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Will run for Guinness

22 August 2011
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I have been slacking again. Not with the running, but with the writing about it. I’ve just got back from a long weekend in Ireland and now have three pieces of running to describe in words. I’ll try to keep it brief.

The first was a good run – a morning jaunt to Muswell Hill on Thursday. I believe it was sunny. I ran 5 miles and walked only once.

The second was a bad run – the first of two in beautiful Kinsale (I think that’s its registered trademark). We were there for a wedding and had two windows of opportunity for running: Friday afternoon and Sunday morning. On the Friday Kinsale didn’t look so beautiful. There was rain. There was wind. On the bridge across the Bandon river there was driving wind and rain of the horizontal variety. It was August but it felt like February. The run itself wasn’t too bad, but even I thought we were crazy for attempting it.

The final run should have been the worst of the three. It was the morning after a Guinness, vodka and wine-fuelled wedding during which I spent many hours on my feet in new high-heeled sandals, dancing to a traditional Irish band playing hits by the Black-Eyed Peas. At 7.30am on Sunday everything hurt, up to and including my eyeballs, but the sun was out and we were by the sea. There was running to be had.

I have just looked up our route on mapmyrun.com, to check the distance and record it in case I ever go back to Kinsale. It was a a truly gorgeous 5 miles, through winding town streets and along the pier wall, around the harbour’s edge, over the water to a 17th century fort. I was delighted to learn that the road we followed around the headland is called “The World’s End”, and that we crossed the river on the Archdeacon T.F. Duggan Bridge.

I didn’t take my camera, but I don’t think I could have captured the scene in any photograph. The morning sun glittering towards the headland, the ruin suddenly appearing beyond the bridge, the water calm and full of sky. None of these things had been visible in Friday’s fog and to have them suddenly revealed now, as if a curtain had been pulled back, was a gift for even the weariest eyes. One of my best runs ever.

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