After the week that was – chilly icy conditions with training and runs cancelled and pervasive cabin fever infecting athletes in particular – it was good to hear from Ballyhaunis member Martin Fitzmaurice.
He’s enjoying a break in the ‘land down under’.
He sends greetings from Yarra Glen, a small town about 40k from Melbourne – Sinéad Diver country!
As his photo shows it’s lovely and sunny there at the moment 23° heading to 31°C this week. A big contrast to the land hereabouts in recent days where ‘off-road’ has not applied to training terrain, but rather vehicles ending up there.
Martin is in an area of vine-covered hills – Coldstream/Healesville/Yarra Glen – that draw millions of Australian and International visitors to this renowned wine growing region.
Yarra Glen is a scenic town located on the Yarra River, set amongst the rolling hills of the fertile Yarra Valley which is home to a large number of vineyards.
Coincidentally 5k from Yarra Glen is an area called
Christmas Hills – a nice seasonal allusion.
It owes its name to an emancipated convict and shepherd, David Christmas, who became lost on a 640-acre grazing lease in the area in 1842, and was found after days of wandering at a rise which was subsequently named after him.
Also nearby, and possibly where Martin was out for a run, is
Kingslake National Park part of this area’s Aboriginal cultural landscape.
And he probably came across kangaroos, koalas and lyrebirds during his run!
Martin has led the local team in Ballyhaunis in recent years and organised excellent 5k, 8k and 10 mile races. Hopefully when he’s back from gallivanting in Australia he’ll resume that role!