Cursa Popular D'Age 2017

10 Things I Think About The 35th Cursa Popular D'Age

1. Recce

I don't think I like doing reconnaissance missions on these road races in foreign countries. It's much better when you haven't a clue what the locals decided would be a good course over a few bottles of wine. The fact that we had to turn back at one section tells you all you need to know about the course. Michael is still convinced he could have gotten the Seat Ibiza up the rocky trail.

2. Le Chat du Font Romeu

I think it was a bad idea to do a five mile trail run the morning of the race. I went over on my ankle for the 42nd time in Font Romeu, my nine lives appear to have run out. My foot is finally sprained. It probably wasn't the best idea to run the race but I have very good drugs. Unfortunately taking them is like turning off the fire alarm when the house is clearly on fire. It's not good when you wake up the following morning.

3. Patisserie Le Joffre

I think a pain au raisin, a chasson aux pommes and three cafe grandes is the perfect breakfast at altitude. It's just a pity that my friend Chloe wasn't there to serve me this morning.

4. Bib Gourmand

I think a three course set menu for €23 at a Michelin Bib Gourmand with Conor and Donal four hours before a race is perfect preparation. Jambon, Bouef and Sorbet. What more could you need. The waiter even complimented me on my belle moustache. I think Mo Farah and Andy Butchart eat there the whole time before races.

5. Altitude

I think it was a good idea to go down from altitude to race. Age is at about 1000m compared to 1800 for Font Romeu. I don't think we would have performed as well up in Font Romeu, it's much harder to run up there. Age is also in Spain which is good.

6. Dorsal Collection

I think chip timing, a t-shirt and a fairly accurate course is a lot to get for €6. The chip timing was via a dorsal which you tied around one leg. I much prefer the chip on your shoe. The dorsal irritated my achilles.

7. British and Irish Lions

I think I really enjoyed representing my country. We had a in-race race between the Irish and British residents of Font Romeu. Instead of a singlet we got green rocky style bandanas. Only John O'Connell wouldn't tie his around his head and wore it on his arm instead. The Cork Athletics Board wouldn't have been happy about that. Country before County and County before Club.

8. Carrera

I think I thought I could beat John Meade today. I tore off at the start like a Kenyan trying to beat Mo Farah. Just like the Kenyans it was pointless. I got to the bit where the road ended on the back of Conor and John but the minute the gravel bit started they tore off. Ah well I was closer than before. Project beat John Meade might take a while.

9. Trail

I think we should have more half trail half road races in Ireland. It makes the race more interesting when you have to slow down for rocks and holes in the road. It also means that finish time is irrelevant, all that matters is where you finish.

10. Podium

I think podiums are fantastic. I didn't get to stand on the podium today but Mike did along with Jonathan and James. It looked like great fun. In the Ireland vs Team JEP battle, Ireland emerged victorious 29 points to 30. I don't think the locals appreciated an entirely foreign top 10. The local hero was well down the field.

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