100k is one of the most demanding races anyone can ever run. A major test of an athlete mentally and physically it certainly isn’t for the faint hearted.
Michael D’Aulerio, author of ‘A Runner’s Secret’ and ‘The Ultramarathon Guide’ says “Ultra running strips you down bare, past the PRs, race shirts, and finisher medals. Struggle, growth, pain, and pleasure…it’s the human experience in its rawest form.”
Nine athletes from Ireland got to take on that experience of struggle, growth, pain, and pleasure recently wearing the green singlet in Perth, Scotland at the Anglo Celtic Plate 100k. The team sent out was a strong one that would most definitely be in a position to compete.
The annual race plays an important role in developing athletes at distances beyond the Marathon and to prepare athletes for future opportunities at European and World Championships.
Five men and four women represented Ireland at the event.
The first Irish athlete home was Padraig Mullins of St. Finbarr’s AC in Cork. Mullins had a very impressive performance running well inside the International B standard. Mullins ran a new Personal Best of 7.12.45.
In 2015 Mullins became the first Irishman to finish one of the toughest ultra-marathons in the world, the Badwater 135 on America’s west coast. The 217km race starts at 282 feet below sea level in the Badwater Basin, in California’s Death Valley, and ends at an elevation of 8360 feet at Whitney Portal, the trailhead to Mount Whitney. Athletes run in searing heat with temperatures often above fifty degrees Celsius. You could say the 100k was relatively easy for Mullins in comparison.
Patricia McLoughlin of Le Cheile AC was the first Irish woman home and led the team to a bronze medal. Their podium finish was well deserved.
Of the nine Irish athletes who competed on the day, seven ran new Personal Bests.
The medal winning Women’s team was made up of McLoughlin, Anne Jennings (Dublin Bay Running Club), Deirdre Martin (Carrick AC) and Sinead Kane (Le Cheile AC).
As mentioned, Mullins led home the Men, followed by fellow Cork man Dave O’Keefe (Togher AC), Barry McCarroll (Slieve Gullion Runners), Ed McGroarty (Lifford Strabane AC) and Matthew Collins (Portmarnock AC).
The team was managed by John O’Regan, Louis Byrne, and Anthony Lee. The physical therapist was Brendan Dowd of Kildare Sports Massage and the athlete support crew comprised of Lorraine Powell, Michaela Dowd, Marie Carolan, and Paul Redmond. The team wish to thank Hanley Energy, Stamullen, Co. Meath for their support.