Losing With Style At The Connemara Marathon 2018

“Well, at least you finished,” was a sympathetic response I got from several runners when I told them I did the Connemarathon last Sunday in 5hours 20mins. Most of these people had done sub 4 hours.

To this sympathetic tone and sincere look of pity, I felt the need to defend my manhood.

“I was wearing these barefoot shoes, see,” said I, showing them my VFFs as proof, “I’m doing Limerick in two weeks in ‘normal’ shoes and expect I’ll do sub 4 hours.”

Continue reading “Losing With Style At The Connemara Marathon 2018”

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Death-match at EAMS’ 6 Hour St Patrick’s Day Challenge in Belfast

In the pre-feminist days of the caveman there must have been many, many occasions where such a man had to fight off a rival caveman who wanted to dash his brains in with a rock, murder his children, and take his woman for himself. Continue reading “Death-match at EAMS’ 6 Hour St Patrick’s Day Challenge in Belfast”

How To Do A Marathon Without Training

img_8532Writing this post feels kind of stupid because doing a marathon no longer seems like a big deal to me. But notice how I said “doing”, not running.

I had aspirations of running a marathon since my mid twenties but every single time I got into the rhythm of training my knees, back, or hamstrings, or something else got screwed up and my running came to an abrupt end. Continue reading “How To Do A Marathon Without Training”

Being Hit by the High Seas at the Frances Thornton Memorial Swim 2016

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Danger is my middle name. Okay, it’s not really, but I’m not really a COW either. But nor is Batman a bat.

Today I’m hitting the high seas of Galway Bay for the eleventh annual Frances Thornton Memorial swim. One-hundred-and-two swimmers are braving the elements to swim 13km across the bay from Clare to Blackrock in Salthill and, with my unique set of special skills, I’ve managed to wrangle my way onto one of the more than seventy boats that have volunteered their assistance. Continue reading “Being Hit by the High Seas at the Frances Thornton Memorial Swim 2016”

Voodoo, Pixies, & Magic in Merlin Woods

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Peculiar is the only word I can think of to describe a rather bizarre experience that I had on Saturday afternoon. I’m not sure if perhaps I drank one too many coffees, was under the weather, banged my head, or if it was the bargain priced mustard from Aldi, that I had liberally slathered over my ham and cheese sandwich, that led to the following tale in Merlin Woods that I am about to relate to you, dear reader. Whether it was some form of hallucination, some momentary lapse of any sensible notions of reality, or whatever, I am not sure, but the one thing I am sure of is that the whole experience felt very real. Continue reading “Voodoo, Pixies, & Magic in Merlin Woods”

Bear Hugged by a Hunter

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Racism, rape, feminism, sexism, and homosexuality jokes are all part of what make the show full of the kind of belly laughs that bring tears to my eyes and leave my stomach hurting. It is not that any of these concepts are particularly funny, they are not, but the sad fact is that it sometimes feels as if we live in a world where a man could be accused of being a mysogynist pig for saying his wife is good at cooking dinner. And so, by exploring these topics as part of a comedy show, Mr Hunter is, to me and many of his fans, a freedom fighter in the war against the terrorism of political correctness.

I arrived at the show with my camera, half expecting security to relieve me of it or pass some comment but they don’t, so I figure I’m good to take a few non-flash shots.

Canadian Mr Glenn Wool is the warm-up act and I use his show to make sure my camera settings are primed for Mr Reginald D. Hunter. I feel slightly ashamed for taking pictures of the former rather than giving complete attention to his jokes which had me laughing my socks off and accidentally spilling my beer, that I hadn’t taken a mouthful of, all over the floor.

Continue reading “Bear Hugged by a Hunter”

A Hero’s Welcome for the Connacht Rugby Team

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Tired from battle, the boys returned to Galway to a hero’s welcome. Under the yoke of defeat since many years before the 1916 Rising, these chaps are heroes of the same calibre of Michael Collins when he fought the Brits, King Leonidas when he fought with his 300 against the supposedly immortal Persian armies, or indeed Rambo when he freed the POWs in Rambo First Blood: Part 2. Yes, I’m aware that Rambo was just a movie, but heroes are heroes and that’s all there is to it. Continue reading “A Hero’s Welcome for the Connacht Rugby Team”

Life Through a Lens

lensBabies and little children look at everything and everyone very closely, shamelessly. Everybody accepts that because they are little kids and they don’t know any better. When you get a bit older you stop looking so closely at other people for fear of being branded a pervert or being thought of as rude. If you stare at someone you perceive as beautiful, the person may feel uncomfortable. If you stare at someone else, that you also perceive as beautiful, but who has a small birthmark, then you might just spark off torrents of insecurity in the person that lead to your being a victim of the person’s subsequent wrath at the perceived attack on their self-confidence. Continue reading “Life Through a Lens”

My Pieta House Failure

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Zombie-like, at 3AM this morning, I got under an ice-cold shower to wake myself up so as to photograph Pieta House’s darkness into light walk/run. Pieta House, for anyone who may not know, is an organisation for raising awareness about suicide and helping people to steer a path out of their own personal darkness into a world where reality seems brighter and more joyful. Continue reading “My Pieta House Failure”