I’m still not sure who will put their marathon experience on paper as yet so this is a snippet of all the guys and girls that took the” Rocky Road” with Craughwell AC this year. One thing I’m certain of is that we are going to need a bus next year.

 

 

 This years Gang: 

Val & Peter          Fit4Life Leader Val Fogarty brimming with confidence after her expertly paced first sub 4 in Berlin one month earlier, and now under no pressure to perform in her 12th marathon, all relaxed, composed and full of inspiration, leisurely dished out advice and instructions to our brave debutants this was combined with unbridled excitement you can only acquire from so many marathon outings .I will admit this had a reassuring affect on me. Val completed no 12 in 3:57:46 and took another two minutes out of the PB from Berlin. Somehow I think the run with Haile in Berlin will burn brighter in her memories of marathons past.                                                    

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Val Kathleen Maria
                                

In tow today was one of her companions from her 11 previous marathons Peter Strange. Peter was on a mission today, he was on the hunt for his first sub 4 (he ran 4.01 in Berlin 4 weeks previously but I didn’t notice any pre race nerves there! Unfortunately It wasn’t to be for Pete today but he lives to fight another day.     

      Kathleen & Maura          Repeat offender Kathleen Waters as per usual presented in total control, cool as a cucumber and with the recent passing of her father I knew this was going to be a big day for her, this was a massive motivator, as we strolled ever closer to the start line she was looking quietly confident as we were that sub 4 was a definite reality today. She duly obliged with a rock solid effort of 3:58:24. I’m certain your dad is so proud. Roll on no three.             

                                  

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One more mile for Dad
                                                              

  Maura was well up for the race! She had been so dedicated to the training putting in all the long runs and more. Although nervous on the morning she was very focused. I knew Val had intended pacing Maura but it was no surprise to Val or myself that she soon cruised off into the blue yonder after only a few miles. In passing conversation the day before at the RDS both Val and I tried to warn Maura to reign it in early in the race and keep a bit for later. Thankfully and quite clearly we know nothing about marathon running and Maura destroyed her 4 hr target in 3:47:37.What A first Run!     

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No 999 Today

     Dymphna & Karen           Karen Guest and Dymphna Scanlon From West Meath, AKA  Athlone ,both Fit4life diehards, both on their maiden voyages so to speak and both carrying niggles in their hamstrings ,the inseparable duo made their way to the line with a bit of nervy banter as we all tried to defuse the underlying tension, weather or not the was any real fear on board you couldn’t tell… Not!. Kerens preparation had been meticulous while Dymphna as usual was casual complacent brimming with bravado and stubborn to the death,that’s why we love her,all that said she is the first to lend a hand ,offer her support, and assist where its needed.Neither Karen or Dymphna would ever let you down. strength in depth is how I would describe these two as a team.

RANT: My greatest annoyance from the whole weekends experience was that some pin head trainee Physiotherapist had reeled off a pile of pathetic garbage to Karen in the expo the day before, she quite obviously was not a runner, nor had ever trained for a marathon herself, warning Karen that she would end up walking if she took part in the race.I’m so happy to report that the stupid Cow was proven comprehensively wrong, besides there was nothing anyone could do if the legs gave out but at least Karen could have had a decent nights sleep beforehand. Anyway lesson learned, never visit any so called professionals the day before a big event. Rant over! .                        

                    The outcome was superb, although the hamstrings were painful for both Karen and Dymphna they Ran !  the entire course and they even came home ahead of former Tyrone football hero Peter Canavan in a time 4:42:41.and he is half their age J Inspirational performance girls.     

                                                   

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K&D cross the line together

 

Mike & Muriosa              Mike Carr only started running in March, one wet weekend at it and he’s a pro, It is incredible to think that he has run his first marathon only 8 months later. Don’t mind that advice lets get on with it” has been his attitude; he is fearless, determined and dedicated. His dedication was indeed proven when he even relocated to Craughwell to be close by for the training. He has been a great addition to weekly long runs being the only man amongst the women. Every run started with a jolly chat and then down to business there was nothing going to stop him doing this marathon. Blissfully unaware of the journey he was about to embark on and flouting all marathon etiquette, the day before Mike showed up in the hotel with almost new trainers, brand new socks and t -shirt for the big day, I suppose they weren’t going to make the running any easier nor shorten the road, sod the chafing and blisters. As far as mike was concerned, this was the way to go and after completing in 4:31 not a bother no chafing no blisters who could doubt his wisdom, and besides- man they looked good! (Good Job Val didn’t know). 

                                                          

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Fit 4 A pint or 2
                                                   

Murioisa Holohan joined Fit4Life back in January. It was already in the back of her mind to run a marathon. As soon as the group started to come together I knew Muiriosa was going to be an important part of the team. All the gang testify to her motivation and sense of humour carrying them along through the hard miles in training, She is cool ,calm and intuitive and I don’t believe the group would have had as good an experience if Murioisa was not on the team. You have shown more courage and determination than most of us have between us. Well done on the  4:31 and I’m still hearing about your report from so many people.   Link Below

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Maria in the home straight

                                  http://www.craughwellac.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=333&Itemid=78

Sharon & Maria:         Maria Lane has been dipping her toe at the road races for a couple of years but never really took to training on a regular day or time. After she teamed up with Sharon at Fit4Life last November. They were the two who could be found up at the school any time knocking out lap after lap come hail rain or shine. But the odd 10k road race really does nothing to prepare you for this 26.2 distance. As the Fit4life marathon group started to form these two seemed to pull the gang together. Its my opinion that running a marathon gives you an insight into yourself and shows how you how strong you can be, hence afterwards you find you can take on greater challenges in your personal life. Maria has reversed this theory by packed in her job of 10 years and now is undertaking a newCareer. I wish you well in the new role as a Secondary School Teacher. For me taking on a marathon is far easier than taking on 30 teenagers, but with this experience and such a strong performance in your arsenal I’ve no doubt it’s those kids who’d better tow the line.  

                                                     

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Sharon "never a doubt"Allen
                                                                         

    Sharon Allen is one of the strongest women I have ever met, to get this in prospective Sharon never ran before November but when she decided to take it up nothing could stand in her way. With work & family constraints galore she is a shining example of the modern woman, husband, check kids, check career check, marathon runner check. Sharon co-ordinated the long runs ,drove all the training loops and this often meant being up and out at the crack of dawn to put the water out for the whole gang. I know they were most grateful to her for the effort .                                                          

    Sharon has from way back in November proved time and time again that you don’t have to be fast, you have to be organised and determined, from one lap of the track to half marathons in Connemara and Longford there has been no doubting who has become “a real runner”. If you need any proof of what is personal achievement, then look no further.There’s truly no stopping you now .                                                                                    

 

 

 

 

Fergus                             This was something of a revenge mission for Fergus, bitter sibling rivalry in great abundance had been his motivation to take me on in this race compounded by the fact I’d easily beaten him in a 10k some years before. He just had to win this one! Alas he was once again sent packing, sorry Bruv.

                                  I jest of course, this was an altogether more genuine task for Feg .It was made even more impressive as running is not his bag, in fact he hates to run and so this was a worthy tribute to his close friend Damien Darcy. Damo or “The Legend “as he is referred to by all his crew passed away last year after a life long battle with Cystic Fibrosis. He is a real inspiration to all the lads around home, but quite how he got Fergus to run the marathon was a truly divine act from beyond, fair play!.

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Fergus making every breath count

                                    Fergus raised over 1000 euro for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and ran impressively coming over the line in a very respectable 3:26:24 not bad for a footballer! you know I’m so proud of you!  You might be onto something there. If you think this is a soppy long read wait till you hear my best man speech in March Bro!

   THAT’S THE GANG,

Sincere Congratulations one and All! 

                Guys this has been a fantastic year for our club and Fit4life in particular, I can’t praise or thank you enough. Getting to know you all has been a real pleasure, it’s what makes it all worth while, Thanks so much for the all the hard work and effort in your dedication to Fit4life. Your help on the cold wet dark evenings at the track is much appreciated. This one was my third go at Dublin the first year I was alone last year four of us went, my friend Tony Fitzpatrick always says “the third one will be your best” so he was proved right. This gang made it great to be there. Tony himself has not run much since his successful 3:47 in 2007. Knee surgery hasn’t helped much but I always think of our training regime last year when I need inspiration and I always crack a smile looking back at myself Tony and Anne, and lads it was dam good crack ! By the way I’ve booked a seat on that bus for you two in 2009!                                         There Is one more person I want to mention, I know he would have been with us in Dublin if duty hadn’t called, that’s Patrick over in Kosovo .My own marathon would not have been such a success if Paddy had not joined our club this year, Myself Johnny, Justin and Patrick have really clicked, we have the training going well this year as a group and that really helps, I think paddy brings the energy and commitment which is the real motivator for us all, thanks for all your help, advice, hard work and encouragement , I wish you well over there and know this, we are all looking forward to seeing you at Christmas for a good hard workout maybe 20 x 400 @ 5k race pace or even 5 or 6 @ Cawleys at your own pace J ,the first tax free round is on you “Captain”. 

My own race report to follow………….

Sunday the 18th. .