“How is he doing Paraic?”
“Oh he’s grand Mrs. Moore. He’ll be with you in a minute”.
That was I presume how the conversation went between one of my best mates Paraic and my mother. Meanwhile I was throwing up along the path mid-stride.
Paraic can lie well when he wants to.
The Cork marathon in 2011 was the first marathon after the disaster that was Edinburgh 2010. Having collapsed with 6 litres of dehydration I had gone into the Cork marathon better trained than for Edinburgh and with what I thought was a healthy wariness for getting dehydrated.
Unfortunately, it was a little “too” healthy. The day was a nice fresh overcast Irish summer’s day. Perfect for running. However, I decided not to take any chances and from the get-go made sure to take on plenty of Lucozade sport, energy gels and some water. And for a while it seemed to work well, at least for the first 10 k anyway. Then I started to hit a few hitches:
Hitch 1: The Jack Lynch Tunnel when my Garmin, a running addition I had taken on board following Edinburgh lost contact with the satellites and temporarily threw my pace out.
Hitch 2: Because my Garmin was measuring in kilometres and not the miles I was used to I had to recalculate how quick I needed to run and had come to assumption it was 4 min 20 a kilometre. At the 15 k mark with the 3 hr balloon steadily drifting off in the distance I started to doubt my Maths. It was at this point I met my mate Paraic. At this spot in Cork the course does a mini-loop of sorts and I took the opportunity to ask him to work out how quick I would need to be going to break 3 in kilometres. When I met him at the end of the loop some 6 k later, he told me – 4 mins 15. I had lost 5 secodns each kilometre for the last 20. Shit!
Hitch 3: By the time Paraic told me this I had 20 kilometres I was nearly 100 seconds behind my intended time. However quite quickly that realisation was not so important. What was, was the realisation I was now full of probably 4 energy gels, 3 bottles of Lucozade, half a banana and a decent amount of uisce. I was stuffed. As Paraic told me the bad news he offered me another gel and juice and as he did my stomach mounted a swift and sudden coup. I made it about 100 yards before it gave out and I had to stop and “Parked the Tiger” on the side of Old Passage West Railway Line at half-way mark.
Of course, as he left me Paraic had turned and was making contact with parents stationed just another few hundred yards up the road to give them the heads up on my approach. As he got through he turned to see me “Calling for George” head over knees. It wasn’t a pretty sight. Then as she asked how I looked I took off. Not wanting to lose any more time I began running again sporadically throwing up the rest of the energy gels as I moved along. It was even less of a pretty sight.
“Oh he’s grand Mr. Moore. He’ll be with you in a minute”.