From NYC to Kerry, a wrap-up of my races over the past year


Apart from a couple like the Liverpool to Manchester 50 miler, I haven’t been keeping up on my mini race reports over the past year. Hopefully you’ll find them useful if you’re planning for next year. I’ll keep them short and sweet.

New York City Marathon

I’m not sure whey I never did a full race report on this because it was an incredible experience. It overtook London as the marathon that emotionally impacted me the most. I could not stop saying to myself “I’m in the NYC marathon. Me”. The support on the streets was mind-blowing. The fact that I had a ridiculously slow day, even for me, doesn’t bother me at all. Oh and suddenly realising the crazy Paddy shouting “Up Ireland” was actually old workmate Cian, was a total highlight of the day and gave me a huge boost in the final 2 miles. And Shalane won, which made the whole thing perfect. Fuck yeah.

Clonakilty Half Marathon

We do it every year. It’s never easy. This year had the added twist of the jetlag of a 14 hour flight from Austin and a hangover. So of course I PBed :-)

EOI Lusk Marathon

This was one of the practice runs for L2M50. A small-scale local looped marathon. Really enjoyable. If you like a low key race with very friendly people, this is ideal. They have a whole series of them around the East Coast.

MCI Salthill Marathon

Another training run for L2M50. Lashed rain all day. Had that problem with the Salomons. But actually really enjoyed it. Salthill and Galway lovely as always. The curry afterwards was even better.

Liverpool to Manchester 50 Miler

Full race report here. Starting to think about 100K races in 2019.

Great Railway Run

This was our second year to do it. I somehow found myself coming last after just a couple of miles with the damned ambulance revving behind me. Where the hell were all the walkers and C25Kers? Anyway, managed to get past a few people and lose the ambulance. This is a gorgeous route and highly recommended.

Sportyfeel Helsinki City Marathon

I’d only been in Finland once before for work and saw nothing. Which is a real pity as Helsinki is gorgeous. The marathon was two loops and verrrry relaxed and low key. No big crowds and a constantly changing landscape from downtown to forest tracks. I had a really bad day with stomach issues, overheating and general tiredness but got around as always. I think the race would suit a lot of people. Check it out. We loved the bus tour the following day too.

Ballyheigue Half On The Head

Second year to do this. Worth it for the views alone. Very hilly but I had a great day and powered up them all. This may become a regular fixture for us as you can easily get there from Cork on the morning of the race.

Brandon Bay Half

Another part of Kerry I’d never been to, this is a lovely area and that’s one amazing long beach. But it was a horrible horrible day for a run. Howling wind in my face for 6.5 miles on mostly well packed sand, but with plenty of wet bits too. Then turn around and get pushed along by the same wind. All the while being able to see the entire course. I doubt I’ll be doing this again.

Run Killarney Half Marathon

Most fun you can have with your clothes on in Killarney. This is a total blast. Basically downhill the whole way from Moll’s Gap (but with plenty of undulations). Just go hell for leather until you run out of steam - in my case just before we entered the National Park. I PBed everything from 5K to Half Marathon on the day. Loved it. Just go do it.

East Cork Harbour 10K

We really didn’t like the marathon here last year. The first section was fabulous but the rest was either the main road or faceless country roads. The 10K on the other hand is a little gem. Run from Rostellan towards Whitegate and back again. Another balls to the wall, run until you want to puke course. Loved it and got a huge boost seeing Catherina McKiernan absolutely crushing it and coming 3rd overall.

Kerry Ultra 50K

Full race report here.

What’s left in 2018?


Plus a few more halves and maybe a couple of IMRA races.

My solo “runs” on Slí Gaeltacht Mhúscraí, Lackabaun, Coumshingaun, Carrauntoohil and Lough Curra this summer highlighted how much work I have to do to get any sort of acceptable mountain running pace. So I want to focus a lot on that for 2019.

Conor O'Neill

Tech guy who likes running slowly

Bandon, Cork, Ireland