The Kilkenny 10km was one of the more important races of my half marathon preparation.
The race fell just a week before my first half marathon in Dublin and I was using it as my last speed session.
I hadn’t done the race before but when I saw the medal (kind of a silly reason to do a race) I needed to add that to me collection.
My running fitness was peaking at this stage of my training. I was approaching races from the angel of what speed I wanted to finish. Usually I was all about just surviving a 10km. Today I was racing it.
Before the training had started for the half marathon I really had never thought of doing one. I believed that 20km was just out of my reach. It took time and perseverance, and as any athlete will tell you, it finally came.
I got a beautiful evening for the event. My dad and my girlfriend had come up too. Kilkenny is about an hour’s drive from where I live so it was no hassle.
When we arrived I signed on and did my usual 2km warm up and some stretches on the start line. I decided after eyeing everyone up that I would stand on the start line instead of behind people.
‘BANG!’ and we were off. I bolted out of the gate at a 2:40km/min pace and found myself in second place for around 800 meters until I fell into my usual 4km/min pace for the rest of the race.
The route was nice and straight for the most part. However, with a full marathon, 30km, and half marathon event taking place at the same time the stewards were stretched out over those course routes. this made traffic calming and navigation a challenge; considering it was a road race.
The race flew by with little thought. One woman from the Irish Defence Force passed me at 8km and I ran with her for a little while. In the last 600 meters two other runners caught up with us and it was a flat out sprint to the finish.
Coming 9th was a big surprise. The race had been tough and I didn’t expect such a good result. I was really spent afterwards and had a hard time getting my own shoes off.
I also enjoyed hitting my 40-minute goal which was a great relief. Sometimes the most addictive thing about racing can be getting in over that finishing line.
I am glad to have this one in the bag before the changeover to cycling after Christmas. I have two other big races coming up before then. Run The Line on November 26th and the Waterford Half Marathon then on the 3rd of December.
By Nick Moloney