Sunday, 8 September 2013

The Gowran 8

The Gowran 8, is an 8 mile road race, run every year by the members of Tullamore Harriers. There was a decent enough crowd today, around 50 I'd say. The race is run in honour of Noel Gowran, A founder member of the Harriers, and first Irish man to run a sub 2:30 marathon. He was the National Marathon Champion in 1958, and last week I saw him swap a pair of runners he won the race in, for a brand new pair, which had been worn by the winner of the Half Marathon, Gary O Hanlon. Not a bad deal, me thinks! (I think those are the facts as I heard them last week, but I know he definitely was a marathon Champion, and that he is a founder member.)

Anyway, I had great expectations of myself, leading up to today. I set myself the target of trying for a 9:30 pace, and see what happens out the course. That was until I went to the Soccer International on Friday night, and didn't get back to the hotel until 3:30am, having consumed a good bit more than I'd intended. I was a bit sensitive yesterday, and when I went to bed at 9pm, I was wondering how I was going to run a race in 12 hours time. Therefore I readjusted my goals, to finish would now probably be a challenge, and I was kicking myself for drinking so much on Friday/Saturday.

I set off today aiming for a 10 min per mile pace, and I ran the first mile in 9:50. Leonard Owens had just joined me as I passed the first mile, as did Trish Shaw, and we ran together for the race. It was great because, I did feel under pressure at various times during the race, and if I was on my own I probably would have slowed down, instead I gritted my teeth, and kept going. As we were getting close to home, I was feeling not too bad, so with a mile left I picked up the pace, I was afraid I'd gone too early as I was finding it tough, over the railway bridge, but once I was on the downside, I lengthened my stride once more. The race finished with a lap of the track, and I finished strong, in a time of 1hr 14 min and 58 seconds( Nearly an hour quicker than last week!) That works out at around 9:22 pace on average for the race, so that wasn't too bad. Ray was going for a slower time, and he still finished in front of me, as did a whole bunch of lads who are training for the Marathon in Dublin, and had run 12 miles before the race, timing to finish their 12 miles as the 8 mile race was starting. The race was won by Catch Grennan, who probably finished as I was passing the half way marker. David Murray was second, with David Brophy in third.

We're back to reality now, after the excitment of the Half Marathon, and I'm happy with how the week has gone. Next run on Tue, so until then, Slán.

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