The route set out and the challenge was the Michael 'Curley' Cunningham 4 mile
Virtual 4 Mile Predicted Time Trial
After so many missed events including our own 4 mile and the cahir half marathon & relay we made a club drive to beat the running blues and set ourselves a bit of fun and a challenge for the weekend. The Predictive 4 Mile Time Trial came to life very quickly. The rules were simple
1) Book into whatever slot/time you wished to run and fill out the health questionnaire.
2) Send us in your predicted time before Thursday night.
3)Test yourself and treat it like a race.
The route set out and the challenge was the Michael 'Curley' Cunningham 4 mile. The person who was closest to their predicted time was to be crowned winner. The event was designed to cater for all levels of fitness and we encouraged as many members as possible to get out and participate. With all Covid-19 regulations adhered to we can say we successfully had several members take part in the challenge over the course of the weekend. Some of the highlights were new comer Anne Barry finishing 10 minutes ahead of her predicted time and Dariusz Gazdowicz taking 90 seconds off of his time from last year and was in 1 minute faster than his predicted time last weekend. Katie Frazer took 14 minutes off of her predicted time while Padraig Wallace firstly predicted 29.58 but further to private counsel from a club member that will remain nameless, he decided to revise 4 minutes off of his previous prediction down to 25 mins 58 seconds. And was it a right decision... of course it was Padraig finished in a very impressive 26.12 just 14 seconds off his second predicted time. Our Congratulations goes to Jason Wright the winner of the predicted 4 mile time trial predicting 36 minutes and coming in over the finish line in 36.03.
Tom Talks Cross Country
Cross country is different from other types of training or running. Most clubs don't have a facility to train off road for cross country races. It is always nice to have a run on grass before you have to race on it. Cross country can be such fun and really challenging. Unlike road or track you need to be strong, strength can make a huge difference when you you are on an off road course. The races are divided into different categories. Novice, Intermediate, Senior and Masters. Novice is for beginners or anyone who hasn't won any championship races yet. Some counties have a sub section called Novice B which runners who finish outside the top 8 or 10 compete in. Both of these races can be very hard to win as there are new comers each year from the junior ranks and also people who migrate back to running from other sports. With only one person moving out of the category each year you can only imagine how fierce the competition is. You have to win your race to move into the next category and you cannot be regraded back to novice or novice B. The next race is the intermediate, almost everyone can run this, whoever is in the age category on the day even novice runners but if you have won the race previously or won a senior medal you will not be eligible. Senior is the highest level everyone who meets the age requirement can run this from novice to master. Finally the Masters, you are eligible for masters when you turn 35 years of age every 5 years you move into a new category. There are team events in the over 35s and the over 50s age groups. There will also be club teams in each event novice, intermediate and senior. I hope this explains the basic cross country system. Training for cross country can be tricky. Cross country racing in Ireland was originally through famers fields through rivers and forests. Nowadays these races take place over community areas and golf courses and only something are ran in farmers fields on looped routed. Some are so well groomed it nearly as good as running on the road. But still each race has to be prepared for, depending on the course and how hilly the terrain is and how hard or soft the ground may be. Weather can play a huge part in such events and the number of athletes in the race. If you have large numbers the first runners will have good ground, whereas the last runner may have mucky conditions and after a few laps may have terrible conditions. To train for such events you want to run on similar ground as the race is being ran on, but you also don't want to run on grass all the time as it can be very hard on the body. Each race is of different length, the novice is usually 6km for men and 3km for ladies as is the Novice B, the intermediate is usually 8km for men 4km for ladies, the senior is 10km for men and 5km for ladies and finally the Masters is 7km for men and 4 km for ladies. This also poses another problem when you are training for the event as you might run 6km a lot faster per km than you would a 10km distance race. Terrain and weather conditions have to be factored in as well. I recommend if you are training for novice work off a bank of training. Do one night on grass each week to wear in your new pair of spike's, but train as much as you can on hard surfaces and do your speed work there.