Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Mangerton and my first 5K race.

View to Torc at the start

Happy Ruby
Elegant Crohane
Today I decided to head to Kerry and have a nice hillwalking with Ruby. The day was a little cloudy but showed promise and was pleasantly warm with little wind. My legs were still a little tired from the marathon a few days ago and I reckoned that this would be just the tonic I needed and be the perfect warm down. Driving back the cloud base was at about 2000ft but by the time we started it was up at about 2500ft and patches of blue sky were beginning to appear. I set a gentle pace and enjoyed getting the blood flowing through the muscles again. The normally sodden and mucky trail was pleasingly dry and the profusion of wildflowers enhanced my already buoyant mood. Ruby of course was in her element and was darting here and there following all the new scents that only she could detect. Her joy at just being out and about was uplifting and I have to say that its a pity that it is so difficult to find places where it is OK to take a dog.
The Horses Glen
Don't you hate it when the hills get crowded
The view towards the Black Valley
The walk was a real pleasure and thankfully my legs were good. Pleasant sunshine and little wind made the round a pleasure. We stopped for a bite to eat on Stoompa and continued easily around onto Mangerton. All the while the views get better and better. We crossed the arete between the Horses Glen and The Devils Punchbowl and walked up Mangerton North. This vantage gives fantastic views across to the Black Valley. Easily down and into Killarney for a coffee.

I got home about 5pm and I then made a snap decision to head to Cork City and enter a 5K race. I had never run a race like this before and I wasn't sure what to expect. There was a huge turnout and the 8pm start was delayed for 10minutes. When the horn sounded the mayhem began. Everybody was ducking and diving and jostling for position and room to run. I was as guilty as anybody and I ran as hard as I dared for the first mile. After about half a mile things loosened out and I was pleased with how I was feeling. As we passed the one mile marker there was a guy shouting the time and it was six minutes 38 seconds. I kept up the pace as best I could and I must say I was glad that the run was so short. The finish line arrived and I timed it at 20minutes 28seconds. I was very happy and I have already resolved to enter more of these sprints and try and get under 20 minutes. This event is also great value as it was only 8€ to enter and we got tea and sandwiches after plus a 20% voucher for a local sports shop. Result.
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