‘Cinco amigos’ celebrate: l-r Sarah Byrne, Tina & Dave Corcoran, John Byrne, Andy Neary

Three Mayo AC members travelled to the Islas Canarias for a ‘run in the sun’ on Saturday. (December 7). Lanzarote is the fourth largest of the eight main islands in the archipelago and a popular holiday destination.

There were three races there on Saturday – full marathon, half, plus 10k –  and all had three separate start times, 8am, 10:30, and noon respectively.

Our three competitors were John Byrne in marathon, Andy Neary in the half and Sarah Byrne in 10k. Added to the logistical challenge there were also three separate start points on the east coast of the island between Costa Teguise and Playa de los Pocillos in Puerto del Carmen.
The courses are said to be fast and flat along this coastal strip and promenade. Temperature as the marathon started at 8am were 17c rising to 20 at noon – warm and breezy. In the last four years the average marathon winning time was just over 2:33. Anyone coming from Ireland would experience a temperature swing of up to 20c, so a conservative approach was suggested.
 Experienced Mayo AC marathoner John Byrne has had just a couple of races since achieving a brilliant sub 2:30 pb in Dublin in 2018.
It’s been a tough 2019 so far for him due to various  injuries. However, he has come back to form recently.
John went through marathon halfway in 1:23.58 and continued with good even pace at 3:50k average to finish in an excellent 5th place and first vet B in 2:45:06 – negative splits a key indicator.
 “A real mental and physical battle for me today. Pulled out every trick I knew to get me through a tough second half. Didn’t look at watch after half way – amazed and a little proud I held it together so well.”
So he should be.
There were 587 finishers in marathon.

Andy Neary on his way to 1:39 in half marathon

Andy Neary completed the recent Dublin marathon in 3:42 and ran the Louisbugh half marathon 1:42 in 2018. Today he had a great race in the half finishing in 1:39.55 – a significant step up. (1084 finishers)

Sarah Byrne was our third competitor today in the final 10k event. She’s been clocking 39/40 minute 10ks during 2019. Sarah came home in an excellent 42:01- 6th woman and second vet C –   (706 finishers).
Well done to all three members – now no doubt enjoying some well earned refreshments.
Two friends in the party also ran – Tina Corcoran 53:24 in 10k and David Corcoran came home in 1:39.56 in the half.