Having done the Cork run in March, I was eager to get back and tour some more… Month of May..fabulous weather and even more fabulous sights… I travelled along the West Cork border With Kerry. HOW BEAUTIFUL! taking in the road by Caha Pass I was amazed at this fabulous structure. Ireland is a special place, and in West Cork I found a very special place. Goughan Barra. How Tranquil. How Serene. How picturesque. It was an amazing, picture perfect place where a sense of peace prevailed. The sun was setting, the evening light failing and here was I, in the midst of it, in compete bliss! Not a sound. A place I definitely cannot wait to visit again ☺
At 10.30pm on Friday Feb 5th I left work in Ballygar to travel to Clonakilty for the 10k event the next morning! Arriving in Clonakilty at 3.15am…I felt like a walking zombie!! 💀💀👾👾 Ringing the bell of the Clonakilty Hotel I questioned my sanity..it seems madness!!…I could only image what the night porter was thinking-this woman is crazy! 😂😂
I know I was thinking it anyway…
I pretty much Fell into bed that night, set the Alarm for 6.30am and off I went to sleep! I swear I just blinked cos them 3 hours flew…I’ve never been a great sleeper, but even I felt tired! A bit of a “I wish I had a camera moment” follows.. knowing id Miss the breakfast time in the hotel, I brought my own cereal with me…I hopped into the shower and actually scooped the weetabix into my mouth as the water gushed down my back! I had no time for wasting. 🙈 I made my way to registration and quickly fuelled 3 cups of coffee into me..met some of the gang I run with in Ballinasloe..Quick photo… and away I went!
Upon finishing..I had a finishers top, 2 unbelievable medals, a cup of black pudding, and memories of a crazy adventure. I made my way back to the hotel for a quick shower before my adventure back to Galway and for work that night… Clonakilty In the bag and County Cork ticked off 🏃🏃
#BallygarPitchDevelopment #run32 #GoActiveIreland
Number 3 on the list took me to Westmeath, Athlone to be precise. 30th of January, I wasn’t expecting fine weather by a long shot but the cold was unreal. I parked up for the Parkrun in A.I.T. at 8.30am…. multiple layers on, hat and gloves and my trusted Salamons.
This was my first ever Parkrun and I was amazed at the turnout, given the inclement weather conditions and the time on a Saturday morning.. I figured some were still sticking to the New Year’s resolutions, maybe. Quick briefing and we were on our way. The location was perfect. The weather not so much. As I took the first hill, I could feel the legs turn to jelly. I hadn’t warmed up properly taking shelter in the lobby of A.I.T. sports building rather than do a few warm up laps…but however, I kept going. First loop was tough, snow falling and hills climbing but I figured I knew what to expect on the second climb so it wouldn’t be so bad. 31 mins later (not a PB at all 🙈) and I was done, covered in muck but feeling healthy. The Parkruns are fantastic. Located in counties throughout Ireland, they are well run and organised and all by volunteers. Huge thanks to everyone in AIT and Athlone..I highly recommend this run. Westmeath done and Dusted.
#run32 #3 #GoActive #GoActiveIreland
In a world filled with barcodes….be priceless
Wexford holds great childhood memories for me. I was really looking forward to this trip down south.
I had spent a fantastic summer in Courtown in the early 90s with my cousins, uncle, aunt and my late Grandmother. I recalled some of the best memories from playing on the beach of Courtown Harbour, to frequenting the amusement arcade at night perfecting our trips on the bumper cars: cars I still drive better than the real thing today 😉
Growing up in a house filled with music, it was hard to escape from learning ballads link Bunclody(based on the town in Wexford where the lark seemingly sang so sweetly) and listening to My grandfather belt out his hearts content to songs of yore..Kelly the Boy from Killane being one of those songs he took great pride in singing… Grandads rendition could only be matched by the late & great Luke Kelly!! (Biased?!maybe) This great folk ballad was based on a man by the name of John Kelly who was one of the leaders of the United Irish army. He led the attack at New Ross but lost. He was sentenced to death. This was a song I knew the lyrics of, had learned the music of but had never gotten to the route of the story behind the song.
Attached is a YouTube link of a recording by Luke Kelly & the Dubliners of the ballad… have a listen🎶🎶
On the way home from my run in Ferrycarrig, nostalgia of my youth and remembering my grandparents so fondly, I took a bigger interest in the sign for Vinegar Hill and decided to take a detour and visit the site where many Irish fought for our freedom…Turning out of Enniscorthy, I took a left and found myself up a narrow Boreen… Vinegar Hill was my destination.. (praying I wouldnt have to reverse at any stage to make way for oncoming cars…not a great one for the reversing 🙈)
Vinegar Hill was one of the scenes of the rebellion of 1798. Thousands of British soldiers began gagainst the Wexford United Irish rebels. The Irish rebels lost and the British took control of County Wexford. The other song I referenced in my journey was Boulavogue. This was a song written to commemorate the campaign of Fr. Murphy who led the defeat at Boulavogue against the British but who was later sentenced and hanged.
After this bit of touring, I had a better upstanding of the music I was listening to. I ended the trip of Wexford with a rendition of “You remember Martin Storey and from the midfield he was Glory…and we were dancing at the Crossroads”… the anthem of the Wexford hurlers in 1996 when they claimed hurling glory… Wexford is a County with beautiful coastlines, historical tales and a fine tradition of Hurling. At any time, taking a trip to the Slaney County is a must and be sure to sample their Strawberries 🌞🍓
It’s 4.45am on a dark, miserable and frosty Sunday Morning, with the miserable part being me 😉 January 24th in A little town land in the West of Ireland. To left of my bed, there’s a giant map of Ireland. I place one finger on Galway and my thumb on the South-East coast, trying to visualise my journey. My Running planner for the 32 county challenge tells me I need to be in Ferrycarrig, Co. Wexford for an 11am start! Hmmm…Melissa admits fully from here on in to not being a fantastic morning person….I mean, Ya the early bird catches the worm and all, but who needs to catch a worm anyway?! And Why would you want to catch a worm? Eeugghh 😷 Anyhow, all I can think of is coffee… buckets of coffee. I wrap up well, plod down the 13 steps of stairs at home, consider that my warm up and hit for Wexford. My saving grace: Spotify! MUSIC. This will keep me going. I blast out a rendition of Boulavogue and I’m in the zone. Somewhere the dawn chorus is singing with me, albeit in a more chirpy tone🎶🎤
Quick stop at Costa on the M6 East bound and my coffee fix is sorted. Arriving at Ferrycarrig, I quickly take off some of the layers, apply the trusted bio-freeze and I’m good to go! Rocking up to what I thought was a 5k run turns out to be a 5 mile run… with sleep in my eyes I over-looked distance 😕 what harm we would make it! I’ve buckets of stubborn for things like this.. Ferrycarrig was a lovely run followed by a fantastic array of goodies and copious amounts of tea…sorted. Also getting to share the event with Sergiu Ciobanu and Sean Hehir…(when I say share, I saw them at the start but didn’t quite catch either…they’re little bit fast for me🙈) was something special..I had only seen ever seen these guys on TV, on the sports pages and I recalled one the Dublin Marathons I had completed where Hehir collected the top prize coming home first! This was just fab!..I was in the presence of top athletes.. I was happy to see that finish line. Job done! WEXFORD completed. Bit of sight seeing on the way home to break up the trip and I’d be westward bound once more..#run32 #2
The Slaney County had been good to me…
Roadtrip account of a famous Wexford sight on its way!
Are you ever in an environment of pure chaos and long for silence and calmness? Somewhere you can just be still and stay in a moment of serenity. Where you know nothing of the place and no-one and the only thing that matters is being still. If you ever feel like the need for this, you need to take yourself to Tra an Dóilín…a little gem of a beach in an Cheathrú Rua.. This beach is just amazing. Quiet. Isolated. Peaceful. Where you can sit and have a chat with yourself and put the world to rights. It’s only 1.5hours from my home. Often on my days off, I’d take myself to the Gaeltacht region of Galway and wallow in the beauty that is my County. My mind is free and my thoughts are calm. Stop off in An Spidéal for some grub and get a taste of the ocean in the Sea Food restaurants or just grab an ice cream and sit on Spidéal Pier on the way home! With the latter though, you’re sure to witness an awesome sunset!
Breathe in the sea air and breathe out the worries of life. Watch the fishermen in their Currachs. Just do nothing but sit still and thank God you’re in such a beautiful part of the Country. Just Go! Chill!
Where to start running 32 counties…at home in County Galway on the day of my 30th birthday in the home of my Grandmother,the granny whose pictured I’ve carried with me on every single run I’ve done. THere I was in the glorious sunshine that surrounded Clarinbridge, Jan 3rd 2016. Not expecting it to be so warm,&I was inappropriately dressed for winter in Ireland with under armour! 🌞😥 Huge mistake!! Running this 10k trail was beautiful. For the first 5k my legs were still on “Christmas Vacation” and finding it hard to grasp the whole running thing 🙈 Somewhere on that route,I realised a real adventure was about to be undertaken. This was me running my first County, my home county and there was so much to explore. I’ve grown up and lived in Ireland 30 years without really having seen much of Ireland. With that I decided I was gonna take this adventure and turn it into an epic roadtrip… I was gonna visit somewhere different in every county and make memories of a lifetime… first run in the bag 10k down and a whole new look on running born 🏃 #success… naturally I ended up going home and eating a lot of finely decorated birthday cake…sure hadn’t I earned it 😉
There’s me and some of the gang from Ballinasloe & District RoadRunners before the 10k event in Clarinbridge ☺
Stay tuned for the #roadtrip1 of #CountyGalway…I’ll be sure to show some places that are beautiful and worth a visit!