Thursday, May 10, 2018


In 2004, I ran the Dublin marathon. I'm not 100% why but I wanted a big challenge and I had always been fascinated by long-distance running, though until that time I never imagined being one of the runners myself. That Dublin run was supposed to be a once-off, tick one off the bucket list and move on with your life. At least that's what I kept saying, though I think deep down I knew there might well be more to come. Still, the accepted wisdom at the time was that you never run more than 2 marathons a year, so even if you had a long running career you would only get so many of them.

It wasn't for another few years that I became aware that Ray O'Connor, at the time mainly known as the RD in Connemara, was actively running as many marathons as he could, with the goal of eventually reaching 100. Wow! Then the Marathon Club of Ireland was founded, by Ray, because he (and others) felt there weren't enough marathons around (how times have changed!), and running 100 marathons became a fairly popular quest. Many ran marathons purely to add up the numbers. I can honestly say that I never did that - with one single exception, all my marathons had a purpose, either they were the goal race I had been training for or they were a training run with the specific aim of getting me fitter for a long ultra race.

That was the case for the first 98.

Number 99 was purely there to make up the numbers. The Lakes of Killarney marathon is basically my home race, the one marathon closest to Caragh Lake, where I had spent 13 happy years and where I had run 10000s of miles. It had to be the one, so I ran Rathdrum just to make the numbers add up. Incidentally, it messed up my training for the 24 hours race next month, but never mind.

Right now, as of this moment, I have run exactly 64 marathons and 35 ultras, adding up to 99. On Saturday, I'll get to 100.

Training this week was a bit of a mixed bag. The legs, especially the hamstrings, were rather tired after Saturday's parkrun, and it took a while to come round again. I also ran quite a few miles, which might not have helped with recovery but the 24 is getting very close and this is the time to boost the miles. I'm probably flirting with overtraining but so far I think I'm getting away with it. The resting HR is the lowest I've had for 10 years, though the training HR is a bit off peak. Killarney is obviously another big training run and then it's another 3 weeks of big miles before the taper.

6 May
16 miles, 2:12:36, 8:17 pace, HR 135
7 May
10.1 miles, 1:24:03, 8:19 pace, HR 134
8 May
am: 5.2 miles, 42:43, 8:12 pace, HR 135, incl. several sprints
pm: 10.25, 1:24:23, 8:13 pace, HR 135
9 May
10.25 miles, 1:26:23, 8:25 pace, HR 137
10 May
10.25 miles, 1:25:52, 8:22 pace, HR 137

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