10 Things I Think About The Oberhausen 10k
1. I’m In a Museum
I think my mother’s reaction to my message about winning the race today was perfect. “Brilliant! I’m in a museum” Who cares if you won a race when you could be looking at the works of Klimt and Schiele in Vienna. There are more important things than running.
2. Der Meister Diet
I think my pre race diet was perfect, I ate very little all week except for beetroot sandwiches from the Bakestone and purple porridge for breakfast. After the vegan gorging in Valencia, my appetite had returned by the time we arrived in Vienna. Thankfully vegans are plentiful in Vienna so there are lots of excellent restaurants like Wrenkh and Veggiez. I dispensed with veganism for my pre race meal and had a pizza with parma ham and two pints of Stigel the best Austrian Bier.
I think I recovered very well from the Half in Valencia, taking the day off immediately after the race is the key. Sports scientists like Ronán talk nonsense about recovery running, but running the day after a half is anything but recovery, it hurts a lot and is obviously pointless, running is never recovery it’s always damaging, it always hurts a bit. I ran plenty from Monday to Sunday because I felt less bad.
4. Hitler’s Vienna
I think the city walk in Vienna the day before the race was perfect. It had everything, Hitler, WWI, WWII, coffee and a woman from Azerbaijan with a dog called Alf in her handbag. It was an excellent city walk, one of my favourites. The only issue was the lack of street art.
I think Michael Herlihy would have loved today’s race. It was AIMS certified and was wondrously flat and fast with chip timing. The two 5k laps were perfectly marshalled and unlike in Spain, the cones where you turn around had been placed precisely exactly where they should have been. It was very un Spain. It was very Austrian.
6. The Start
Unlike a proper runner I hadn’t looked up anything about the course. I had no idea where it went. I had to ask one of the guys in an Austrian singlet on the line whether it went left or right. It went right, straight into the same vicious headwind last seen in Valencia and before that in Portlaoise. It seems to be following me around. Thankfully we had a cyclist in front of us guiding us so I could tuck in behind him and draft. I led from the start as I normally do, other people followed as they normally do.
7. The Fear
I don’t think I ever felt confident that I was going to win the race. All sorts of mad thoughts enter your head, like after 5k you think what if the guy behind was only tempoing the first 5k and is going to drop the hammer for the last 5k, or what if the Austrians don’t like Irish people because of James McClean and are deliberately going to send me the wrong way like would happen in Russia or Kerry. Thankfully I’m very likeable so they let me win, they even said so afterwards. It was all very neutral really. The EU is great.
8. The Podium
I think I gave an excellent post race interview from the podium. I even sang a bit of Amhran na Bhfiann when they asked about the anthem. (It helps when your mother is in a museum instead of at the race). I emphasised a lot that I was from Cork which I think is very important. I don’t think they understood what I was saying but I think they liked my voice because it’s Irish. People were laughing even though what I was saying was very serious. Linda kindly took pictures and translated the Austrian for me which helped a lot. I had no idea what was going on really. All I understood was that “Donal Coakley” meant get up there boy and stand on that podium and look happy.
9. Bradley Wiggins
I think it was a setup that I won the “we are going to draw the raffle numbers” draw. I even knew the Austrian for my number 19. Up I marched to collect a pair of size 10 ON running shoes and a RSLAB type foot analysis in Vienna. The Austrians were going on about the luck of the Irish. Bloody stereotypes, it’s all hard work, no luck involved.
10. The Golden Cleric
I think I’d have loved to have gone on a Father Ted style “And where am I? Accepting an award for being a top runner” rant but I don’t think it would have worked well in Austria. Perhaps I’ll spare my list of liars for when I actually win a race in Cork. God it’ll be a long speech. I like winning. An rud is anamh is iontach. I doubt it will become a habit though.