Thursday 22 October, spend a half day and night in Belfast. Seen the Cathedral Quarter as it came recommended by a friend and the taxi driver. Not sure what I saw besides I think Albert Memorial clock. Went into a sports shop, Jackson Sports Belfast, which I highly recommend. Bumped into a guy working there, not literally of course, who also was doing the Sky run.
Then went to see where the Titanic was build. Seems the Irish are very proud, but I didn't see, on the outside, the operative: But the ship sank and lots of people died. But maybe that's ok. Was cool walking through shipyards. They show an industry that actually builds stuff, and I like that.
Walked back to the hotel, which had schoolclasses of little boys playing the most boring game in the world, Cricket. But hey whatever people like.
Went out for dinner at Ribs and Bibs. Where I had chicken wings and ribs. Not bad, not great.
The Friday morning I went to CrossFit Belfast. What an amazing box. And a great guy. Did 45 minutes of open gym with squats and wall ball shots and a bit of rope climbing. When I asked how much, he said, it's free. So wanted to buy a t-shirt. Sold out. So donated to their charity. If you into CrossFit and go to Belfast, go there.
Went to pick up the car to drive to Killyleagh to meet Rob Jones and Caoimhe his wife and baby girl for the first time. Very welcome at Rob's mother in laws house for lunch. Met his sister in law (that is a bit of a guess tho). Fab house, near the sea, in the middle of nowhere :-).
Then went down to Newcastle where I was staying in the Cherry Hill Lodge. Very nice, proper home cooked French Toast for Breakfast.
Saturday morning the start of the race. It was raining, which would disappear at about 10;00. For some unknown reason I got interviewed by Channel 4. This seems to be on tv sometime in November. It'll be either after 21;00 or some beeps will be in there. Think Rob and Simon thought it was pretty funny they chose me.
So the event Mourne Sky Race, in the Mourne Mountains is pretty tough, 35k and 3,370 meters of climing. Unfortunately I had to DNF at 15k as my right leg kept on refusing going up the hill. And to do something like the race, see below what it looks like, you need both legs. It was very slippery but the scenery was pretty good. Shame I had to bail out, but such is life. I can live with that. I would recommend the event. Well organised, in a great environment. I may have to try again next year.
Was good meeting new people, and seeing old friends. Ian Corless, was there and it's always a pleasure getting his pictures. Met his lovely girlfriend Niandi for the first time, who herself is a pretty ace runner as well.
When Rob and Simon finished, we went for some food and drinks. It's always a pleasure to see Rob after a race. He looks totally waisted, which is a compliment by the way.
So despite the DNF, great day out in the Mourne Mountains, sun came out, great people, nice food. Rugby (which was also boring).
Had dinner later that evening in a local Newcastle curry house. Seemed very new, and food was good.
Luckily had changed my flight to 07:35, so had to wake up at 04:00 but at least the clocks went back. George Best City Airport Belfast so far has been good to me. BA even managed to land the plane in LHR 30 minutes early. How, I have no clue, but am not complaining.
So good weekend in Ireland. Could have even gone to Martin Muldoons wedding party but that was a little out of the way.
Ok, up to the next event which is Dusseldorf Marathon.