10 Things I Think About The Donoughmore 7
1. 13 Years 3 Minutes
I think that it is amazing that I’m still able to run 13 years after my first time running this race. It was back in 2006, it doesn’t seem like 13 years because if you look at the results it’s the same people still running. In those 13 years I got 3 minutes faster. That’s a lot of training for 3 minutes. 14 seconds per year improvement. Another 13 years and I should be able to win, comfortably.
I think that I was right to give myself lots of excuses for this race. I was extremely worried that Viv the mountain goat would prance past me on the two mile mountain and finally beat me. In order to ensure that I had adequate excuses I did extra miles and went to the Magic Numbers in Cyprus Avenue when I should have been in bed sleeping. I had other excuses prepared too but I’ll save them for another time seeing as I didn’t need them for this race.
I think that it’s very important to do a shakeout run the morning of an evening race. A shakeout is any run that doesn’t exceed 5k or 25 minutes in length, any longer and it’s a run and potentially an excuse. I did precisely 3 miles before this race. The perfect shakeout.
I think that Donoughmore is as close to altitude as you’ll get in Cork. It’s very far away up in the hills with a viciously cold permanent breeze, it reminds me of Anglesboro without the mountains.
5. Two Miles Uphill
I think I forgot that the first two miles of the course are uphill. I tried to go with Alan, Alan and Gavin at the start to try and get a good gap on Viv and Jonathan, I wasn’t able to stay with them but I could keep them in sight. Michael Morgan came with me which was unsurprising. Then Mike Morgan dropped me which was unsurprising.
I think my favorite part of this course are the three downhill miles. I’m very excellent at running downhill because I’m huge. I could still see Mike ahead so I decided to match his cadence and try and catch up to him, this worked as I have much longer legs and running is cadence x stride length. I knew he was getting very worried because he kept looking behind him like he was being chased by a monster with orange sunglasses on. By the fourth mile I had closed to within 10 seconds by my own accurate counting, I was even catching Alan rapidly.
7. Two Mile Mountain
I think that I probably ran up the last two miles faster 13 years ago than I did this evening. I’m way too huge to run uphill for two miles at any sort of reasonable speed. I don’t know what weight I am but it’s definitely over 12 stone. 12 stones don’t move up hill quickly. Any dreams of beating Mike Morgan quickly disappeared.
I think that Jonathan Murphy was probably the last person on earth that I wanted to see on that mountain. Just as I started the 6th mile I could hear him gently pawing the ground behind me, then he glided past like he was oblivious to the fact that we were running on a mountain. Jonathan versus me on a huge steep mountain is not a fair fight, it’s like Anthony Joshua vs that big Mexican guy except they have to box running up a massive mountain, there’s only going to be one winner.
I think my battle with Jonathan was the most fun that I have ever had in a road race. For a mile and a half on the two mile mountain to the finish I felt like I was re-enacting Lance Armstrong vs Pantani on Mont Ventoux. I was definitely Lance, bluffing majorly and hoping that the drugs would start working soon. I bluffed a couple of times, wandered across the road, made a little sprint, tried to shake Jonathan off but each time, even if distanced a little, he’d annoyingly jog back up on to my shoulders. Then when he saw the 800m sign, just like Pantani, Jonathan happily danced away. I really really desperately tried to follow but unfortunately I am not Lance, I am Donal.
I think that there were a lot of prizes in Donoughmore. It is an excellent race if you like envelopes. I got two envelopes, one for 6th and one for winning the team prize for Leevale. I also had to collect Viv’s two prizes. I think that I should get to keep his prizes as I beat him very badly again. There should be a prize for repeated bad beatings. Next week will be a great week as I’ll get to beat both Donal Coffey and Viv at the same time in one race in Millstreet. It’ll be excellent.