Sunday, August 10, 2014

Missing Connemara

I was glued to Social Networks yesterday, getting (sparse) updates from the Connemara 100 race (that's 100 as in miles). The number of runners had doubled this year and I do wonder if my little race report from last year had at least some part in that (before you call me deluded, at least 4 guys kept telling me that it had played at least some part in the decision making process). I know a lot of the runners personally and it became clear soon enough that Don Hannon and Brian Ankers especially had very strong races. Nevertheless I was absolutely astonished when I heard of Brian's winning time of 15:48. That's almost an hour faster than my time last year, and that from a runner who has yet to break 3 hours in the marathon. I am obviously not the only one who is a lot better at long ultra distances, but Brian has taken that to a new level.

In case you're not aware of it, Brian has run around 85 marathons last year (not sure of the exact figure) and he has obviously gained the benefits of that this year. There is definitely a lesson in there, though I'm not sure how I could apply that to myself - I don't think I could run almost 2 marathons a week and remain married at the same time.

One more detail - Brian once told me his one ambition is to beat me in a marathon, after that he can retire happily. Somehow he seems to have forgotten that this has already happened, at marathon #9 in Sixmilebridge last year. Anyway, if he decided he wanted to run in an Ireland shirt one day, I'm pretty sure it's his.

I haven't got a lot to report about my own running. I am still only just returning to training and have been doing the same 8-mile run every morning as I'm slowly building back the mileage. The HR has been dropping, except for this morning when I ran a little bit faster instead - no real reason for doing so except that I felt like it. The legs are almost ridiculously stiff when I get up, a combination of the 24 hours race and getting old. I try to be careful and start every run at snails pace before picking it up a bit at some point during the first mile. I'll run a little bit further next week, maybe do a mountain run, and maybe run a little bit faster on one day. I'll see how it goes and adapt accordingly.

Oh, and once more, well done Brian!

7 Aug
8 miles, 1:03:57, 7:59 pace, HR 146
8 Aug
8 miles, 1:04:50, 8:06 pace, HR 143
9 Aug
8 miles, 1:02:54, 7:51 pace, HR 147
10 Aug
8 miles, 1:00:53, 7:36 pace, HR 151

Weekly Mileage: 53


  1. As I sip my Hendricks gin and tonic, cheers Thomas. Means alot.
    A new focus

  2. That's an awesome report of your experience:) Thanks for taking the time to write on it. I was equally impressed with Brian's work ethic, as I worked a photoshoot with him on 7/15 in Dublin around Phoenix Park. I requested to work with an athlete with flat abs, and someone who would work with me for two hours trying to get some good shots. That day, it was Brian. He arrived between one appt. and a boot camp class, worked the whole two hours, we did four scenes and there were about 3-4 outfit changes. The talent was off the charts to what I can do. I can't even comprehend running over 26.2, much less 100!! Y'all are amazing!! I was equally impressed he's happily married with four kids. I liked the stories on his family so much I sent home a jacket I didn't use in the photoshoot for his wife.

    I have forwarded things to some people in the United States where I live, and also to one elite athlete with the same talent as y'all, Dean Karnazes. I had the pleasure of meeting Dean at a Runner's World expo in NYC in 2011. He's off the charts like you two and would be so impressed with your time. I hope he has been able to see the race times. He's very energetic in person, and I am sure there are a lot of laughs in his house.

    I encourage y'all to put the Boston Marathon on your race calendar's and come to the US to compete in it. I retired marathon's with my 3rd NYC marathon in 2003. Check the qualifiy times for you age group and go do the race. It's a very prestigious race and if you are interested, google Amby Burfoot. He's the '68 winner of Boston and would love to hear about your training and how it was competing with Brian.

    I'll be at the WARR race in October and look forward to meeting all the fast and talented runners. Ireland is so awesome and brings me luck, I can't help but to come back.

    Train well & laugh hard,

    Beth Adair (site launched set for 8/30)