Archive for the ‘Sport’ Category

Oldbridge parkrun

Sunday, July 14th, 2024 | Sport

Oldbridge parkrun takes place at Oldbridge House. It’s a country estate which now forms the Battle of the Boyne Visitor Centre.

The course is all off-road. Most of it is grass with some on dirt. It’s a lovely course in several ways: off-road, pretty flat, around some beautiful fields and a single lap (although some of it does form an out back bit). The main limitation would be if you like road or if you want a PB: the narrow tracks through the long grass mean there is not much overtaking room.

I’ve been ill with one of those colds that you it is difficult to believe is “just a cold” because it wiped me out. This was my first attempt at a run back and I was around 35 minutes, and even that felt like a slog. But I got around and ticked off my second O, leaving me with only one letter left for the name badge challenge.

Challenge Roth 2024

Thursday, July 11th, 2024 | Sport

Lots of exciting thing happened at Challenge Roth this year.

In the men’s race, Magnus Ditlev set a new men’s course record of 7:23:24. And in British interests, Tom Bishop moving up to long format, came second with 7:37:54. He was actually overtaken by Rudy Von Berg on the run but battled back to regain second place.

In the women’s race, Anna Haug set a new women’s course record of 8:02:38. It was only two years ago that Katt Matthews set the first women’s sub-8 at Sub7 / Sub8 under artificial conditions and now Haug is less than three minutes from doing it in a race. Also, she’s 41!

Further down the field, Jonas Deichmann completed his 60th full distance triathlon in a row to mark the halfway point in Challenge 120. He’s been taking up to 15 hours to complete them, meaning less than a full night’s sleep, and yet incredibly is still banging them out every day as he chases Sean Conway’s record.

Queen’s parkrun

Friday, July 5th, 2024 | Sport

Got my Q!

Queen’s parkrun takes place at Queen’s University’s sports fields and consists of a couple of laps around the campus. Nice, enough, not too hilly. Friendly place. I got chatting to one of the staff at Queen’s and it turns out he does computing. There were also tonnes of tourists, including a woman from Finland so I tried out some of my Finnish, which mostly went well.

Back on two wheels

Monday, July 1st, 2024 | Sport

I was without my bike for three months earlier this year so I wasn’t sure I would remember how to ride a bike. Even without the gap, I cycled inside exclusively over winter so my last proper ride was Helmsley Triathlon last summer.

Luckily, I did remember. I had forgotten what a joy it is to be out on a bike when the weather is beautiful. Will have to do this more often.

My next challenge is to workout how to stop my sun cream clouding up my prescription sunglasses.

Kilkenny parkrun

Saturday, June 29th, 2024 | Sport

This is a lovely parkrun in the grounds of Kilkenny Castle. But hill, but nothing too steep, and I was familiar with most of the route having done Kilkenny Triathlon last year. There is an outdoor cafe in the grounds, too, but they could use a public toilet.

I needed a letter K for both the alphabet challenge and spell your name challenge, so this ticked a lot of boxes.

I managed to make it into the background of one of the photos by accident:

Thoroughbred 10k

Wednesday, June 26th, 2024 | Sport

Thoroughbred is a series of runs with a 5k, 10k, half and full marathon option. It takes in some nice country roads before coming back through the National Stud. Very scenic.

Parking was a nightmare. There was no event car park and all of the suggested car parks were full. After 30 minutes, we decided the find a quiet street to park on. Should have done that from the start. I feel bad for getting in the way of the locals but nobody else seemed to bother.

I haven’t done much fast running recently so I decided to go out at an easy pace and see how it went. I did my first kilometre in around 5:30 and that seemed fine so I gently sped up and soon found myself running sub-5:00 which I was delighted with. In the end, I finished:


I was thrilled with that as I don’t know when I have done a last 10k but it felt like it could equally have been a 65-minute run/walk job.

Lovely to hang out and chat with the club, too. We had 24 people running across the distances but someone I managed to mis all of the group photos 😭.

Carlow Town parkrun

Sunday, June 23rd, 2024 | Sport

Beautiful parkrun along the river. I came down for event 249 so maybe I should have waited a week, but happy to be here anyway. My 5th C for the Pirates! challenge: only two more to go!

Vicarstown parkrun

Tuesday, June 11th, 2024 | Sport

Last weekend I headed down to Vicarstown for some more parkrun tourism.

It is a somewhat rural location. The official guidance on getting there by public transport is “there is no public transport”. Once I left the motorway, the road wasn’t quite single track, but it wasn’t wide enough to have a centre line, either. Luckily, it was easy to find and there was plenty of parking.

Getting there by public transport. There is no public transport.

The course is an out-and-back on the canal towpath. There is one bridge but it is otherwise completely flat with no locks. Vicarstown claim to be the best parkrun in the country and their selection of drinks and cake available at the finish line makes a case for that.

There were a couple of milestones for me. I ticked off my V for the alphabet challenge. I completed every parkrun in County Laois (one of one). And I completed my 50th different parkrun event.

Got my bike back

Monday, June 3rd, 2024 | Sport

After three months, my bike is back with me!

I took it into my local bike shop for a 24-hour service on 1 March. They said the seat post clamp was cracked and that they would need to order a new one from Bianchi. But they weren’t a Bianchi dealer, so they had to speak to Hollingsworth, who were, to get them to get the part. Week after week this went on as they blamed Hollingsworth and Hollingsworth blamed Bianchi.

In the end, I spoke to Woodrup and got them to order the part for me, which they kindly did and had it within a few days. Thanks, Woodrup! Having physically got the part for them, I know have my bike back. Needless to say, I won’t be rushing back to said shop.

Russborough parkrun

Sunday, June 2nd, 2024 | Sport

Russborough House is a stately home turned public park and home to a parkrun. Beautiful hills, a lovely house and a nice cafe with cakes inside. The route is two laps on mixed trail with some nice shade when it is sunny. Not too hilly and free parking for parkunners, too.