Last Sunday saw the second Kilcock 10 from 10 hosted by St. Coca’s AC. The idea behind the 10 from 10 is a 10 mile race 10 weeks out from the Dublin Marathon.
The event attracted over 600 runners this year, all setting out at 10:10 on the dot.
I proudly run with Dublin Bay Running Club and that’s something that will never change but it cannot be denied that I come from an amazing area for running. North Kildare has a good number of running clubs including St. Coca’s in Kilcock, Le Cheile in Leixlip, Donadea and Celbridge not to mention Dunboyne AC which while technically in Meath hosts a great trail event in Carton in North Kildare every year.
Each of these clubs take great pride in the events they host and it’s a pleasure for the rest of the clubs to run and support each other’s events throughout the year.
St. Coca’s held its evening 5k back in June but the 10Miler is where they really excel. Starting just outside the club grounds (which provides ample parking and toilets for participants) the route takes the runners out the main road and over the M4 before quickly taking to pleasant country roads.
With pacers denoting 10 minute slots from 70 minutes on, I slipped in behind the 80 minute pacers at the start. I managed 75 minutes last year so given my knee problems recently I thought 80 minutes was a reasonable target to aim for.
About 2 miles in the pace was feeling comfortable as we made the turn for Clonfert farm and I noticed Crusader and parkrun event director Olwyn Dunne just ahead of the 80 minute pacers so I passed the pacers and caught up to have a quick chat. We chatted parkrun tourism, marathons and some other general banter. The weather was forecast for rain but it was cool with only a light drizzle and a refreshing breeze so given the lungs were happy chatting I decided I should try push on.
At the 4 mile mark I got a big cheer from Marie from Donadea who managed to even get a photo of me in full flight.
So not only did the runners have all the support of the volunteers, the marshals, the Civil Defense and An Garda Síochána, even the local clubs were out cheering.
At this point we were heading towards Ladychapel, past it’s Cemetery and on to the main Maynooth to Rathcoffey Road. It feels like a long stretch on the main road from Ladychapel to Crinstown Cross but I pushed on as best I could, eyeing up my next target, Paddy from Le Cheile.
Unfortunately despite my best efforts the legs couldn’t make up the distance between us. Paddy went on to set a 6 minute PB for himself on the morning.
When we turned the corner at Crinstown it was straight into a headwind. This signaled the last two miles on the Greenway would take some effort. We took the turn and headed up to Jackson Bridge. As I passed a Garda at the bottom of the bridge and smiled saying this was the hardest climb of the day. As I hit the top of the bridge an ignorant twat of a driver dangerously blew past a volunteer warning cars of the runners but little did he know of the Garda the other side of the crest. I didn’t stop to see what happened but I hope the driver got what he deserved.
Over the bridge and past the 14th Lock the last two miles are on the Royal Canal Greenway (See this post is relevant!) Up to this point no one had passed me in several miles but as we hit the headwind one guy obviously used to resistance opened up and was gone.
We passed the last water station as we headed for Bailey Bridge and onto North Kildare Club. Soon after we were onto the last mile which Waterways Ireland sponsored a novel prize of the quickest final mile.
With former Irish marathon champion Sean Hehir in the race I was never going to make much of a mark but I put the head down as I passed the 15th Lock and Chambers Bridge and put in my fastest mile of the day pulling out a 7:04 mile.
The last stretch coming in towards Kilcock Harbour really took it out of me, a headwind, a guy breathing down my neck (and just beat me to the line) and 2 cyclists right alongside me cheering me on but I came in for a time of 1:14:29, my second fastest 10 mile ever.
My mind and body needed that boost and even better and amazing a Canal Lock medal awaited the finishers.
I didn’t stick around for the refreshments after as I had a show to work on in Castletown House but it was another amazing event and I look forward to next years event.
Keeping with the North Kildare theme, next is Celbridge AC’s 5k next Thursday evening. A notable run for me as it was my first ever 5k!