Since last blog i was lucky enought to take part in helping support my good friend Eamonn Sheehan doing his part for Autism.
212 in 2012 –
My good friend Eamonn Sheehan was doing a Autism Charity event earlier on the 2nd weekend of September. This involved a 106 mile cycle then 106 mile run. I had intended to go up to support Eamonn on the run part towards the end however when I found out when checking my facebook just after midnight the Friday night that he was running straight from the bike and not having any sleep and at one stage he was a bit low on support crew during the night stage I decided to head up earlier than planned. That night I had decided to head up was quite funny. When I look back now I at one stage was settling into bed one moment, then a half hour later was knocking some coffee in me and a banana sandwich and getting dressed into running gear with a plan to do some serious pacing – something I have never done before. I knew that Eamonn was an awesome runner but I thought my main job was to just to keep the big lad from falling asleep whilst doing 4 back to back marathons in a row.
As for me, I knew I could prob do 10 miles ok, but I wasn’t sure that I could run anymore. I was afraid of letting Eamonn down and leaving him without a running partner by about 4 or 5am in the morning when I thought I would get knackered. I decided on route to Dungannon to just see how I got on and do what I could and that that would be better than nothing.
I arrived just after 1.00 am and by about 1.30 am I joined Eamonn and Jon. Eamonn’s good friend of his Jon had already been running with him for a long time. The guys had a small headtorch with them and I offered my strong bike cateye torch which has a strong beam which we took turns running with. We later joked about how the light was bouncing around like a disco as we ran in the dark.
The banter was great and although I had never met Jon before and only knew Eamonn from a few chats we had at recent triathlon events, the three of us got on as if we knew each other for yrs. Jon has a good deal of triathlon experience and has already achieved his ‘ironman’ status in Germany and was able to give me some sound advice from what he has learned over the years.
Every lap or so we went into the motor home (borrowed by Deca Keith Clarke) fuelled up and ticked off the mileage on the scorechart whilst trying not to let the midges eat us alive.
Poor Eamonn was later on finding it pretty tough especially on the knees, yet he fought through the pain and kept going. Don’t know how he did it. Amazing.
The hours past, the ducks and birds began to wake up and bring a bit a noise to the eerie silence we were experiencing, then the beauty of the sunrise came and a gentle warmth was a welcome after the long hours of darkness. By this stage Eamonn was entering his final marathon run and it was nice to start clicking off those final 26 miles.
I noticed Eamonn didn’t have any specific nutrition/hydration plan or walk/run strategy set in a plan. Eamonn said he just goes on how he feels. I hope the big lad didn’t get too upset at me bullying him with the odd ‘Eamonn, you need to eat/drink something’ and ‘right, we have rested too long, let’s go for a wee run’. At one stage I thought he looked pretty tired so I got him to take a power nap for half hr which I thought he needed after being up without sleep for so long.
I felt terrible for waking him up but later when the Deca lads Keith & Bob turned up they said power naps are useful so I didn’t feel so bad.
In the early morning Eamonn’s whole family turned up, it was great. Each lap we came around you could see all the kids playing and laughing and Eamonn’s wife dishing out the best chocolate cookies; yummy. His mum gave regular updates on who was coming and going and helped a great deal in overseeing the managing of fundraising to help Eamonn.
Mid-morning Jon had just completed over 50k and decided that was enough for him. Well done for Jon as he had been there long before me. At this stage Keith and Bob the Tri Limits lads had turned up to pace Eamonn until the end. We slagged the lads off for not running with us as they were on bikes, but to be honest we can’t really call them lazy after just completing 10 ironmans in a row recently.
Towards the last 10 mile or so Eamonn started to get quicker and quicker. He was also his usual happy self which is no feat after coming through all he had already done. He still found time to chat and be friendly to everyone. A real decent down to earth guy.
Eamonn continued his good pace and finished just after 3pm. It was an emotional time for everyone and something that I was privileged to be allowed to take part in my own little way.
Shortly after finishing I had to make a quick departure as I had to be back to look after the wee rascal Aimee as Caroline (my beautiful wife) was heading out with her friends at 5pm. But from last I heard from Eamonn after he finished he was heading out into Dungannon town to do some bucket collections; what a top fella!
You can find out more about the event at - https://www.facebook.com/212in2012
Other things happening –
As for other stuff I have been up to I have increased my frequency of running but only doing about 4 or 6 mile at a time with the weekly 10 miler if I can.
I would have liked to be out on the bike a bit more but I haven’t been out that much. My last bike ride was fun getting kinda lost in the castlereagh / drumbo hills. I was using a new iphone app ‘Strava’ which is similar to mapmyfitness however it is more bike specific giving more technical specific details (http://itunes.apple.com/app/strava-cycling/id426826309?mt=8). Came across what I thought to be my steepest hill to date on the bike and thankfully I was going downhill ‘pinehill descent’ 0.7 miles of 6.6% gradient. Very steep and a bit scary trying not to press too hard on the brakes going down. Later found out I did a 3min.21sec time for it and the fastest person on the Strava chart did it in 1.24 time. Holy moses, how did they not fall ! I was ranked 18th out of 18 people on the ride chart. I have to try going back to that hill and I wouldn’t mind trying it uphill however I think that I would not be able to stay clipped on the bike without having to walk someway up the hill.
As for planned future events I have only made plans so far, next year I have signed up for some event in Bolton at the start of August 2013. Can you guess what it is? giv u a clue – IMUK J