I got the opportunity to get a race number (this race sells out in minutes) from a member of the running club (and yes I have joined a club) so for one day only "me name" Mike 😊.
The race starts at the very convenient time of 13.30 so I had plenty of time to relax in the morning before heading on the 90 minute drive to the start. I arrived about 40 minutes before the off and I easily found a spot to park in the town centre. It was a superb day for a run, dry and a pleasant 8 or 9 degrees with little breeze to help or hinder. I set off for the start about a kilometre away and warmed up with a gentle jog along the waterfront. More and more fellow runners materialised and by the time I got close to the start the size of the crowds was obvious. There was a great atmosphere building which both increased my anticipation and nerves. Soon the allotted time arrived and I found myself in the huge throng close behind the 70 minute pacers and ready for the off. Such was the noise I couldn't hear the starting gun and it was the slow shuffle forward of the crowd that indicated that the race had started.
On Sunday Feb 10th I had intended on getting in a good hillwalk but the forecast was for 60 kilometre winds to arrive late morning so I thought it would be a bit iffy to head to the mountains. Instead I enjoyed a lie in and just chilled at home. It was clear that the weather was better than promised so I eventually decided to head back to Caherbarnagh for a short excursion. I had been for a hilly 17 kilometre run the previous evening so this would loosen the legs nicely. I parked where the Duhallow Way enters the mountainside after its diversion along the road and I headed for the steep spur that descends from the NE top. I tried to maintain a stiff pace and it wasn't too long before I was standing on the broad boggy top. It was a cold breezy day and the frequent showers were mostly of sleet and hail. Some snow dusted the higher slopes and it was invigorating to be out. The tops were under the clouds so the views were extensive, most especially towards the north. A short walk and I arrived at the main summit at 681 metres. Next up came the easy couple of kilometres as I crossed to Gortaveghy where the view to Claragh and towards home was lovely. I retraced my steps a little and then dropped easily back towards the car. As I said it is a short outing and is only around 7 kilometres and took me just 1 hour 40 minutes. Still, it filled the lungs with mountain air and loosened out the legs.
|The spur is a bit steeper that shown here|
|To the west|
|The car is down by the houses|
|Icy fence and heading towards Gortaveghy|
|Towards Claragh and home|
|Showers were frequent but fleeting. Lovely|