One Day in Castlerea

I arrive, full of uncertainty, at Rathcroghan mound, in Co Roscommon, at around 9 in the morning. The reason I am full of uncertainty is because I wish to take a photo of the mound from the air but the last time I used my drone I unwittingly crashed it full speed into a tree, which snapped one of the arms and resulted in it plummeting towards the ground and ricocheting off of the cement path in front of me. I had one unsuccessful attempt at gluing it back together and it flew lopsidedly and so I had to break it and re-glue it again by which point my fingers were practically glued together and I didn’t have the heart to try and fly it again. (You can read about that here if you want to).

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Sandal Pride at the Cork City Marathon 2022

“Jesus Christ, he’s running in flip flops,” is something I heard over and over and over and over again yesterday. “You mad bastard,” was said to me so many times that I started to feel like an “S” should be added to the LGBT flag so as to include folks like me that like to run in sandals. Personally, I find it shocking that so many can afford to run in €300 Nikes that one chap informed me last only 200kms. If that is true then that means each mile costs €2.50 and essentially makes them over 8 times more expensive than petrol on a per mile basis. I heard the opening line so many times yesterday that I started to fancy that maybe I am, in fact, Jesus Christ.

Cork City Marathon 2022.
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The Great Limerick Run 2022

The Great Limerick Run 2022 Participants

“Oh, well done, running a marathon is an achievement,” is something a lot of people have said to me to which I generally reply, “Meh, getting out of bed is an achievement too”.

On race day, I find that the hardest bit is, literally, getting out of bed at stupid o’clock to go and stand in the cold for an hour before running around the road for a few more hours. I’m not a person that’s interested in finisher medals but I think I’d be partial to the idea of getting one for getting up early of a Sunday morning and standing, semi-naked, with a few thousand others of the same persuasion who, for some reason, seem rather cheerful about the prospect.

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In the Arena at the Manchester Marathon 2022

Manchester Marathon 2022 Photo

At big city marathons I fancy myself a gladiator in an arena and so I don’t be inclined to wear headphones as I wish to hear the cheers of encouragement from the crowds who come out to support by clapping and cheering. I fancy they are out there for me, even though they aren’t, and I want to see and hear them and engage with them a little bit.

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A Bad Week

I’ve been having a bad bloody week. One might say a bloody bad week even. I took my car to a garage for some routine maintenance, and, while it was driving just fine when I dropped it off, the engine literally started to splutter and jitter and buck just as soon as I drove it out of there, and by the time I drove it a mile down the road there was smoke pluming out of it and a good portion of the engine oil had burned off. This is the second time this has happened to me in recent years and this is the second mechanic whose door I shall never again darken. One does not mind paying for a mechanic, but when your car goes in drivable and comes out undrivable then it makes one wonder just a little bit if foul play is afoot. Of course mechanics will generally blame you or make out it’s a total coincidence, but that doesn’t really make the frustration any less….frustrating.

My car sounding like it has Covid after routine maintenance.
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One Day in Dublin

“Do you realise the implications of a cashless society?” asks a young man that looks to be in his late twenties on O’Connell Street.

“Yes, I’ve thought about it a little bit,” I reply.

“The whole world is changing, man,” he says, “we’re all gonna become slaves which is why for the past while I’ve been living in a tent as I’ve decided to go off the grid”.

“Sounds good,” I say, genuinely fascinated.

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Panic Buying In The Time Of Coronavirus

“Have you any tinned mackerel?” I ask the lady in Tescos who is in the process of stocking the shelves.

“I’m not sure. Oh yes, I see them here. How many do you want?”

“Two, please,” I say, and she proceeds to take two tins out of the box.

“No, I meant two boxes,” I say.

“JESUS CHRIST!” she utters in a biblical tone.
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Love In The Time Of Coronavirus

“I’m not going,” she says.

“Ah come on, don’t be daft,” I say, “sure it’s all hysteria. You’re more likely to die of diabetes but that doesn’t stop you eating all those chocolate bars, does it?”

“What are you trying to say?” she asks.

“Well, nothing, just that, you know, you like chocolate.”

“And so what if I like it? I know what you’re saying, you asshole.”

“I’m not saying anything. We’ve been looking forward to this gig for weeks. It’d be a shame not to go just because of some silly virus.” Continue reading “Love In The Time Of Coronavirus”

GOING LOWER TO HIT HIGHER AT THE DUBLIN CITY MARATHON 2019

Double Jameson

Part 1: No Bed at The INN

“Give me your documents or there will be no bed for you here tonight and you must sleep on the cold October streets,” is the reception I get when I arrive at my accommodation in The Ritz the night before the Dublin Marathon. Except that it’s not actually The Ritz and that’s not exactly what the receptionist said. But while the €56 for a bunk bed in a room shared with strangers could hardly be described as The Ritz, the reality is I am literally going to be turned out onto the streets as the identification I have, even though it is photo ID and has been accepted everywhere else I’ve ever used it, does not come in the form of a passport or driving licence. Lovely.

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