Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Short and Sweet Steep

Chippewa was a tough race. But I felt good enough to run 7M the next evening. I swear by the ice bath. And another 13 yesterday - 10 @ 7:20 pace, with a few 200M sprints at the end for good measure. So I guess the legs are recovering well. Just in time to thrash them again this weekend. I fly back to Ireland tomorrow night and of course it wouldn't be enough to simply hang out with family, work crazy long days bridging the time zones and travel around the country catching up with friends. Noooooo, I had to find a race. And not just any race.

The run up and down Croagh Patrick in County Mayo is one of the many things I once thought ABSOLUTELY COMPLETELY CRAZY. Perfect, then. Check out the Irish Mountain Running Association (IMRA) website for more info on the Irish variety of trail running.

The race is not even 7K. It does climb up 800m and then right back down again. But still, a course record of around 40 mins for the men and an hour for the women doesn't seem quite right. That it, until you see the pictures...

The man himself guarding his hill

The back straight

July pilgrims. With shoes. Ah, not real pilgrims.

Crazy camera angle or crazy steep? Or just plain crazy.

Some mud. Some singletrack. And rock scree. Lots of it. I cannot wait to see my knees after this one.

I'm not comtemplating the double BUT there is a sister race up and down
Ben Gorm the following day to complete the regional (Connaught) championships...

The First Ascent out of Aasleagh Falls. Photo by Rachel Walters.

More rocks. But look at that view. Photo by Paul Nolan.

Let the madness begin. I mean, continue...