Clonakilty Marathon

l decided to close off this amazing running year with a calm and scenic marathon, and Clonakilty seemed to fit the bill just right: coastal, yet hilly enough to encourage a related pace.
I started out a bit fast as I was feeling strong, and had to force myself to hold back. Long run ahead, and everyone keeps talking about this hill...
Now the route is pretty much 6km out, 6km back, past the finish the line: repeat this 3x in total far 36km. Then out 3 and back for 42. That magical, mystical, revered, feared number.
This meant hill × 3...
So going along, keeping my pace in check, I hit a little hill. Not so bad, this will be easy! Then around the next bend, there it was ,'The Hill'... Oh... That's a real hill! Nothing for it but up and over. The motivational signs posted near the bottom helped: "It's a hill, get over it!". I couldn't help but laugh.
But I did it → up and over. Then a scary-steep downhill, followed by a short and nasty climb. Back to town was a breeze after that.
Repeat 2 more times. Somehow I was able to conquer those hills a little stronger each time. No idea how that was even possible, but I'll take it!
Then that final 'out', knowing that there were no more hills. Only 3km out, then 3 back. I couldn't hold back anymore, I put my feet in control and enjoyed the 'ride'. Cruised the turn-around. Breezed the slight inclines on the final 2miles. Passed a good few runners, to mixed reactions, my favourite being the guy who called out the good-natured 'show-off!' as I raced past.
I really let loose on the last mile. I was all but sprinting past the last corner, and flat out for the home straight, to cheers from the awesome supporters! What a moment! I knew too, by this point, that I had a new PB guaranteed, even with my Garmin measuring the course 400m long.
Ah, what a wonderful moment! And strangely I really WAS taking it easy upto the very last half-lap.
So I'm more than happy with today. Overjoyed more like. The year has ended on a great big high. Race-wise anyway. I will keep running. And running.And running. Too much fun :-)

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