Friday, October 28, 2011

Jaffa Cakes.....

You’ll not get a Jaffa cake, fig roll, jelly baby, lucozade sport, PowerAde, cinnamon & raisin pancake between here and Mullingar this weekend.... haven’t forgotten about the banana they were got in the weekly “Big Shop” already.

Why could this be?

Because the lads from the 7:57 club are fuelling up, like a bear going into hibernation, for the marathon. For most Sligo people they go to Dublin for 3 reasons, the airport, the zoo and take that concerts, but these boyos aren’t most people they are marathoners so they add in a trip the last weekend in October each year and some have said it’s a lot less painful than having to go up shopping so it’s not that bad after all.

It all began in early June during one of the infamous long runs when it was whispered about getting ready for Dublin, a few side eyes and that sort of talk was banished so erly in the year.

A few weeks later the signs began to slowly show that marathon fever was brewing.
How can you tell I hear you ask.......It happens in stages!

Stage 1: The Little White LieYou turn up at the complex at 7:45 for the 7:57 run and see one or two cars already there but no one in or outside them, then just like a Michael Jackson thriller video they appear form the mist.
“You were out early”

Shuffle the feet and dont make eye contact

“I have a kid’s birthday party to go to” or “I have an underage Connaught cup match so I came out a bit earlier”.
But the scheme comes undone when they complete the distance with the lads.
“Someone’s gonna be late for the party and the other ones just missed the bus”

Sign 2: Building Sneaky Mileage

“I just left some water out on the route just in case” .Water for runs just over the hour a bit sus we think but say nothing but again the mask slips when you get to the complex and you hear “ I’m just going to do a few laps of the racecourse”.
Sign 3: Combination of 1 & 2.
We set out for the out and back at 7:57am of course, not a minute sooner or later, the out part has always been the same distance as the back part up until now, but for some strange reason we throw in a detour of a side road we would never usually have included, and why is this?
We are told “Sure it’s a grand morning to be out”....... would be if it wasn’t raining.
Nothing to do with the morning, it’s the little white lie to sneak in the miles.

Step 4: Dublin Hotel Prices
During the course of the Long run you just happen to mention that you might be going to Dublin for the weekend (visiting the Zoo, gona do a bit of shopping and sure if take that are in town we’ll pop along) don’t even mention dates and all of a sudden one of the lads has a rain man experience and can rattle of every hotel in Dublin in alphabetical order, prices for B&B and one evening meal sharing.... for guessed it last weekend in October
See their starting to slip up now.

Step5: More Miles
The long run goes up to 14 miles. No reason why, but still no admittance of entering marathon.

Step 5: I didn’t book it, it was the wife.

The hotel is booked for last weekend in October as close to the marathon start line as possible, which “I knew nothing about it; the wife booked it just in case.......”

Step 6: The Admission

It’s now mid July and no more denial, they’ve lived with it long enough and can’t hide it anymore, we’ve covered the county with Long runs, scattered water bottles from Ballicar to Knocknarae and on the day of admission a gel appears on the long run. That it the game is up full pelt ahead next stop Dubalin......
After this stage its all systems go and the body is prepared for distance only, miles are carefully added during the long runs and groups that begin together disintegrate over the morning as some of us mere mortals stick to the hour run only. Half marathons are entered and some 10kms for speed and as the time approaches the gels appear like the first snow drop in spring, it begins with one but quickly sprouts.

So that’s how it happens in the 7:57 club.

But on a serious note all these lads have put in a huge commitment and have dedicated huge amounts of time and effort to training for the marathon. From the outside looking in you may think that they have done so many marathons that they just turn up, but that is not the case.

Early mornings, rescheduling of family plans, missed nights out watching what you eat and drink are all par for the course. Lads getting out of their bed hours before the runs and driving miles out of their ways to leave out water bottles for us all along the route and back again to collect them after.

Morning and evenings when you wouldn’t put a dog out these boys took to the roads to stick to their schedules encouraging one another along the way.

No prima donnas or Billy big times here everyone was there to help the other along and although an individual sport they did it with team spirit and encouraged and persuaded any new comer that they could do it too.

Ordinary people doing extra ordinary things

Good luck:
Eamon Dunbar, Eamon Coyne, Seamus Somers, Mark Burns, Declan Foley, Enda Dineen, Ciaran Donnellan, Mel C, Richard Gorman, Ross McLynn, Paul Deering, John Whelan, Enda Whelan, Damien Kenneddy, Kieran Coleman, Joe Davey

Like their male compatriots our ladies have put in the hard slog for the 26.2 miles juggling their time and other commitments to build the mileage necessary for completing the task.
Many a mile was put in the race course on Saturday mornings and that’s not an easy place to do your long runs mentally or physically. Building steady mileage over the summer months to culminate in the completion of the marathon has paid off
So ladies I am sure you will achieve all you set out to achieve

Good luck to
Linda Higgins, Roseanne Mitchell, Aisling Kennedy, Maeve Hayes, Aisling Gillen, Sharon Dineen.

Well done boys’ yer a credit....

Happy running

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