Conor's Bandon Blog

Running, Food and Local stuff from a blow-in

The Columbia OutDry Extreme Mesh is the running jacket I've been dreaming of

It is possible to have a waterproof running jacket. But it's not cheap
For someone who runs a lot in bad weather, I’ve bought very few running jackets since I started back in 2009. But once I started running trails, I had to up my game. They can be summarised as: 2009-2017 Various cheap generic windcheaters 2017 - Decathlon heavy running jacket. Not very breathable. Still use it. 2018 - The classic Ronhill Infinity Torrent Running Jacket with the chest pocket square. Still great.

Conor's Top Tips for DNFing The Kerry Way Ultra

Everything I learned whilst failing to finish The Kery Way Ultra
DNF? For non-runners reading this, DNF means Did Not Finish. In my preview post I ended with “Let’s see how I do. Particularly when the rain comes in at night.” On the plus side, the rain came in during daylight hours. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the start. Nope, nope, let’s thank some people first. Thank Yous Elieen - The woman, the legend. Words like “community” and “culture” have become overused and devalued.

Watch your first Ultramarathon online with the Kerry Way Ultra

Ireland's legendary Ultra, the KWU, will be covered live this year. 120+ miles in < 40 hours.
The Kerry Way Whilst millions of people have completed marathons over the past few decades, ultramarathons are still pretty niche. Ireland has a bunch of fantastic ultrarunners and a handful of amazing ultramarathons. The big kahuna of them all is the Kerry Way Ultra, which is about to have its tenth outing on September 2nd and 3rd. The Kerry Way is a wonderful trail that traverses the entire Iveragh peninsula. Many people travel from the US and mainland Europe to do multi-day hikes of the route.

Mirch Masala - Best vegan menu in Ireland?

Incredible range of vegan and vegetarian dishes in Clonakilty
We are spending two weeks in Clon whilst our kitchen gets rebuilt and decided to treat ourselves to an Indian takeaway on the first night. A bit of googling revealed that there was a new place called Mirch Masala, so I loaded up their website on my phone and my jaw hit the floor as I started browsing the menu. The range of vegan and vegetarian options is almost beyond belief.

How Flahavan's Oat Milk can out-market the big brands

There are a few areas Flahavans could dominate quickly
I was so pleased when I heard Flahavan’s was getting into the oat milk market. As the most famous porridge brand in Ireland, it seemed like an obvious move. I only turned plant-based in January 2020 and switched to oat milk pretty quickly as I preferred, and still prefer, its taste to all the other plant milks. Having Flahavans as an option along with the usual Oatly, Califia, Minor Figures and Alpro means I can now finally support Irish farmers again with my cuppa tea and coffee.

Tre Cime di Lavaredo - A European wonder hiding in plain sight

One positive pandemic outcome - From LMFF 2020 to a hike in the Dolomites
I got those Pandemic City Blues Four weeks ago I’d never heard of Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Last weekend we hiked around it and I’m still struggling to find the English to describe the beauty of what we saw. How we got there is kind of a funny story. We humans have an ability to let trauma fade, which helps us in countless ways from childbirth and broken limbs to the death of loved ones.

The Kerry Way Ultra Lite 2021 - Beyond Words

No you're not doing it some day, you're doing it today
This post will not do The Kerry Way Ultra Lite justice but I’ll do my best to decribe a wonderful race.   Some Day I had been vaguely aware of the Kerry Way Ultra for quite a few years and I even heard an elite US ultra runner list it as their top bucket list race on a podcast. But it was so far out of reach for me as to be almost mythical.

Hoka Speedgoat 4 - The perfect trail running shoe?

Why the hell did I wait so long to buy the Speedgoat?
I’ve been having mixed success with trail runners in 2021 which you can read about in previous mini-reviews: Hoka Challenger ATR 5 GTX - Love the comfort and waterproofedness. Great for road-to-trail. Did 50-60 mile Sheeps’s Head Way twice in them. But very little grip in the wet. Saucony Peregrine 10 - Killed my heel. Unwearable. Great grip. Inov-8 TrailFly Ultra G 300 Max - Heavy, blister-inducing on rough ground, lethal on wet rocks.

Twenty years of blogging on

If you'd told me in April 2001 that I'd still be prattling on in 2021.
I somehow missed the actual 20th Anniversary of the Blog back in April and finally noticed last week. This could be a massive post with links to highlights and lowlights over the past twenty years but I think I’d prefer to keep it short. After using Frontpage in the 90s and hosting a “homepage” on Indigo, Geocities and others, I made the move to Blogger on April 17th 2001. That was followed by the golden years of blogging from 2006-2010 on WordPress and eventually the move via various static site generators to Hugo a few years back.

Sir Clive Sinclair R.I.P. - My Hero

The creator of the ZX Spectrum changed my life forever
Sir Clive Sinclair died on September 16th 2021 after a long illness. I knew this had been coming for quite a while based on internet rumblings but it’s still a shock to know that the man, whose brilliant mind changed the life of a small kid from rural Ireland, is gone. I’ve written many many many times over the years on this blog and on my tech blog about the ZX Spectrum and Sinclair in general.