Sunday, 2 July 2017

And we're back blogging (the running never stopped)!


I decided last December to start doing a 2nd blog on Intentional Living and the result was that instead of 2 I ended up writing 0 blogs yet managed to get a weekly Radio Show every Monday from 12 noon to 1 pm which you can all listen to online at www.lccr.ie (Limerick City Community Radio) or on Podcast via my FB page.

Life is funny that way. Anyway my Intentional Academy project is getting of the ground slowly so I have decided to restart the 2 blogs and keep the Radio Show.

WHICH MEANS:


The running blog is back. Apologies for the 8 month break. I will write as I go minimum once a week with stories, race reports, tips, interviews etc... For those who were reading before you know I'm not an elite runner nor a time driven runner yet rather someone who enjoys running immensely and who shares the roads and trails with my many running mad friends.

I must say since I have gone quiet in November I have discovered the great fun that is parkrun and have started participating in the local one in Limerick at the University Campus near the boatclub. http://www.parkrun.ie/limerick/



parkrun (It is spelled without a capital p) is a world phenomenon now were you get to run a FREE, timed 5K at 9.30 am every Saturday.

The atmosphere is wonderful, the enthusiasm electric and it is entirely run by volunteers. I have ran about 8 times now on Saturdays I have no race and have volunteered twice as well. Check out which parkrun is nearest you, register for free online and join in. You'll be hooked!

Marathon wise I am up to 76 Full & Ultra Marathons now. I will revisit some of my favourite races on this blog in the coming weeks. My abolute favourite was on May 27th this year at the Clare Burren Marathon Challenge to which I will dedicate a post soon.

Next up is a crazy couple of months Marathoning for me. I'm not sure how many races I'm doing yet but it is well possible to be between 10 & 13 Marathons in the next 40 days or so.

First up is the Wicklow Hospice Festival of Running. You can still sign up here:
https://www.facebook.com/events/266636060462899/
This is a wonderful four day festival of running, where runners can do a full marathon (start at 8am) or run 5,10,15,20 miles (start at 9am) on any or all of the 4 days from Thursday July 6th to Sunday July 9th. It is part road and part trail.



I am aiming to complete my first ever 4 in 4 there. That's 4 Full Marathons in 4 Days. I am ready and prepared yet nervous. The nerves are more anticipation than being scared. Especially with in mind that 6 days afterwards I will be at the start line of a Back 2 Back in Mayo. Kmnowing that so many of my running friends from Marathon Club Ireland and other running clubs will be there means it will be nothing but fun and friendly!!

I am also looking forwad to it as I have never ran a Marathon in Wicklow and want to add the Garden County to the growing list. It will become Irish County number 15 out of 32. I have participated in Marathons in all 6 Munster counties; Galway and Mayo in Connaught; Dublin, Westmeath, Laois, Kilkenny, Offaly and Meath in Leinster. 

Right, I'm off now for a wee rest before heading to Rathdrum and Avondale Forest Park on Wednesday!

Talks soon and keep running.

'Miles with Smiles'

Patte xxxx


Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Belleek Marathon Challenge Back to Back Race Reports.

I love running and I find loads to love in every race I do. Whether it is the people, the organisation, the weather, the course, the scenery, the food, the volunteers. I could go on. And then some races stick. They stick because they just somehow had it all that day. Or those 2 days.

Belleek Marathon Challenge this weekend was one of those. It joins this year's Portumna 50K, Connemara Ultra and Tralee 40 Mile in races I will never forget.

My sincere thanks and congratulations to Cezary Lubinski and Daria Lubinska for what was a marvelous, beautiful and friendly running weekend. A lot of races could learn from people like you. Your personal touch, friendliness, calm approach and attention to detail made it one of my favourite running events. I really hope to be back soon. To anyone reading this who hasn't been to their races and likes old school Marathon running. Go! On my recommendation. You'll thank me for it.

2 days, 2 different courses, 2 Marathons, 1 wonderful event!!

Those of you that may know me a bit know I love listening to music and though I'm a rocker at heart I  have quite an eclectic taste. On the bus home to Limerick from Ballina yesterday I put on YouTube and headphones to stop having to listen to 2 students sitting behind me loudly devouring the contents of 2 massive bags of crisps.

One of the first songs that came on was Van Morrison's 'Days Like This'. It struck me as an appropriate way to celebrate the weekend just gone.

'When you don't need to worry there'll be days like this
When no one's in a hurry there'll be days like this
When all the parts of the puzzle start to look like they fit
Then I must remember there'll be days like this'

When arriving on Friday evening for the weekend's Back to Back Marathons I settled into the Ballina Manor Hotel, laid out the gear for the 2 days and had dinner in the Hotel Bar. The food was of a higher standard than you would expect from a 3 star hotel. Off to bed soon after for a 6.30 am rise and 7 am breakfast.

I really love my running family. Nothing is an issue when it comes to helping each other. I had just checked in to the Hotel on Facebook (I know, tech nerd) when I got a message from Sheila Masterson saying she would pick me up at 8am and give me a lift to the start. Sheila would run the Marathon on Day 1 and also act as support at the food and drink table on Day 2. Thanks so much Sheila, I really appreciate it!!

You also make new friends at these events. This weekend I had the pleasure of meeting Richard Shannon and Donna Owens. Both hail from Omagh. Richard gave me a lift back to the Hotel on Saturday evening and to the start on Sunday morning. Donna took lots of pics of us all and shared them on Social Media. She also made for wonderful dinner conversation on Saturday night. Nice to meet with both you and see you on the roads soon! Thanks!

 Donna Owens from Omagh who took these pics and was 1st Female on Sunday!
Sunday morning happy bunch with Angela Murphy, Suzy Taylor, Paula Wright, Finn O'Mara, Jill Mc Cann, Donna Owens and Patrick Roche.
Look at the smiles after the Back to Back with Paul Comerford and Donna Owens.

When we arrived at the Ballina Soccer Club grounds on Saturday I spotted many familiar faces. Lots of MCI members and other regular Marathon runners. There was a Full Marathon, Half Marathon and Relay Marathon and about 140 people turned up. We had our usual relaxing pre-race banter and after a race briefing by Cezary Lubinski we went on our way. 

We were completing 8 laps of 5.3 Km. For the first 2 and a bit kilometers we followed paths alongside the River Moy in Belleek Forest. It was peaceful, beautiful and relaxing to run the path covered with fallen leaves giving the Autumnal feel of this race a distinct natural colour. Then we would take a left turn into the Forest for the remainder of the lap. The course is fully trail here with many twists, turns and little yet sharp inclines and descents. You have to keep your wits and I found that relaxing into this section was the best way to deal with it. It allowed me to stay running at a natural pace which seemed appropriate in these beautiful forest surroundings. 

4 hrs 47 later I ran through the Finish line feeling a bit sorry this was over. I thoroughly enjoyed running the trails. Richard gave me the lift back to the Hotel. As this was my 4th Back to Back I know what works for me to recover. I spent 3 hours or so with the legs up in bed resting and devouring recovery food and drinks. Then I got a message from running legend Collette O'Hagan that about 10 runners were meeting for a meal in town that evening. I met with them in 'The Broken Jug' and had a really nice meal there. That's 2 for 2 in Ballina, is this a secret foodie town?? :)

 Receiving the beautiful wooden bling on Saturday from race organiser Cezary Lubinski.

I love listening to people at these gatherings. What a wealth of positivity and running knowledge we had around the table. In front of me was Collette O'Hagan with 400+ Marathons, to my left Dave Brady with 600+. We were also joined by the organisers Cezary and Daria and another bunch of multiple Marathon runners. After a wonderful meal it was back to the Hotel where I met with Anne and Brendan O'Mahony. We stayed for 1 more bit of chat in the Hotel Bar. Thanks for the company!

Sunday morning we headed back to the same start line for Day 2. 31 runners turned up for this Full Marathon on a 1,522 meter loop which meant 28 loops were to be covered. Most there were B2B runners but we also had some new faces on the course including Paula Wright who was my running partner at my first ever Back to Back in Tralee. We ran away from the start line then took a left turn up a hill for a couple of hundred meters into a stiff breeze before heading downhill around the rugby and soccer pitches. I settled into a rhythm that I felt comfortable with and after 5 laps (the time to start loosening up from the previous day) started picking up the pace a bit again.

 The medals, t-shirt, buff, sticker and hat from Belleek Marathon Challenge.
 Conquered the 2 day 52.4 mile challenge!
Theresa Grimes from Kerry Crusaders and with my BTR Tralee top I ran in on Sunday. 

I have known for a while that I have a preference these short loops of 1.5 to 5 K. It is either that or a full 26.2 or more loop. I ran the first 10 loops and then decided to walk the last 100 yards of the hill on each lap. Doing this only slowed my pace by 10-15 seconds per lap yet I was able to keep up the tempo all the way to the end and finish strong in 4h17 or 30 minutes faster than the previous day. And all this without a watch or taking too much notion of the clock.

I really, really enjoyed day 2. This reinforces the mindset that I am an endurance runner rather than someone going for times. I am planning to get into more multiple day events and ultra's next year.

The medals, goodies and food we got from Daria and Cezary are absolutely first class. (I'm serious about the food in this place. The Chicken Curry sandwiches after the race on Day 2 were gorgeous!!). These people are passionate about their sport and it shows. They know what runners want and need because they are runners. Thanks again for a wonderful weekend. As mentioned I hope to make it back on February 25th and 26th for your 3 in 2  event. Thanks also to the volunteers, marshals, the Galway Cow, the fellow runners and my ever present friends of Marathon Club Ireland.

What's next? Next Sunday. On a 1 mile loop through Sixmilebridge County Clare. 30 laps, 30 miles. The annual Eddie Murphy Memorial in the Bridge!! Bring it on! :) 

30 miles, 30 loops next Sunday!


Miles with smiles,

Patte xxxxx

Monday, 3 October 2016

Run Galway Bay race report and some food and drink related stuff!


For the last few years September has been the month I go on holidays. This year was no different as I headed to Lanzarote for 2 weeks R&R from the 5th to the 19th. I sampled excellent food, found a genuine Belgian Beer Bar, read some books on NLP, happiness and running; and met with some friends. Good times.

By the way, nobody brews beers like the Belgians. And that is not open for discussion! :) You haven't tasted real beer until you sampled a Trappist beer. There are only 10 Trappist beers in the world and the vast majority are Belgian. Beers like Rochefort, Orval, Chimay, Westmalle, Westvleteren and Achel. In La Casa Belga on Playa de los Pocillos they had them all. And I tasted (you drink these yokes slowly if you want to walk home) most of them. Accompanied by portions of cheese covered in celery salt. Great stuff. When you get a chance to try these anywhere, go for it!

The Belgian Trappist family.

Another thing I did differently is that I went for a daily 10K at the warmest part of the day, some time between 11 and 1. Daily meant daily. 14 times 10K in 14 days holidays. And I did a good bit of swimming too. Which contrary to running is a lot easier in 35 degrees. ;)

Anyway I got back to Ireland and looked at the running calendar. First race marked on it was Run Galway Bay Marathon on October 1. I missed this race last year as I covered the beautiful route of Brussels Marathon. Did 6 more 7 to 8 mile training sessions in the 2 weeks before it to get ready.

We travelled on the Friday evening to avoid getting up at silly o'clock as the Full Marathon race was starting at Nimmo's Pier in Galway at 8.30am with a 10K at 10.30 and Half Marathon at 12.15. Found the Adare Guesthouse easily enough in what for Galway was light traffic. Went on a recce and by total accident discovered Deli La Tasca, a Spanish Tapas Bar on Dominick Street Upper.

Deli La Tasca in Dominick Street Upper.

Next time you're in Galway do yourself a favour and pay this place a visit. I know this blog seems to be all about food & drink. But I love those too and the running bit will follow soon :) Really though, this place is ran by Spanish lads and they know their stuff. Had Iberico Ham Croquettes, Spanish Veggie Omelette and Spanish Meatballs washed down with 1 A.K. Damm beer and 1 Alhambra Reserva 1925 beer. Absolutely divine. When in Galway, go try for yourself.

To the event now. Got up at 7am to get ready and have some breakfast. We were registering for the Full on the morning in the huge Marquee on Nimmo's Pier. That's one plus for this event already. The possibility of registering and collecting your number on the morning of the event. Not only that but there was food, tea and coffee for anyone taking part. Well done to Ray O'Connor, race director. That scored major points on my happiness scale.

Got the cuppa and so it was time to meet the family, the Marathon Club Ireland family. There was about 40 of us assembled Saturday morning to take part. And what a pleasure it is to meet up each time. I hadn't seen a few of the members for months and yet it felt like just hours had gone by. The connection is real; full of love, friendship, care and jolly good fun!! I love being part of this wonderful group. On top of that we had Team Kerr at the event together with a couple from the Netherlands, both promoting inclusion for wheelchair assisted running.

Ray O'Connor assembled us all before the start to give us a wee pep talk and encourage all the first time Marathon runners. Once again a nice touch for a big city Marathon. Totally put at ease by all this we started around 8.30am on a foggy, fresh morning. Soon the sun would pierce through the fog and add an Indian Summer feel to the rest of the day's running. The views from the Prom at Salthill and the rest of the Bay are stunning to say the least. Add to this scene the very cheerful Galway people shouting plenty of encouragements as they had al fresco breakfasts outside the Cafe's all along the Bay.
Running is high up on my Happiness scales (Thanks Mary Mockett for the pic)

I ran with several people I know from the Club throughout the morning. I'll forget plenty so apologies for that but I distinctly remember running miles with Pat Torpey and Kevin Murphy. Stopping to say hello and give hugs to my tagging partner Theresa Grimes. And Meadbh O'Leary. And Mary Hanly. And Valerie De Burca. Meeting the effervescent Tiger O'Flaherty. Spotting Sheila Masterson donning the Mayo colours. And her fellow Mayo long distance runner Geraldine Cawley. Of course Rachel Stokes and Eamonn Egan were there from Kerry Crusaders and Simon Hallissey, Jim McNeice and Brian O'Se from Born To Run Tralee. My Limerick pals Michelle Burke, Liz Leonard, Paddy Mockett and Katie Sheehan. Brenda Francis was there. Mandy Prendergast. Aidan Hogan. Got a shout out from Gerry Duffy. Mirko Warnke and Wojtek Musial. Maighread Ryan and Rebecca Carroll. Paul Hogan. Colm Fearon. Alan Gorski. Rita ni Riain, Suzy Taylor, Valerie Fogarty and Tena Griffin ran with Team Kerr. Got my picture taken many times by our resident photographer Mary Mockett. Shouts of encouragement from our resident supporter Maura Coppinger. To many to name them all. So sorry if I forgot you. One big family at one big happy running event! If Carlsberg did Saturday mornings ....................

 After the race with Liz, Brenda and Geraldine.
 
Enjoying the complimentary alcohol free Erdinger with Paddy, Katie, Alan, Brenda and Geraldine
 

Photo Wall pose with Rachel Stokes, winner of the Ladies Marathon!
 

Thanks to these people and the immense work of all the volunteers, marshals, water station staff and the sugar fairy lady at the sweet stand I was able to stay in tempo for a 4.05-4.10 time (not that times matter) until Mile 22 and then the not Patrick weather and a couple of blisters slowed me down a tad until I reached the finish line in 4.20. A few firsts. First time doing 20 Marathons in 1 calendar year. First Galway City Marathon. And the counter now stands at 53 Full or Ultra Marathons.

 
What's next? A couple of training runs this week and then next Sunday the 9th a number of the MCI family and some from North Cork AC are gathering for the Marathon Club Ireland Charleville Marathon. We run from Charleville to Kilmallock in Limerick and back twice for our 26.2 fix.


If you do what you truly love, you will do things beyond what you thought possible!!

Keep running, miles with smiles!

Paddy Le Belge (thanks to Colm Fearon for the new nickname). xxxxx

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

New Race! Race Report East Cork Harbour Marathon.

About 4 or 5 months ago I heard about a new race on the calendar. In a place I hadn't visited before nor heard of. All good reasons to travel and try it out.

The Race: East Cork Harbour Marathon. The place : Aghada, County Cork. The race is organised by members of Aghada GAA club with the support of Aghada AC.


Aghada GAA is the club of former Football All Star Conor Counihan. In the neighbouring village of Cloyne you can see the statue of the infamous Christy Ring outside the Cloyne GAA ground. There is a very strong GAA background here.

Christy Ring statue in Cloyne!

Arrived the night before the race and stayed in a B&B in Shanagarry. To get there we had to drive passed the gates of the infamous Ballymaloe House and Cookery School. Once we found the B&B and settled in we set of to Aghada GAA for the number collection. This went smoothly and was accompanied by a big welcome and even bigger smile.

This demeanour was a constant for the duration of the race on Saturday. Scores upon scores of marshals and volunteers all with big smiles and matching attitudes. This alone will make you want to come back. A huge, big thank you to all at Aghada GAA and the organisers for such a fantastic event held in great spirit.

Then on Friday evening things got a bit hairy. Setting off for Dinner in Garryvoe Hotel 1.5 miles from the B&B the weather turned within minutes. By the time we arrived at the promenade in Garryvoe the waves were literally crashing over the rocks onto the promenade flooding it and some of the roads around the Hotel instantly. Got to the Hotel and had a nice Dinner during which the weather became even more inclement. The walk back ensured being soaked to the core.

Yet this is Ireland. So when waking up at 6.30am for breakfast the skies were blue and free of clouds! There was a 10K and Half Marathon at 10am and the Full Marathon at 9am. We had separate car parks that were a good walk away from the Start and even further from the Finish. I suppose you can only use the space you have :)

As usual the Marathon Club Ireland gang where there in full force. Great chats were had pre race with wonderful people who travel the length and breadth of Ireland nearly weekly to do what they love most. Inspirational people they are; like Collette O'Hagan, Eimear Hurley, Ann Moloney, Catherine Guthrie, Gerard Fay, Derek Mackessy, Adolfo Garcia, Brian O'Se, Jim McNeice, Simon Hallissey, Conor Cusack and so many more!!

You can watch their official Video of the races here https://www.facebook.com/EastCorkHarbourMarathon/videos/512480955622447/

I also spotted another familiar face in the crowd. I hadn't seen Noel McCarthy at a race for a while. This is the man with whom I ran the second Half of the Limerick leg of his 6 Marathons in 6 Days in 6 Munster counties for Bumbleance exactly 1 year ago. It was great to meet up again Noel and thanks for the excellent company during the first 10 miles (and no I don't know where the 7 mile marker went either :) )!

Here's picture of Noel and myself after finishing Day 2 of his 6 in 6 last year!

As for the race I felt great throughout on Saturday. I'm running more often during the week again and that is the secret for me to feel better during races. Nearly 0 tapering, just 6 to 8 milers during the week beforehand. I'm not asking you to try this at home, just like the 3 pints of Smithwicks the night before a race this just works for me ;)

Though I don't run on times anymore as regular readers might know, I effortlessly moved from the 4.45 pacers to the 4.30 group and at mile 14 was about to tag along with the 4.15 crowd when we took a left turn up a hill. It might be my imagination but we climbed all the way to mile 22 (there was a few downhill sections but they were tiny compared to the uphill sections). This made for a very interesting, challenging section which I thoroughly enjoyed albeit at a slower pace.

At Mile 14 just before the 'hilly' section!

Just as the hills were starting to take their toll a vision appeared. A white car. With a hand sticking out. Holding Jaffa Cakes. And a voice shouting 'Look what I have for you Patrick!'. Add to that an ice cold energy drink and I owe a massive debt of gratitude to Dolores Duffy, the angel in the white car! Your generosity is remembered and you came at exactly the right time as I was being caught by the 4.30 gang again. And you helped so many others too. Thanks so much Dolores!

After that boost came a downhill and a straight few miles to the Finish line. It was on that straight I met Philip from Waterford. Philip was running his 5th Marathon, his first in 2 years. We started chatting and easily ran ahead of the 4.30 pacers, reeling in a few runners as well. Thanks Philip Knox for the company Mile 22-26!

Finish East Cork Harbour Marathon with Philip Knox!

At the Finish Line we got personal congratulations from the Race Director, a nice t-shirt, medal and burger with Ballymaloe relish!! There were plenty of activities at the GAA pitch for all ages and tables in tents with all kind of goodies too.

This was their inaugural Marathon and for a first it was very well organised and the friendly faces and great energy were infectious. I recommend this race and will try to come back myself!

To top off a wonderful Saturday for my 51st Marathon, I also received the 50th Marathon medal of Marathon Club Ireland from an absolute legend in long distance running; Collette O'Hagan. I have immense respect for Collette and she is my number 1 running inspiration. To get the medal from her made it extra special for me. Thanks Collette!!

Getting the 50th Marathon medal from Collette!

What's next?? In 4 days I'm running Craughwell AC Marathon in yes you guessed it Craughwell, County Galway. It is my 2nd time doing this race, I'll let you know next week how number 52 went!!

Miles with Smiles!!

Patte xxxxx



Friday, 19 August 2016

Race preview: East Cork Harbour Marathon.

And we're off! To a place I've never been before. So that's a double whammy then. A Marathon and travelling to new places. 2 things that make me happy.

Destination: Aghada, (East) County Cork. Event: East Cork Harbour Marathon.


This is a new marathon on the scene, organised for the most part by members of Aghada GAA Club supported by Aghada Running Club. I met these wonderful people at the Expo of the Barrington's Hospital Great Limerick Run. The were very enthusiastic and energetic about the whole thing so I decided to sign up.

With new events comes wonder, another thing I like. Wonder about the course, wonder about the people, wonder about the facilities, hills, scenery and so much more. And even the course profile is full of wonder as I am completely new to the area. Here's a link to the routes for those in the area or taking part or supporting! http://eastcorkmarathon.com/the-routs/ And here's their Promo Video which looks great! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHbSks1QMXg

This time 2 years ago I had completed 15 Marathons, in the next 2 weeks I am running numbers 51 & 52 and I am privileged and very thankful to receive my 50th Marathon Medal from the amazing and wonderful people at Marathon Club Ireland tomorrow.

I'll let you all know here on Monday what East Cork was like.

One more thing. A Big Massive Thank You to all of you who read and share this Blog. A Big Massive Thank You to all of you who have ran with me over the last 2 years or more. A Big Massive Thank You to all who support us running.

Thanks to all of you this Blog is possible. And thanks to all of you this Blog has been shortlisted for the Littlewoods Ireland Blog Awards 2016 in the Sports Section. You can vote here until Tuesday: http://blogawardsireland.com/


Have a wonderful weekend,

Miles with Smiles!!
Patte xxxxx

Friday, 12 August 2016

Tralee 100K inspires!

I thought about writing a race report for last weekend's Tralee 100K. Then didn't. Because I didn't race, I crewed. And learned. And was in awe. And learned. And got inspired. And learned. And saw pain. And learned. And saw persistence. And learned. And saw elation. And learned. I will write to people individually over the next few days/weeks to congratulate them.

100K is more an experience than a race. Just like the 40 miler was for me earlier this year when I fell in love with the unknown. http://howmanybelgians.blogspot.ie/2016/06/run-kingdom-40-mile-ultra-race-report.html

Crewing for Shane Dunphy (Congrats again on your wonderful achievement), who ran with an equally impressive Derek Mackessy, was an experience too. I saw the highs and lows of Ultra running. The beauty of growth through pain. The pureness of mind over body. The graciousness of people in flow.

 Crewing the 100K for Shane Dunphy with Brenda Barrett Dunphy was quite an inspiring experience! (Pic Run The Kingdom - Frederick Loveridge).

The magnificent tandem of enhanced human endeavour and natural beauty of places like Kerryhead, Ballyheigue, Banna Strand, Fenit Pier, Barrow Hill etc...

It was poetry in motion. Movement through stillness. Calmness in wilderness.

It was utterly beautiful. And inspiring.

Count me in. Next year. Tralee 100K.

It's prominent on my list of so far 8 Ultra's for next year. I'm hooked to the beauty and mindfulness of the solitude of the long distance runner. With a bunch of wonderful running mates thrown into the equation.

I'm taking the rest of this year to prepare for the running experiences of 2017 by training 5 to 6 days a week, eating better, cross training and doing 6-7 more single Marathons and one 30 mile Ultra. Pure fun!

Congrats Marcus Howlett and Jim McNeice for the experiences this year in Tralee. I'll be back!!

Miles with Smiles,

Patte xxxxx

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Why crew when you could run? Crewing at this weekend's Tralee 100K.

All the reasons I am starting a new venture called The Intentional Academy are in it's mission statement. It reads: 'Our vision is to promote, communicate and inspire belief in a way of life that is based on purpose, self-reliance, contribution and well-being.' For those who may be interested I've started a new blog on this at http://itsallintentional.com/

Distance running fits in beautifully with that vision. Among other things it serves the purpose of creating headspace, facilitating meditation and meeting like minded people. It can be quite self reliant at times when running on your own at mile 29 of 39 in a 50-60mph head on wind & hailstorm on top of a hill range (Connemarathon this year). It most certainly assists with my well-being both physically and mentally.

Now for the contribution part. I am happy to assist novel runners with training programs and even to go run with them. I am happy to share my stories in order to hopefully inspire others to start moving and exercising. I am happy to help out at running events because runners know what runners need.


What I haven't done yet is help crew for someone at an Ultra Marathon. Having run my first 3 ultra's this year (Connemara 39.3 mile http://howmanybelgians.blogspot.ie/2016/04/connemarathon-ultra-race-report.html, Portumna 50K http://howmanybelgians.blogspot.ie/2016/06/portumna-forest-marathon-race-report.html and Tralee 40 Mile http://howmanybelgians.blogspot.ie/2016/06/run-kingdom-40-mile-ultra-race-report.html) without crew I guess that once you go towards 100K or more it might be nice to have a crew to look after food, ailments, mental health, support etc...

As I am preparing for longer races in 2017 and because I like to contribute and give back I have volunteered to help crew for a good friend, Shane Dunphy, who is doing his first 100K race this Sunday in Tralee! http://runthekingdom.ie/events-calendar/aug-tralee-100k-ultra-marathon/


Shane will do the running, his fellow Marathoner wife Brenda is in the car with another Marathoner Paddy Mockett and myself. We start Sunday at 6am with a 9pm cut off time. The Cut off time means we all work together to get Shane to the Finish Line before that time, with Shane doing most of the work obviously. Personally I have agreed to jump in and run the last 20 or 30K with Shane if wanted/needed. Here's the route! http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/926232191


I am so looking forward to what will be an adventure, a long day and an exhaustive day. I'm also looking forward to supporting all the other athletes en route, many of them come from our wonderful circle of friends in Marathon Club Ireland, Born To Run Tralee, Kerry Crusaders and many, many more! What a glorious way to spend a Sunday! And don't tell to many people, yet this race if still on next year is on my to-do list. :)

I'll be sure to have a report here on the event and how we got on next Tuesday as I'm staying in Tralee Sunday night and returning Monday afternoon!

In the mean time I'll just go for a wee 6 to 10 miler each day this week to warm up for it!!

Miles with Smiles,

Patte xxxxx