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Ten Craziest Moments in a Year of Running

Have you ever watched an episode of the Simpsons or Miami Vice where the writers ran out of ideas so in the opening scene, the gang reminisces to set up a “best of” clip show? Well that’s sort of the position I’m in right now – my training plans for the Dublin marathon next Monday have been thrown a little bit off-course, owing to the man-flu/bubonic plague that has recently struck me down, leaving me with few other options.

Unless anyone wants to read a post about nausea and digestive unpleasantness – that I can do.

It hasn’t been quite a full year in running but it sure seems like it. So without further ado, here’s a couple of the absolute craziest things I’ve done this year in the name of ReachOut, since I signed up at my local running club last November.

1) How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Start Running (Dec 18, 2011) One day last winter, I decided to embark on a mad adventure, having absolutely no idea what it was going to entail.

2) The Wake-Up Call – Part 1 (Jan 7, 2012) Not knowing anything about marathons, I decided the best way to get my head around it was to actually get out and do one! So I left a bottle of water at my gate, put on my tattered old runners and ran for 26 miles (about eight laps around my block.) Big mistake!

3) Bohermeen and Taming the Carb-Craving Monster (Mar 8, 2012) I couldn’t wait to get started so I set off to Bohermeen, Co. Meath for my first, and to date my only, half-marathon.

4) Go West, Young Man! (Mar 13, 2012) My first ever real marathon had no crowds, no support, no medics and just 22 other competitors – talk about a baptism of fire!

5) A Madventure on a Mountain (Apr 20, 2012) My third day out was nearly six hours of pure hell at “Ireland’s Toughest Marathon”, the Madventure in Co. Clare. We had to summit a 532m mountain twice to make it to the finish-line.

6) There were a couple of occasions that never made it into the original blog, and for good reason. In particular, I’m thinking about the time I ran the Flora Women’s mini-marathon in drag…

10 kilometers sure seems an awful lot longer in full make-up and a ball-gown. (Jun 4, 2012)

7) Three Marathons in Three Days (May 5-7, 2012) Exactly what it says on the tin. In Ireland, we had a long bank holiday weekend last May. Day 1 was the Ballyhoura Mountain Marathon, Day 2 was the Great Limerick Run and after an extremely long drive, Day 3 was the Belfast City Marathon.

8) Finally Breaking the 4-Hour Barrier (May 13, 2012) In Limerick I’d just missed out by a couple of minutes; running a marathon in under four hours is important monkey for a lot of runners to get off their back. It was especially unlikely in my case as it came just a week after the 3-in-3-days and due to the fact that I had a hangover and just two hours sleep from the night before…

9) Here’s another one that I originally overlooked in the race-reports. Kildare’s Le Cheile AC put on a Midnight Marathon in Leixlip last June. The key difference here, besides the fact that it was held at midnight, was that it was run on a looped track – which was about 400 metres long. If you’re struggling with the maths, that equals just over 105 laps. (June 23, 2012)

10) In at the Deep End: Running My First Ultramarathon at the Connemara 100- Miler: (Aug 11/12, 2012) An ultramarathon can technically be any length over 26.2 miles, although the most common distances are 50k, 50 miles, 100km and 100 miles. I had never run anything over the length of a regular marathon before that crazy crazy day in Connemara.

The aforementioned flu has set me back somewhat. But I still have hopes of breaking my personal best from May’s Kildare marathon when I go to Dublin next Monday. With a bit of luck, I might have another good yarn to add to the list. In the meantime, I guess all that’s left to say is that I promise to actually write a properly new post soon and sorry for the clip show!

14 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jim Brennan #

    Love your top 10, and great drag pic

    October 24, 2012
  2. Kelly Gaffney #

    Brilliant Oliver. Dunno how u do it. Best of luck Monday. Might see u there

    October 25, 2012
    • Defo, hope yis all get on well in Dublin, great to see a big crowd from Dunleer 😀

      October 25, 2012
  3. yasmin canning #

    Hope your feeling better Oliver, Good luck for monday, we will be there to cheer you on!

    October 26, 2012
    • Thanks Yasmin, got there in the end! The support from the club was fantastic, talk soon 😀

      November 1, 2012
  4. I think after one year we are all allowed a Simpsons 138th episode spectacular

    October 27, 2012
  5. How on earth do you keep track of 105 laps???

    November 1, 2012
    • Fortunately there were people with clipboards keeping track of all the runners. Around Lap 100, the race director came out onto the track with sweets, dressed in a gorilla costume. Definitely thought I was hallucinating at that point 😀

      November 1, 2012
      • Oh. That’s a great idea – someone else counting – I have trouble counting past 3-4 laps of an oval. Hallucinating is a perfectly viable option at that point I think!

        November 2, 2012
  6. Really don’t like loops, so this is quite admirable. Thanks for the follow.

    November 2, 2012
  7. Good luck with all that. I don’t think I can find enough chasers to run that much, and I would definitely have to be chased to make that much distance.

    January 3, 2013

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