DIARY: Marshalling Kippure

I was marshalling Kippure the Wednesday before Snowdon, and managed to take quite a few pics from the top.

You can find the album here.

What's Kippure
Since it's old hat, I don't want to provide a big race report, especially since you'll find a funnier one at IMRA already!

Kippure is a handicap race, however, which doesn't mean strapping rocks to the backs of the fastest (thought it should!), but instead means you get to start earlier depending on how far you generally finish behind the leaders.

The mud on the route is so bad that the smell has not gone of my Inov-8s yet, and if it continues, I will have to change my name from Rene Borg to Running Bog in best Indian tradition...

I was given a pretty good handicap, as I've had a few crazy races that have skewed my statistics (having been lost at Ballyhouras and Aughavannagh, and walking/running Ben Gorm injured), but decided not to race before Snowdon. Instead I volunteered for my favourite task, marshalling at the top, meaning I could take my trusty backpack and do a slow jog to the top of the wet, treacherous and very steep Kippure hill, on top of which is one of Ireland's main TV-antennas.

Great Show
Being a marshal is great, you get to see everyone running up the hill without being winded and tired yourself for a change. You do your best to make sure everyone goes the right way in order to get them all back down safely.

They don't all make it easy on you, though, as Thomas Galvin, famous as "Tommy the Tumbler", as his knack for fearless descending has meant more falls than anyone cares to count! Today was no exception, going down off Kippure he suddenly slammed into the hard grass ground dotted with small stones, I instinctively rushed down to see if he was ok, almost obstructing Conor O'Meara in the process (sorry Conor!), but in the end Tommy was just quite winded, and recovered himself after a minute or so and continued down.

Winner on the night was M70 Charlie O'Connell who managed to maintain the 40 minute headstart he had on the fastest runners to win the race. That's good news for all us young buckos as that means we have at least 40 years to hunt that elusive win!

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