Brendan’s long journey was rewarded with a 2nd place finish in a time of 2hr38mins13 secs. This time equates to walking 7 consecutive 5Ks, each in 22mins 35secs; his average pace was 4.31/Km or 7.16/mile, which is a phenomenal walking pace.
Brendan was 2nd to European Champion, Miguel Angel Lopez and he matched Lopez’s pace for the first 10K. This race was the start of Brendan’s outdoor season and he was using it as part of his build up towards 50K in 3 weeks.
With a plethora of spring road races imminent, LAC members used the weekend as an opportunity to get some training miles in. The senior cross country championship in Rostrevor, Co Down on Sunday signalled the end of the cross country season, and a very full road calendar now awaits runners. The women’s race in Co Down was won by Maria McCambridge, now of Dundrum South Dublin, but formerly of LAC.
Garvan McCloskey is a man well known to most people in the Letterkenny area. Like LAC members Monica/Gerard McGranaghan, who were featured last week, Garvan is now doing his running well away from Aura, the Cathedral, Town Park, Newmills loop, Rashedoge, Pearse Road etc. Garvan is currently living in the Gunks mountains, in the Hudson Valley, more than 100KM from New York. He has excellent running areas, with hundreds of miles of rail and carriage trails, which are traffic free and very scenic. One thing Garvan misses about running back home is the banter he had with LAC runners; the sense of humour is different in America. Unusually for a runner in his 50s, Garvan is still recording PBs. He ran 2 Marathons last year and achieved a PB in Philadelphia; he also ran the Boston Marathon. His Philadelphia time (3.14.27) gave him the qualifying time to enter both the New York and Chicago Marathons, later this year. The events are close together, so Garvan intends doing Chicago, in October, as this is a race he has never done. Garvan speaks highly of the Mountain Trails summer series that he intends doing this year; he has won the over 50 Category in that event in each of the last 2 years. The standard is not as high as here and there is nothing like the post race hospitality enjoyed at Donegal races. He has made many good friends in New York, through running. Garvan proudly wears his black/amber LAC vest in America and is regularly engaged in conversation by people who are eager to discuss Donegal. There is not the same level of coaching available; people with the knowledge, expertise and experience of Teresa McDaid- and the other excellent coaches in Donegal- are not as freely available to turn to for help and advice on the various aspects of running such as training, racing, nutrition and injury prevention. Over the last few months, Garvan has been training in the gym, due to the extreme weather in New York. However, the worst of the weather is now over and Garvan is about to restart outdoor running and hopes to participate in some of the large number of 5Ks, which start in mid March.
Best wishes go to Danny Mooney and coach Teresa McDaid for success at the weekend. Danny is running in the 1500m in the European Athletics Indoor Championships in Prague. He is timetabled to run at 11.50 on Saturday morning.