This post comes after my longest ever layoff from my blog. Lets just say it has been a rollercoaster of an end to a pretty crazy year but as you can see above there were some pretty amazing highlights, not only winning The Race in Donegal but finishing the TDS with family and friends there to support. I’ve enjoyed my racing and training this year and one of my resolutions (which I’m slow to make) is to blog more often in 2020. Before I start a quick recap of 2019.
I started the year living in the camper van and working in Dorset with Inshore fisheries. Throughout this period I trained mostly in the gym, with runs in the woods and hills in Dorset as well as some long runs up in Bristol on my days off. This training and a lot of gym time was all leading up to The Race in Donegal and I hoped to improve on my time for 2017. Of course this was all blown out of the water with a win in 14:49:08 and 30 mins quicker than two years previous. Dreams do come through if you follow them and work for them hard enough. I’m unlikely to return in 2020 but hopefully some day.
With the start of a new role with Inland Fisheries I had moved to Foxford, Co. Mayo only a few weeks before The Race, and the job was my number one priority in the coming months, settling in and getting to know my colleagues and a new area of work. It has been a good year workwise and this looks set to continue in 2020.
Thanks to all my family for incredible support all year again, not to mention the likes of Sinead and Kieron who helped crew at the TDS and offered support and advice all year.
After the race I took time to recover and next up was the Burren marathon. I was possibly still a bit fatigued and after giving it a good bash I slipped down from 2nd to 9th overall with a very poor last 7km. This will change on my return in 2020, all going well. That said it was an amazing marathon and one I would recommend to anyone looking for a little off road on the marathon route.
Next up was my return to Wicklow to murder that yellow man that haunted me over the last 2 years. He was gonna get smashed. I ran The Wicklow way in a comfortable state, not pushing too hard at any point. 130km completed and over 3 hours quicker than 2 years ago in 15:44. I met Fabio and Gordon and ran with them half the day, super guys I have bumped into a few times since. Great day out lads!!
After Wicklow I knew I had good distance in the legs looking ahead to the TDS. It was only a matter of steady training and staying injury free for the summer. I would throw the Seven Sisters 50km into the mix to get a race with plenty vertical gain in before heading to France. I finished the Seven Sisters in 7 hours and 12 mins, enough to get 3rd place. Nice little podium I hadn’t expected!
And then on to the TDS just over a month later and a return to Chamonix in France. No doubt the most incredible, mind numbing and bending race of my life. I finished in a dream 92nd place in 27 hours and 11 mins. Beyond anything I have ever experienced. A little summary can be found below in previous posts!
After TDS I rested and got back into light training pretty quick, ramping things up and competing in the Mournes Mountain Skyline race at the end of October. It wasn’t my greatest day but I managed to finish 20 minutes faster than two years previous so all in all a massive improvement in 2019.
The winter has confined training to the gym and some runs at weekends but life has been a bit all over the place and minor injuries, not to be complained about, have curtailed things for the last 2 weeks. These injured times do help you to reflect and bring everything into perspective. The most important thing is to realise how lucky you are to be healthy.
I have a few little surprises to come in 2020. Let’s just say it is gonna be a big one! For now, A Massive Happy New Year to everyone. Here’s to 2020!!