10 Things I Think About The EDP Grande Prémio Natal
1. Coffey vs Coakley VI
I think Lisbon was a suitable venue for a rematch with my greatest rival, the other Donal. I was genuinely worried that his Runners World Style training plan of “don’t bother running, run faster” would actually pay off.
2. I Give You Sample
I think that the amount of times you are offered cocaine and hash in Lisbon is directly proportional to the colour of your sunglasses. They didn’t seem to bother with John and the other Donal. Apparently it’s all fake stuff anyway, that’s why it’s not illegal. They all offer you a sample to test it. “I give you sample, real not fake”. Not exactly the best advertising tag line ever.
3. Cunning Taper Run
I think it was an excellent idea to take the other Donal on a good long 10 mile taper run to collect the numbers the day before the race. With his Runners World training plan it totally exhausted him. It was only 8 minute miles looking at lovely bridges and towers but he looked very tired afterwards.
4. Fado Fado
I think the walking tour of the Alfama was one of the better walking tours I’ve done. Rita was an excellent tour guide, a lawyer and an actor with fantastic pink hair. We learned loads about clothes hangers made from glass bottles and the history of Fado singing, plus it made the other Donal even more tired. John Meade is indefatigable so 10 miles and a walking tour made no impact.
I think Instagram is ruining the world, Lisbon is plagued by people standing around posing for photos, they’re not posing for excellent photos like I do, they’re posing for pretty photos like fashion shoots. It’s very annoying.
I think it’s amazing that a small city like Lisbon has such a great Metro system. It’s half the size of Dublin and is way easier to get around. The metro was free on Sunday morning to get to the race start, we felt like elite runners being ushered through the gates. It’s not as nice a metro as Berlin but it’s still very good. I wish there was a metro in Cork.
7. Meade no Warm Up
I think it’s fascinating that John Meade doesn’t do much of a warm up. It’s very unusual behaviour, I like to do at least two miles at about 7 minute mile pace. John Meade doesn’t have a Garmin just a Casio thing but he does about 5 minutes. It’s very unusual, he said it’s because he doesn’t like running slow before trying running to run fast. It seems to work, he should sell it to Runners World, “warm up less, run faster”.
I think the start of this race was as close to the start of the National Novice as you could get. The start was stupidly fast with elbows everywhere. There were 6000 people in the race and most of them seemed to be capable of running under 40 for 10k. Portugal is very different from Spain in that all the guys who look like they’re fast are actually fast. The lack of fun runners was clear from the lack of interest in the big rubber EDP balloon that was bouncing on the heads of the crowd, no one was playing ball, Donal Coffey loved the pre race hype.
9. Condescending Meade
I think I saved John Meades race, I passed him after about 2k, as I passed him he shouted “go on Donal” or something condescending like that, then about a minute later as we turned a corner up a hill he took off and flew away never to be seen again. I spent the rest of the race worrying that the other Donal was going to do the same, thankfully he was miles behind.
10. Waiting for Coffey
I think that was the first and last time I’ll run a negative split in a 10k. The course was all uphill for the first 5k with a downhill last 5k. It suits me perfectly being a big heavy lump, I fly down hills, unfortunately I didn’t fly fast enough to catch Meade. We came 42nd and 62nd I think, we were far too useless for the podium. Donal Coffey finished eventually.