Never again, I say to myself as I spend hours upon hours ploughing through the ridiculous amount of photos I took at the Dublin marathon. It’s Thursday night before I finish going through and uploading all the photos I took and all day Friday I feel immensely fatigued and swear I shall never photograph another endurance event again.
I have the Ballinasloe marathon written in my diary for Saturday 5th of November, but I’ve resolved not to go. No way, Jose. No bleeding way! But then I wake up Saturday morning feeling fresh, and a little restless with some kind of gravitational pull which may be somewhat like an alcoholic feels when Friday night looms and all his buddies are waiting for him in the pub.
Even though our hypothetical alcoholic made a complete asshole of himself the week before, hasn’t been firing on all six cylinders all week, and may even be facing a court appearance, the pull of the pint is too strong and he can already feel its smooth silky wetness sliding down his throat and making him feel like, like a MAN!
On the road, with House of Pain’s “Jump Around” blasting out of the car speakers, I’m slightly amazed that my “never again” resolution of the entire week has dissolved. This is what we do, addicts I mean, we do things even though they may not have any clearly discernable benefits to our lives but in some difficult to explain way they make us feel good.
From going to lots of events, I’ve heard lots of stories from people about the tragic happenings in their lives, their difficulties, their personal struggles, and this makes one realise that life is not a bed of roses for anybody, even though you could easily think that by looking at their Facebook, and that everybody’s lives are made up of various measures of suffering and hardship and that, like running a marathon, most people just put one foot in front of the other over and over because that’s all you really can do, even though things don’t always make sense or are not ideal.
There are many people who live their lives and only ever focus on themselves, but then there are others who look beyond themselves and make the struggle of others their struggle and try to do everything they can to try and help. These people are full of kindness, sympathy, empathy and these feelings make them a force made up of the noblest of human intentions. Three of these such people are below. From right to left they are Gerard Fay, Paddy Mockett, and Aiden Sheridan. The first two gentlemen have done huge amounts to raise funds and awareness for cystic fibrosis sufferers and the third ran his 52nd and final marathon in Ballinasloe (his home town) to support Breast Cancer. Their lives have all been touched by people with these ailments and they are heroes, road warriors fighting for a cause.
There are many other people running for charity for various causes worthy of a mention and another I simply must highlight is Brian Byrne and his wife Julie who concluded their run by chopping off all of his hair (facial included) to support Wigs for Kids (Julie is on the top right in the photo at the top of this page).
There is fun, laughter, endorphin fueled positivity floating through the air at these events and it’s really not hard to understand why people run marathons every single weekend. One regular on the roads is a lady called Donna McLoughlin and it is as if she is a character in some kind of great Shakespearean theatre production with the road being her stage to perform on.
There is a wonderful sense of community at all of these events and I am so amazed at how many people running in Ballinasloe were running the Dublin marathon the weekend before that I start calling lots of them run-aholics to which one retorts that I am a photo-holic and this is a bit of a revelation to me.
I’ve realised it’s time to face the fact that I have a problem. This is the first step on the road to recovery. However, while I’m willing to take the first step I fear I may never take the second.
I am The Galway COW and I am a photo-holic. 🙂