The Challenge...32 Marathons, 32 Counties, 32 Days
Gerry and Ken's Blog...

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Marathon 16 - Galway - Halfway!

Day 16 saw us hitting the half-way point in our challenge. After the day I (KW) had yesterday and the late night physio last night I went to bed shattered. Although I normally wake up ready to take on another day, another 26 miles, this morning, for the first time, I was worried as soon as my right foot hit the ground. I still had a pain from the day before and even walking to the restaurant for breakfast caused some discomfort. Noeleen, our chartered physio, had me on the plinth by 8am and although it helped loosen the shin/ankle a little I still wasn't happy as we drove to the start line in Galway city.

My spirits were lifted slightly by the good number of people who had come to run/jog/walk with us. A number of friends had even driven from Mullingar to join us which was great. Unfortunately I had to miss another race briefing as I was getting my ankle strapped - this was one morning I didn't mind missing it though - I needed to focus on just getting to the start line.

I started off tentatively, at the back of the group. Each step of the first quarter mile or so were sore and worrisome and I began to wonder what was I trying to do running a marathon when it was sore to walk! Thankfully though, and somewhat miraculously, the pain in my ankle seemed to dissolve from about the half mile point. From there on the run became almost...enjoyable!

Gerry had gone on ahead and was flanked by a great group of friends and fellow runners. Declan Muldarry and Deirdre Fallon successfully took on the half marathon distance, whilst Jarlath Mahon completed his first full marathon. Further back I had the company of a good friend of mine Enda Munnelly. I know Enda doesn't like running - he has told me many a time but despite this he had committed to run a full marathon with me today. Many of the later miles went by with few words spoken between us but getting to the latter part of a marathon the mind becomes very focused on one thing - getting home using the least amount of energy. I am proud to say that 5 hours and 40 minutes after we set off we crossed the line together, both with big smiles and me holding the hands of my niece and nephew - a lovely end to the run!

Gerry had finished a little over an hour ahead of me, in a time of 4:37 - another great run.

At least today I'm not holding the crew up from moving on to the next county. I think we're all looking forward to an early night tonight...


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