Thursday, October 21, 2010

Sligo AC News; Running Shoes

We know that we are about to embark on long winter nights when we realise it’s Dublin City Marathon time again. Yes, many Sligo, Leitrim and Mayo athletes will make the annual pilgrimage to the capital city next weekend for this annual race which incorporates the A.A.I. national marathon. While a lot of people making the journey will be very experienced athletes with very little to learn, a certain percentage will be first time marathon runners. I always say that running the actual marathon is the easy bit. It’s the training for the marathon that’s the difficult part. The last six days leading into the race, however, can be very crucial. While carbo loading and hydration are very important, it is also important to keep running every day and while the volume of running would be much less than the previous weeks it’s not to stop altogether. This was brought home to me during the European Championships in Barcelona during the summer. Rob Heffernan raced the 20kms very hard and was unlucky not to win a medal; eventually finishing 4th. Three days later he was due to race the 50kms which is some five miles longer than a marathon. He trained in the days between the races. Less than 24 hours before the 50kms he went to the track and did 5 x 200 metres fast. I would advise intending marathon runners to do something similar on Sunday next. A session such as this will stimulate muscles and wake the body up for the gruelling race that lies ahead. It also gets the mind ready because running a marathon is almost as much about the state of your mind as the well being of your body. As I mentioned, this is the A.A.I national marathon and individual and team prizes are on offer. Sligo Athletic Club will have a senior team lining up at the start. Martin Conroy, who is better known as a track runner, will attempt his first marathon. Having run a 72 minute half marathon a couple of weeks ago, he will be well prepared. Seamus Somers likewise makes his marathon debut. Those two along with experienced marathon runners like Mel Casserly and Trevor Hunter will spearhead a strong team. Good luck to them and all North West athletes who take part.
The Gerry Farnon cross country races in the Phoenix Park, Dublin usually tick off the cross country season on the national stage. It was heartening then to see three young Sligo runners on the starting line last Sunday afternoon. North Sligo athlete Thomas McBride is working his way back to top class competitive action and can be happy with this outing. Tommy Casey paid the price for an ultra fast first mile but this race will bring him on a lot for the tough tests that lie ahead in the coming months. The revelation of the race was the other Sligo A.C. athlete Alberto Gomez who finished 7th overall.
Congratulations to Sligo A.C. athlete Eimear O’Brien who led home 140 women in the Sligo 5k women’s only race. This was another very successful Sligo Athletic Club promotion which was held in conjunction with Sligo Sports partnership. Finally this week, well done to all the Sligo juvenile athletes who turned out on last Saturday morning for the Sligo County A.A.I cross country championships.

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