Monday, March 1, 2010

One Last Big Effort

This time last year I turned up at Santry to watch the National Senior Championships take place. A tiny field of about 80 took part and the standard was unbelievable. Keith Kelly stormed to victory, defeating Clonliffe's Mark Kenneally on his home patch, with most of the crowd there surprisingly behind Kelly. I swore that day that there was no way I would take part in that race any time soon - it was just a cut or two (maybe three) above my level.

A year has passed since that day and I'm now a mere seven days out from running in the damn race. What has changed since then? Absolutely nothing, zero, rien, nada, zilch, sweet fa. This Sunday the last place I want to be is on that start line. Four of the Irish team that took part in the European Cross Country will more than likely be there, including the aforementioned Mark Kenneally who finished 7th that day. Sean Connelly, the Dublin Senior Champion, Mark Christie (14.01 5km a few days ago), Olympian Thomas Chamney, Inter County Champion Andrew Ledwidth, Northern Ireland champion Garry Murray and every other top runner from about the country will be toeing the line. You can see why this guy doesn't belong there. Unfortunately that seems to be the logic around the country and probably one of the reasons why the race gets a ridiculously low turnout.

I've no idea what I could realistically aim at for this race. Looking through last years results there's no one in the top 50 that I've finished ahead of before. Do I aim for a top 50? Top half? Try not to get lapped? I wish I could just watch the real race unfold from the sidelines like last year...
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