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Strawberry Half Marathon – Enniscorthy 24th June 2012

[Race Report by Brian O’Shaughnessy]

Another well organised event by the Porters. Race bags with a decent t shirt collected Friday or Saturday very handy and made for an easy start Sunday morning. Numbers down a little due to the Waterford Half and Full, but still 350 approx for the half, 150 for the 5 miler and 100 or so 15km walkers. Parked up and made my way down to the start on a lovely sunny morning with a gentle breeze.

A lot of the usual suspects I’ve been racing against all summer were about. A bit nervous as though I’ve been getting plenty of training but no real long runs except the Sunday before. Had planned to try map out a min pace earlier in the week on the garmin due to the hilly course but in hindsight glad that I just ran to feel, try to run the first half in reasonable comfort and then hang on in for the 2nd half.

Off we went bang on 10am with Tom and a troop of Clonliffe Harriers bandits in toe. Great to see Dena and all the Hoganites at the 2km, always makes a diffence to see a friendly face along the way. Passed through 5km in about 19.40 and moving up the hills well and passing a few. At 8km the same guy who has blown up in the last two races blows up again, stops, turns and starts cursing and swearing! The hills in fairness are long and draggy but not complete stoppers and nice roads to run on, well marshalled. Still felt good at 10km in about 39.50, at this stage I was running on my own for a good while now and so it continued for the rest of the race which is good because you run your own pace but doesn’t help the concentration. Maria and the kids were waiting at 17km which was a nice boost but the hardest part was certainly Edermine to Enniscorthy along the N11 – long, flat and straight 5km, a real tramp’s heartbreak with a good breeze in the puss to add insult. Passed one more guy at about 20km and crossed the line in 1:26:56 and 19th place and the usual suspects behind me. Delighted, a PB of about 40 seconds (not 3 minutes unfortunately), zero nil nada juice in the tank which is a lovely feeling when you do finish.

But by all accounts the finish for 1st and 2nd was an absolute classic. An old bucko told me it was the best finished he’d seen in 40 years. Tom Hogan was on the shoulder of one of the Clonliffe bandits and it was a eye balls out sprint finish down the prom, Tom pipping the guy right on the line. Sweet. Nice way to celebrate the arrival of Tess Hogan.

The Porters are great people to organise so many races and running in Wexford would be a lot poorer without them, most of which are 3 snots. If you’re thinking of a road race for next year this is one to consider. This is their only commerical race of the year.


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