on shorter distances, like a run around the field to gather in the cows for milking.

One thing about Craughwell, you won't go home hungry: the amount of food had to be seen to believed and yes I went back for second helpings. For a small-enough village in a rural area, goodness they have some club there, and long may it continue. While there I met up with the new AAC sub-60 minute man Georoid, with a 'Cheshire cat' smile, and several more who had brilliant races as well. With my belly full, I hit for home happy enough with my own run, though the graph might not be going in the direction I'd like.

Anyway, well done Craughwell AC.

Martin Keane (2015 Galway AAI County 10M Road Race M70 Champion).