Celbridge Marathon Race Report

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    Sunday 10th May saw a small GKC marathon squad of 2 make the journey to Celbridge for the third marathon ranking race of the season. The dream team of Eoghan Parsons and Eoin O Conaire were back in action in the K2 10K race. There is ritual when attending marathon races. One arrives in plenty of time, and with nerves starting to jangle you get changed too early and stand around fidgeting and doing the odd stretch. You then seek out some fellow-competitors and select two excuses from the officially sanctioned list of pre-race excuses. These can then be inserted into conversation with your opponents. The ever popular “Haven’t been doing much paddling recently” or “Really busy at work lately so no time for training” would usually be juxtaposed with a more tailored or customised excuse referring to an injury niggle or being up with a sick child in the night. With Eoghan Parsons arriving 30 mins late for departure to Celbridge (one can only assume he was having multiple wardrobe changes in front of the mirror at home), and slower than usual progress up the motorway due to high winds, the dream team arrived at Celbridge 25 mins before the race started. They registered, changed, set up the K2, got on the water and lined up on the start line without any warm up. 7 K2s lined up on the start line, competing for the clear water in a very narrow section of the canal. The dream team made a good start despite clashes of paddles and the Laois KC crew cutting across their bow and quickly eased into second place behind the Celbridge Paddlers crew. Sitting comfortably on their wash for about 1K, Eoghan and Eoin pulled away and with a few efforts and extended a comfortable lead of about 100m by the 4 K mark. However a poor turn for GKC at the halfway point gave the Celbridge crew a sniff of weakness and they started to close the gap. By 8K they had caught up to within a boat length of the tiring Eoghan and Eoin. However along a straight narrow run-in to the finish against a headwind, the dream team put in some strong efforts and pulled away to win by about 1 and a half lengths. The GKC racing squad may be rethinking our pre-race preparations and adopting the “Parsons approach”.

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