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Killyon National School 5 k, Race report 21/06/15-

It all started when a friend-Frank Hevey asked me to run in a 5k at 11am on Sunday for their local National School in Killyon, Hill of Down Co. Meath. I said I would even though I felt the distance was a bit tame for me !

I decided to cycle out to the 5k (to get a decent training session in) with the aim of doing the race and been back for Car Parking duty etc. at Cemetery Sunday in Walshestown (where I’m member of yet another committee). I left Mullingar a little late (after 10am) to do the 30k cycle to Killyon and decided to take a short cut on the canal to make up time. Bridget and Nicky McCabe were running on the canal in Coralstown. “Can’t stop, I’m late for a 5k” I shouted at them as I passed and I heard Nicky saying “ but but…..”

The surface of canal path started to deteriorate out in the Hill of Down and I though “Hope I don’t get a ….oh Shit a puncture in front wheel.” I reckoned I was approx 4k from the next bridge and the start of 5k so I put on runners and ran with bike. I passed a couple of fisherman and I could see the “ what is that gobshite running with a bike, wearing a cycling helmet” look in their eyes.

I got to the bridge to be told by the onlookers that it was the “next bridge” and so I kept running as the rucksack wasn’t bouncing around on my back as much as when I originally started running. I finally got to the right bride at 11.00am to be told the start was 1k down the road so I dumped bike, helmet rucksack etc and tore down to the start.

Everyone was waiting for me at start and the race started the instant I got there. It was a nice 5k but I wasn’t at the races at all due to my previous exertions. At the finish I had the usual half loaf of sandwiches, buns, tea etc and went off to fix the puncture. “I suppose you’ll go home by a proper road this time” says Frank to which I agreed. I went to put on my bike shoes but no shoes in my bag!-so that’s why rucksack had stopped banging around.

Nothing for it but to retrace my steps. Fisherman still there and still had “ what’s yer man at” look on their faces as I was running with bike so as not to get another puncture. I found one shoe and then the other but had to run for a while longer to get back to smooth surface. Up on bike and away, passed a couple of Sunday joggers and I suddenly thought that maybe I should pump the wheels harder to be sure I didn’t get a puncture as I had used my only tube and was getting late for Walshestown. Off the bike and started to pump noticing that the valve on the back wheel was a bit bent. Then big Whoose and I had, of course, broken the ………ing valve off.

Time getting very tight now for Walshestown Car Parking duties so rang Anne but of course no answer. “ I’ll ring my mammy-she’ll save me” I thought but my sister Irene answered the phone and gave me the usual sympathy “ It serves you right for going off …….” I told her I’d get to Nanny Quinns pub and they could collect me there and got answered by “ what about the bike, you’re not bringing that in my new car” I hung up before I lost my rag and started running again. My father’s words were echoing in my ears “ A Carton never quits” but I was getting close…

Got to Nanny Quinns and no sign of a lift so rang again and was told that Anne was gone home to bring my car so bike could be brought home. “Right I’ll start walking to meet ye” I groaned, as the whole world had decided to go for father’s day lunch in Nanny Quinn’s and all were gawking, pointing and offering bike advice to me. Started running again but eventually reduced to a walk and met Anne in Rathwire. I told her my sad tale of woe in the car home only for her to have the last word “ Wasn’t that a great father’s day for you, sure you’d love all that hardship…


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