Irish Mountain
Running Association

Trooperstown Hill


Barry Murray

Trooperstown Winter League

I’m putting the ultra’s to the side this year and just focusing on the “short” stuff. So it’s been nice to get some speed back in the legs.

These winter league races are perfect for that “race fitness”. I started off with howth and the hellfire… sprints for me with no real hard climbing or decending. But good training for the typeII fibres none the less.

I was looking forward to the slightly longer races… at least the 10K distance usually gives me some time to get into a groove.

Off we went on a soft day and I was back to my own usual tactics. Build into the race and keep her steady for the first few km’s. I sat in behind Bernard who seems to start off in a similar fashion. There was about 10-15 ahead of us… with a lot of heavy breathing going on. I’ve mentioned this before, but pacing in the early stages of these races is crucial.

The first few km’s digs into you as it’s a steady climb. I noticed my legs were not feeling that fresh. A ½ marathon from the week before was still hanging in the legs. I was just trying to keep with Bernard as we started to pick off a few. By the turnaround point, he had drifted off ahead of me and I was then flying solo for a while. I wasn’t gaining on anyone ahead of me and I knew Peter and Warren were not too far behind me. Underfoot conditions were slippy on the backside of the mountain so picking your line was important.

On the last climb to the summit the fatigue was starting to kick in. Even had a little cramp. Usually I can pick the pace up on the back end, but not this time. Peter caught be a moved off ahead. We got to the summit and then switched into downhill mode. Steep enough descent , I try to just keep it safe and secure rather than throwing to much caution to the wind. Peter had moved off ahead of me and I didn’t think there was anyone else closing on me. We got to the last road section and I got here some feet . I was just trying to keep my pace consistent at this stage.

I got to the last barrier , the sharp right, and the legs went from under me and I hit the deck. Got up quick but I could here some steps very close to me at this stage. Warren then skipped by me on the last steep descent through the woods. I jumped out onto the fireroad at the end but it was too late to catch back up with Warren. Need to get some freshness back into the legs so I can keep up a bit better next time. A good auld race though and a nice mudfest.

Washed and showered myself in the nice flowing river nearby and then went off to work ;-)