Today I participated in the Curlew Warrior 10k Race in Boyle, Co. Roscommon (home to Moone Boy the Sky1 TV series – if you haven’t seen it, you really should). Despite plenty of advertising, there was a small crowd of runners and walkers participating, probably not more than 70. As the run raises funds for Multiple Sclerosis Ireland, that was a bit of a shame. I choose to believe the hills put off all but the hard core. The small crowd meant it was a very friendly race though and I had some nice chats with a few different people.
Named after the Curlew Mountains, the clue is in the name and the official page for this run describes it as a challenging route. The first 3.5k is pretty much all up a long, steep hill. So steep that I earned a new pb for reaching my greatest elevation, 197m.
Once the route flattened out we were up in the mountains surrounded by beautiful countryside and forestry. Having come up, then we began to come down with a lovely 2km descent. At this stage I met up with a local County Councillor whose face I knew from her recruitment posters. She said I had been her mark to catch up to so we ran together for the next 1.5k until she managed to escape me. The last 2k are very up and down but I had a walker at my heels who kept me moving.
The final 500m brings you back down the original climb so I gave it my all, picked up the pace and ran to the finish line where I was greeted by a High ten from my Counsellor Running partner, which was lovely.
My time was 1h 22, with a negative split which considering the hills I am very pleased with as my 10k pb is 1h 16. The fastest woman did it in 41m so could have run it twice in the time it took me, but that’s not the point, is it?