Nice run yesterday despite intermittent showers and heavy legs from the draining Saturday session. The last ten days seemed to catch up with me a bit as I gladly collapsed into a deep snooze once Sunday’s work was done.
It had been a busy day, not just for me, as I arrived in Tinahely to see a huge digger smashed through the facade of the Bank of Ireland branch there. “I wouldn’t like to be the pharmacist next to it,” my running partner for the day, Richie Healy, reflected, as Gardaí and curious onlookers swarmed the scene of another ATM-raid bringing back memories to the car driven through the Roundwood Centra a number of years back. Wicklow is still, it seems, a place for audacious bandits.
We couldn’t linger on the scene, instead dropping Richie’s truck at the finish of the Wicklow Way Relay Leg 7 before the yon old Avensis took us to the start at Ironbridge.
In 2010, I had a hiatus from the Wicklow Way Relay as most of our Crusaders were engaged with preparations for the European Trial so naturally I was curious to see if there were any small amendments to the route like in 2009 when Coillte had radically changed the underfoot of the first descent on leg 7. What would it be? New gates, new erosion, or new dogs to dodge?
Tired legs heaved me over the initial 4 kilometre climb as Richie was mercifully happy to take it easy today, and I found to my interest that the following descent had reverted to it’s 2008 state – grassy and simple.
For the rest of the run we chatted away merrily despite a creeping tiredness up the last long climb: “She’s a bugger, you’ll have your work cut out” Richie remarked somewhat surprised, this having been his first close look at Leg 7. Yes, despite long road sections and a not to aggressive profile, there’s enough pain here to go around if you go look for it.
The final tarmac climb just never get’s pleasurable, even in training, but visualising the finish and reminiscing on the struggle to the finish in 2008 and 2009 made it worthwhile. All in all, nothing really has changed for leg 7 and it remains very firm in my memory. Now for more recces…