Published in Reports on 17th July 2016
A few of us headed in the direction of Mullingar this Sunday for the annual Mullingar AC 10 mile road race. We knew from my better half Esther, who had participated the previous year, that it actually takes place outside the town of Mullingar in a little place called Dalystown, so Google Maps was our navigator.
Technology is great when it works…... it can also be argued it’s only as good as the person using it but we won’t dwell on that. Suffice to say there are at least two Dalystowns in Co. Westmeath, one that hosts an annual 10 mile race and another that’s a townland of fields down a lot of very narrow, weaving back roads. The lack of race day directional signs had us worried about two minutes before we arrived at our destination - a very fine looking farm with lots of cows but a worrying lack of humans in running singlets - located about twenty kilometres west of Mullingar.
Fortunately we still had an hour to the starting gun and some genuinely excellent directions from locals had us at the other Dalystown, fortunately not too far away, with 30 minutes to spare. It was just enough time to warm up - or, in my case as driver after our diversion, cool down - before the race started.
While the very breezy and warm twenty-three degree summers day was not ideal for running it was definitely a nice change from the unseasonal weather of the last few weeks. Almost 300 people lined up for a rolling route through the lovely Westmeath countryside. Not surprisingly there were plenty of Mullingar AC singlets around and the proliferation of maroon tops made us feel kind of at home.
Given my starting position relative to Jane Ann, Gearoid and Chris I had the comfort of knowing I wasn’t going to be caught from behind by a club mate. The sun and head wind kept things interesting for the first half of the race, and the second half of any race is always interesting in itself so the miles ticked down nicely. The three mile and seven mile water stations were welcome sights. The Athenry half in Monivea got compliments from a fellow runner who noted my singlet (as he passed) and even though it was around the eight mile mark I managed to gasp a thanks.
A shout out from the club mates with 300 metres to go helped me finish my first ten mile race at around my guesstimate so I was very happy. Jane Ann was the first female and Gearoid and Chris finished well up the rankings making it a very good day out all in all.
Despite the technology.
Report: Donal Leahy