Nicola Veale and Rebecca Carolan at the 50k championships.
Boyne AC senior members Rebecca Carolan and Nicola Veale travelled to Donadea Forest Park to compete in the Irish 50k National Championships.
Neither had run more than the 42k marathon distance before and both realised the enormity of the challenge facing them in completing their first ultra-marathon.
Their fears weren’t eased by the yellow storm warning that came into operation on race morning, but they packed their gels, jellies, biscuits and drinks and headed off to try and complete the gruelling ten lap course within the five-hour time limit.
The beautiful forest park played host to over 300 runners, all testing themselves over each 5k loop, and thankfully the weather stayed onside for the duration of the race, with the trees providing a natural shelter.
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Both ladies fell into their rhythm on the first few laps, Rebecca choosing to go with the 4 hr 45 min pacer and Nicola hanging back in the hope of keeping something in reserve for the last few laps which they’d been warned would be the hardest. That advice proved to be correct as the slight inclines on the course seemed to get steeper with each passing lap!
Many of their teammates from Boyne AC travelled to support the duo and there is nothing like a cheer and a high five from your training partners and friends to lift your spirits when they are beginning to fade.
Rebecca felt strong throughout and overtook the pacers in the closing laps to finish in an incredible 4.42 in her first ultra event, a time which places her 17th in the world rankings for the W45 category.
Nicola stayed with a steady pace to finish in an impressive 4.48, remarkably also ranking 17th in the world at this distance in her age category W40.
With both delighted to have smashed the 5-hour barrier in only their first foray into ultra-marathon running, it's certain they've now got a taste for it and there's sure to be plenty more to come from them.
Both ladies were well advised in all things ultra-marathon running by friend and fellow ultra-runner, Ray Cassin from Ray’s Couch to 5k, and are full of thanks to the clubmates, friends and family who were there, not just on the day to support, but in the run up to it also.
Also in action recently was Boyne AC’s Amy McTeggart who made a great return to competition as she laid own her markers for the year ahead in the National Indoor Arena, taking the win in the senior ladies High Jump at the AAI Indoor Games.
Amy jumped 1.65m to take the Gold medal, and also competed well in the long jump. She also cleared 1.65m in the High Jump in the recent Inter University games, to take the bronze medal in a fiercely competitive field.
It was then off the track and into the glad rags as Amy received her Leinster Star award for best Senior Athlete - Louth, presented by Athletics Ireland President Georgina Drumm at an awards ceremony held in the Radisson Hotel in Athlone.
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