Brocks weather report:)
22 January, 2024 - Mikey FryCome on John enough of the lovely chats sure that viv guy gets enough talks about him daily and I hope he kept some of that cake for me boom we’re flying or dying along that amazing fire road that I asked John to move sadly no past Killian glad he wasn’t running today but sadly the cloak and daggers lad didn’t go wrong enough ….up the nice hilly parts to the east top drop pop nobody there to say hello past a few lads on the way up names are in the wind today past the big rock and the weather was letting us know that we were out of cover of the trees around another marshmallow heading across to meet the other beautiful people coming up the coarse then chasing the lads in front and apparently Tim was behind me but managed to hold him off down the grassy bit nice change keeping left at the end well done Mike nice mixing it up boom through the gates then stinky fire road legs don’t ever seem to be able to go any faster couldn’t catch lad in front over the mat of burn nice chats with the lads ran back with Tim couldn’t find any tea boo had to fly off home jobs to do in the storm thanks again John and the amazing marshmallows Gooday:))
The Water’s Lovely
22 January, 2024 - Brian KitsonDuring the famous “sharing scars” scene in the 1975 classic movie, Jaws, late one night on the boat a drunken Hooper and Captain Quint try to outdo each other by comparing their various war wounds. This scene came to mind as myself and some of my fellow M50+ running companions discussed our respective injuries in the Brockagh Centre before the race.
“See this ankle, rolled it in the Skyline, chief, hyper-extended ligaments, can’t run now unless I tape it up like a parcel”…
”I got that beat, Hoffa Pad impingement, can run like a stallion up the hills but run down ‘em like a donkey”…
“Look at this, right kneecap, lump o’ loose cartilage the size of a grape just floatin’ around and around”…
“I got the crème-de-la-crème, look, right there [pulls up running shirt and points at chest], Wicklow Round, it broke my heart”.
Soon after, thoughts of injuries were set aside and we excitedly toed the line and listened as RD extraordinaire, John Bell, gave his race instructions. Moments earlier, despite the low temperature and yellow wind warning, in an ill-conceived show of testosterone-fueled one-upmanship, I conspicuously followed Mikey’s lead and flamboyantly whipped off my jacket AND buff. I instantly regretted it. Incorrectly thinking pre-race pleasantries would be kept to a minimum, my excitement quickly turned to hypothermia. I politely applauded as John acknowledged Lorcan O’Farrell on his 100th race, then grimly smiled through chattering teeth as the crowd spent an unnecessarily long few seconds enthusiastically clapping and cheering Vivian O’Gorman on his 600th race. As John slowly scanned the crowd in search of more accolades to announce I cursed the fact that the foil blanket wasn’t included on the final kit list and silently pleaded through bluing lips that he wouldn’t spot someone on their 1,000th.
The body was quick enough to warm once we were off. I planned to run all the way up and run harder on the way down. This goal was a stretch much like my t-shirt was at stretch over my recently bloated stomach. I ran well enough along the mile of fireroad but, alas, jog turned to hike on the grassy mountain section when my summer league sparring partner Alan Ayling and quite a few others trotted on past me. I regained a few places on the flat section and hoped to take a few more on the way down.
I fell in behind a couple of lads and was preparing to make my move when one of them took a slide. Although race marker Mike Jordon mentioned that the descent was like a waterslide when I met him earlier during my warm-up (which didn’t work), I ignored the stream of water gushing down the grassy hill and assumed the lad slipped because of a poor choice of footwear. I on the other hand was wearing A-race footwear so pushed harder. Brockagh is a superb descent.
I was thoroughly absorbed in calculations as I flew down. A leap over the heather there, avoid the rut there, don’t slip on the rocks there…which is exactly where I slipped. Mike was right though, it was like a waterslide so it’s likely I went faster traveling down on my arse. Even so, I made up no more places until I regained confidence on the fireroad and, although I managed to pass Rob Tobin, I just could not catch Alan.
IMRA racing is special but IMRA in Winter is just that bit extra special. The conditions add even more spice. It’s scarcely believable that Jaws will join me in the over-50 age category next year, but there’s always room for another fast-moving fish. As they might say in the movie, “The weather is awful, the mountains are open and people are having a wonderful time”.