Myself and Michael Creed got a nice bus from the GAA pitch where we parked, up to the course.
Arrived at the offices (a tent in a farmers cow shed) to be told "there's no Leevale numbers". This wasn't true, they'd just been taken by the Leevale ladies team.
Turns out the numbers were pointless anyway as they were blown off within about 5 minutes of the start.
3. Starting Time
All of a sudden it was decided that the junior men and intermediate women would run the same race. Time for a quick 5 minute warm up, unfortunately Tomas Kenefick had gone for a proper warm up and missed the start.
4. How many laps do ye want to do
At the starters discretion there was a brief discussion about shortening the race because of the weather. We eventually persuaded them that we wanted to run 8k as that's what the race was supposed to be. I think everyone just wanted to go home.
Fast start off down the hill into a tight corner. I tried to take it out hard but was passed by Darren and Alex O'Shea. I thought this was an unusual tactic for an Ultramarathoner so I just tucked in behind. Good decision. The Alex O'Shea fan club were vocal in their support throughout the race.
The course itself was really well thought out, just a pity that the weather was apocalyptic, sheets of rain, wind and cold. A 2k lap with good hills and some nice open flat sections. One of the better courses.
Today's muck was different to the muck in Dundalk, while it was mucky it wasn't sticky so you could just about keep the legs turning over. Muck rating 9/10.
I adopted the Chris Mintern patented wheel sucking XC tactics for the race. I sat in behind Darren and tried to pass him on the downhills. In hindsight this was as pointless as a the Social Democrats election manifesto. Into the home straight Darren just kicked away. I never had hope despite finishing within 2 seconds of him.
9. Remember Your Numbers
The much sought after numbers had been blown away so had you had to remember your name and number crossing the line, otherwise you didn't count. This is challenging after 8k in the muck flat out.
10. GAA Facilities are Fantastic
Back to the GAA pitches for a hot shower after a warm down with Darren. The GAA have good showers.