Seamus Gallagher wins “Running Backwards” race

Mayo AC’s inaugural ‘Running Backwards’ race took place at the track in Claremorris on Sunday. Backward running, also known as backwards running, running backwards, reverse running, retro running, or retro locomotion is the act of running in reverse, so that one travels in the direction one’s back is facing rather than one’s front. This form of exercise and competition is popular worldwide (see web links below) and has a lot of cardiovascular and other benefits, not least a reminder of the essence of sport – fun!  A welcome return to reality, after a decade of  “Going Forward” when we lost the run of ourselves.
And so on this Sunday morning at Claremorris track, a small but enthusiastic field (29) ‘heeled’ the line for this novel event.
The race was over 1500 metres and fairly simple rules applied. After the start, a  two metre gap had to be maintained between a participant and the person in front ‘behind’ them.
This was tricky for many and some competitors fell over themselves during overtaking manoeuvres in the frantic closing stages. However, winner Seamus Gallagher from The Neale  has undoubtedly mastered the unique technique, showing a clean pair of heels to all behind him. He finished  first backwards across the line in a respectable 5 mins 57 seconds. The first woman was veteran Lucinda Nic Gealailt from Geesala in 6.61.  Most of the finishers said they were looking forward to competing again next year.
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