I love Tollymore. I have always loved Tollymore. I remember walking around here with my Sharp walkman listening to Bon Jovi telling the trees that ‘this Romeo is bleeding…’ instead of playing swingball in the campsite.

2015 has been the Japanese year of the ‘niggle’. I have actually been made of glass but all signs leading up to the Tollymore Ultra suggested that I was actually going to be able to get round this ok after a few long runs went without a hitch. In fact, it was meant to be the marathon I was racing but I made a last minute switch to the Ultra.

November in Norn Iron is really not the month you want to be starting your season – It’s the time of the year where I should be resting and taking it easy due to the mingingness of the weather but with the Wicklow 50 in December & Last man standing in February, I find myself needing to log the miles.

So the race itself was a gloriously damp affair. We started at 8am and looped a 13 mile course x 3 times. If loops aren’t for you, I really wouldn’t be put off by this race – the loops are long enough & the colours in the forest at this time of the year are worth 3 viewings! (Comments like that really make me realise I’m turning into my Da)

Everything went pretty much perfectly for me on the day, I decided not to carry water as the aid stations allocated before the race looked like plenty – I also left a drop bag at the start/finish line. Thankfully, I think I fuelled the old bod perfectly, I didn’t feel myself coming close to blowing up or lacking in energy once. Now, this could be a range of things such as the fact that I haven’t over-raced this year or simply that I got my food right. I think it’s probably a mix.

I crossed the line in 5hrs 46mins in 7th place. I’m over the moon with that – for once I kept a steady pace & didn’t have any major disasters which is incredible considering I was in the Tollymore toilets 5 times before the race started!!

A great day out & fantastic organisation by 26extreme. I’m just thankful to be getting some running in without feeling like I’m going to crumble. Although, Evans nightly routine of performing body slams on me off the bed (Top turnbuckle) surely can’t be helping…

Screen Shot 2015-11-24 at 07.43.42

Next up – Wicklow.


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