Good-mouthing of the on-going Couch-to-5K sessions at An Riocht Athletic Club in Castleisland brought Margaret Murphy from Faha outside Killarney on track here for the first time this season.
There, she and local woman, Catheriona O’Connor-Daly gravitated towards each other earlier this year and the two have become firm friends since.
Over the past two months the women have felt and seen their fitness levels come well away from the starting points at which they met.
While Margaret is now looking forward hugely to tackling her first official An Riocht 5K Fun Run in Castleisland on Friday evening, August 29th, family commitments are preventing Catheriona from taking part in the first of the series of three autumn events.
They have already done an unofficial 5K in preparation and are confident of their ability to do well in the clocked version next weekend.
“I find the facilities here amazing. I can bring my boys and let them play away with the other children around here and I know they’re safe here. Parking is easy and right outside the track and that will become more important for me when the winter evenings arrive. I love the surface of the track and it’s so easy on the joints unlike the pounding on the roads,” said Margaret.
Catheriona did some cycling over the past couple of years as a way of keeping fit but has really taken on the mindset of a jogger over the past couple of months.
“My cousin Ann-Marie kept at me to join up here and go for the Couch-to-5K and I’m glad I did. I look forward to my evenings here now and Margaret and myself have become great friends out of it. The girls give you great encouragement here and there’s no-one pushing you at the same time,” said Cateriona.
“We were delighted to get the 5K on the road last week behind us and we can look forward now to being part of the big gathering soon. I’ll miss the first 5K but I’m really looking forward to the second one and the training for it here.
The good thing is that there will be lots of people of our own fitness levels around us and we all help each other out. I was fit to kill Ann-Marie for keeping at me to join up but now I’m delighted and it’s a great feeling to have done it. And we’ll tell you later on how good it really is to have that first medal around our necks,” she said.
The Couch-to-5K fitness concept was introduced to An Riocht in the early summer of 2012 and it became an instant hit.
The flood-lit, tartan track and the ease and safety of parking all appeal greatly to the fitness conscious of the valley and beyond. The cost of just €2 per night is also a factor in its drawing power.
Entries are now being taken for the Friday, August 29th 5K Road Race / Fun Run. Entry fee is €5. The next in the series is on Friday, September 5th at the same entry fee and on Friday, September 12th with a €10 fee. There will be a range of category prizes including: Senior, Masters, Juniors and U-16s.
The off times for all three events is 7pm. While there will be many serious runners lining up in these races, there will be many more taking on their first official 5Ks. And, to get a bit of motivation going, there will be a ‘mass warm-up’ session on the track just before the participants head for the traditional starting point on Rice’s Height.
You can enter by ringing: 066 71 43370 and you can check out all the details by clicking on the An Riocht advert on this page.
An Riocht AC is also promoting its big October HercOileán Boot Camp Challenge at present and you can read all about it at: http://www.mainevalleypost.com/2014/08/01/hercoilean-is-introduced-to-an-toilean/
© The Maine Valley Post 22-8-2014