10 Things I Think About The Ballycotton 10
"Ní hé lá na gaoithe lá na ras."
So foul and fair a day I have not seen. Beautiful sunny day but a with a malevolent northerly wind, very unusual for Ballycotton. The wind was that spirit crushing kind you get on a bike. I haven't experienced such misery since climbing the Vee on a bike. That evil sort of wind that makes you think your brake is rubbing. Not a day for big tall lump like me, no shelter, although quite a few people took shelter behind me.
Ballycotton is a beautiful quaint village, 3000 people is not a quaint number of people. I prefer the small 5 mile races, much more character. If you hang around afterwards the quaintness returns, perhaps the wind blew it out to sea.
Any good athlete has a ready made list of excuses like "those testosterone patches were just a delivery error" or "the jiffy bag contained fluimucil definitely not triamcinalone". Mine was five weeks missed training with a torn post tib tendon. Unlike Team Sky I think my excuse might stand up to scrutiny by a House of Commons committee. I hope they call me.
4. Swedish House Mafia
I spent the hour before the race reading the Sunday Times in the car trying to psych myself up. It didn't work. I really should stop reading David Walsh's column.
I don't know why I didn't even try and blag my way into the elite entry pen. I'm not elite but that didn't seem to be important. I'm normally better at blagging. If you can blag your way into an airport lounge, the start line of ballycotton should be a piece of cake.
The start of Ballycotton is an exercise in running restraint, you know you shouldn't be running too fast but it's extremely disconcerting to be overtaken by the full forward line of the local GAA team. I think I caught them.....eventually.
7. First Mile
I dislike the way they call out the splits. All I heard was "that's not very good, is it?" Not a good sign.
8. White Dog vs Black Dog
The black dog on my right shoulder was having a serious disagreement with the white dog on my left shoulder all race. Very nasty that black dog, he had the poor white dog by the throat out around Ballymaloe, I thought he was going to kill him. He doesn't say anything during the cross country, he must like the grass.
With the malevolent wind at your back the finish wasn't too bad. I was more happy to be not be listening to the black dog anymore. The white dog is much nicer, pity he was so quiet today.
10. T-Shirt and Mug.
Sure how bad. There are worse ways to spend a Sunday. It's just that much like Macbeth, If it were done when 'tis done, then 'twere well It were done quickly".