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2. Into July...

Into July and WHM day is getting closer, hope training and life is going well with you all!!

It got a bit hot and sticky there for a while. Sun block and good hydration important for running in those conditions, I expect you all sorted that out OK and are still on schedule for September 1st.  Remember to factor any Holiday plans into your training schedule..... running early is a must if you are heading somewhere warm and sunny and hydration is vital. 

I was over around St Columbs Park a few days ago, enjoying a walk in the sunshine and got into something of a " deja vu " moment when I strolled through the Limavady Road entrance to the Arena.

Back in the day that was the run in to the WHM finish line, just inside the entrance and I had a flash back to the 1992 race when the fastest ever WHM time was clocked by the Eithopean athlete Fekadu Digefu. And what a run it was, on the original out and back course from St. Columbs to Longfield, aka the turn off to the City of Derry Airport.

He and his training partner ran together all the way, turned into the short finish straight locked together and he got the decision by the thickness of a race vest with a brilliant 63m 33s. Some running by both of them and the  1991 figures of Gerry Curtis from Dublin--64m 17s --were consigned to WHM history.

That course was used up to 2005 and produced some really quick times and some epic up front battles. Winning times of sub 66mins were posted 13 times between 1981 and 2005 as the Waterside established its reputation among the top half marathons in the country.

The female runners too were posting impressive times. Four times winner the late Moira O Neill set a new course record of 76m 23s in 1988 before Dubliner Ursula Noctor did the treble between 1989 and 1991, posting an imposing 73m 16s in 1991. Sadly Ursula never got to challenge that time as she passed away, much too young, a year or so later. Her 1991 clocking remains the fastest ever WHM female time.

Our new course from 2015 boasts best times of  65m 08s from Mick Clohissey in 2015 and 77m 01s from Anne Marie McGlynn in 2018. Very good runs indeed from both these International athletes, but the challenge is to go quicker in 2019---- anyone out there fancy it???

A mention of the local Dessie's Run on Wednesday evening 21st August next. Usually a good one to consider in the run in to WHM day. It is a 10K and takes in a safe course in Gransha and the Waterside Greenway/St. Columbs Park, virtually traffic free and an opportunity to check out your race pace and sections of the course pre the "Half".

It has a 7pm start out of Oakgrove Integrated College in the Gransha grounds with entries taken on the night. 200 plus runners of all abilities expected, why not join them.

Maybe see you there, meanwhile keep training, every little helps!!!! 

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