A Runner’s Perspective
by Pat O’Driscoll
On Saturday I ran the Carlingford Half marathon. In the carpark Verity Cornford complimented me on my socks though I had been hoping that she would admire my new shoes!
At the start I bumped into the rapidly improving Jacqueline McGonigle, who was about to run an impressive 11-minute pb. It was freezing and everyone envied Marty from East Antrim in his bin liner; I would have given him a fiver for it but I only had my Senior SmartPass in my pocket!
The cold had got to me and drastic action was needed so in the first mile I had a comfort break in the 5 star Four Seasons Hotel even though it entailed back tracking about 300 yards.
It worked great but when I got going there wasn’t a runner in sight; the first marshal I met was dismantling his pitch but told me that he would phone ahead to let them know I was coming.
The only tough hills were the first two. Half way up I passed 4 spectators and overheard “look at yer man; God love him; the poor auld critter” – it took one to know one they were about my age!
The marshals were fantastic but the weather was awful. There was a hauling gale and heavy rain during the last 5 miles along the coast. The view was spectacular, but my glasses had misted up!
Worse still I was having serious trouble with my right quadricep; I stopped to stretch it several times only for the gale to turn my stretching into Plie ballet movements!
I was happy with 2:35:18. I had overtaken 14 runners every one of them had been compassionate and friendly; I didn’t have an opportunity to check out the other 862!
The real heroes were the marshals who were frozen but gave so much help and encouragement during this excellently organised half marathon – many thanks