Great to hear from you again, one2escape. We missed you! All I've done myself recently too has been a couple of 10ks, and I also quite fancy the Belfast half marathon if I can get the mileage up enough over the next few weeks to allow me to potter around it. I know how you feel about the lack of a focus when a marathon is over, and I miss the long training runs for getting the 'head showered'. But there's so much more than the roads out there to spice things up again. For example,there will be quite a few trail races coming up from November over the Winter.
I couldn't do 'Storming the Castle' on Sunday but I had wondered about that start at the leisure centre. It's ok for the parkrun but the path is too narrow for the numbers in a race. Still, I hear Seapark put on a great event.
I phoned Mags hoping she might advise us on organising a race to raise some funds for treatment. It turned out she was on a beach on her holiday, but without hesitation she said 'yes' and on her return threw herself into providing a day I will always remember. All we had to do was to help with the catering and the medical support, and she organised everything else. The day went like clockwork and we are so grateful to the army of volunteers and to the runners themselves who gave up their Sunday morning to support the event. At the moment I am being well looked after here (well, slowly poisoned actually) by an excellent medical team so we are just banking the funds for future use.
So, I just want to thank all who took part, either in person or as a 'virtual runner', but particularly would like to thank Mags for her incredible kindness and generousity.
As a PS, for medical support we had the Belfast Trust Director of Trauma and a A&E sister (my missus) at the finish line, while the race medical officer was a A&E consultant running round the 10k with his mobile phone. Added to that we had several other medical consultants and radiographers on the course, including an orthopaedic surgeon who took delight in counting the numbers of runners who would need knee surgery in the future! Anyway, Endurance Junkie NI, beat that!
I just want to take the opportunity to thank Mags for organising the Run for Paul races so impeccably. It was a perfect morning and I just can't stop grinning from ear to ear. Also, I can't forget to mention the hard working volunteers such as Max & Joe who put so much into the event.
Traffic was chaotic, wasn't it? I passed a couple of accidents on the way. The atmosphere at the Leisureplex beforehand was electric. I love it. Pity you didn't get around the half marathon as it now is a cracker course. The hills and the grind through the industrial estate are confined to history to be replaced by lovely country roads through the Maze. I particularly loved the wee pub we passed at about the 6 mile point. If I had a few quid in my pocket, the lure of a cold pint of Guinness would have been too much for me.
It wasn't nice though to see a couple of runners on the deck at the finish. They must have tried to sprint to a sub 2 hour finish, but no time is worth that.
i was treated to a hug from the legendary Mags as I crossed the finish. It took everything I had to make it there without walking so it was an emotional moment for me. #justanoldeejit.