There was a light drizzle falling as I boarded the Team Carrie bus on my way to our latest running endeavour, the Frank Duffy 10 mile in the Phoenix Park, Dublin. A grand, soft day as your grandad would say.
As usual, David Carrie was in high spirits and had us all woken up in no time as we chugged along towards the M1. Then the unthinkable happened. The chugging bus was all chugged out. Team Carrie were at a standstill, with no 58 seater to carry us across the line.
Luckily, Rory, proprietor of the chugging bus knew the proprietor of a snazzier mobile (ie a bus that wasn’t so much into chugging as our own) and thankfully we were soon on our way again.
Little did we know, the fun was just beginning.
As we cruised along, the weather appeared to be worsening. Had Met Éireann got it right for once and there really was a rainstorm on its way? One word: YES.
If literal cats and dogs had fallen on us, they would have been lighter than the sheet of rain that lashed down on Team Carrie (and all other participants) of the race yesterday morning. It was horrific. In 30 seconds of leaving the warmth of the bus, I was soaked through. We huddled under a tree (my active imagination expecting us to be struck down by a rogue bolt of lightening at any given moment) and hoped it would clear quickly so we could take our team photo.
It didn’t clear quickly.
Photo taking was abandoned and we made our way to the portaloos and baggage area, compulsory pit stops pre-race. The rain showed no sign of ceasing anytime soon. It is hard to describe exactly how atrocious the conditions were at this stage but let me put it to you this way: the time it took me to pee in the stinky portaloo was to me time spent in a haven of refuge, warmth and grandeur. Yes – the wet, wind and cold were that bad. I no longer really cared that I had to run 10 miles; anything to get warm again!
As we lined up to begin, the so far merciless weather finally took a turn for the better. As I shivered at the starting point, while the wind continued to whip around us, the rain at last began to ease to a light drizzle once more.
At this point, I decided I was too saturated to dwell on things; it was better to ignore the fact my runners were soggy and my sports bra was clearly visible through my white top and just run. I wasn’t going to warm up thinking about how cold I was.
I think I ran a good race yesterday, despite the conditions. While it would have been so tempting to just board the bus straight away again, I’m glad I stuck it out. The route was really enjoyable – I much prefer running in the park than on the road – and while it was tough, I think the adverse conditions spurred me on. I also managed to maintain a rough average of 10 and half minute miles.
“Utter madness,” was sighed by many-a competitor yesterday but everyone who took on the challenge and basked in the madness of it all can be proud!
I came home, wearing the newest addition to my race t-shirt collection and the bright blue beanie hat that came in the after-race goodie bag. Mam had a plate of BBQ ribs waiting for me and let me tell you, they were devoured #earnedit
My knees aren’t thanking me today but they’ll be alright – I’m not packing this in anytime soon.
Next stop the Dublin Half-Marathon…