Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Report on the 'Evening with Ron Hill' in Ballycotton...
On the Saturday before the Ballycotton 10 road race, Ballycotton Running Promotions had organised an 'Evening with Ron Hill' event in a local hotel. By all accounts, it sounds like it was an interesting event and the following report was supplied by local runner Donal O'Donoghue...

"There were about 30-40 people in the room with several faces that I'd recognize from running.
The meeting was introduced by John Walshe of Ballycotton Running Promotions, who then handed over to Frank Greally, editor of the Irish Runner, who spoke for a few minutes, mentioning that he first saw Ron compete at the 1968 Mexico Games, whilst watching from a Pub in Ballyhaunis. Ron gave a good speech, and could even be said to be a good story teller! Tales of running on Cinder tracks, and training in heavy Army Boots. He's used to train up to three times every day, come rain or shine, with stories of running with Bunions, broken bones, septic injuries in his legs. He even ran barefooted at one time, and picked up a piece of glass in his heel, and continued to run with it embedded, in great pain, for a week, before he realized what had happened. End of barefoot running.
At his peak, he did 110-130 miles per week, in preparation for Marathon distances.
Ron took a question & answer session from the audience, and then signed autographed copies of his book:
"Manchester Marathons" 1908-2002 by Ron Hill & Neil Shuttleworth
Frank Greally also had a book: "Running Commentary" - Thoughts occurring at intervals in the fields of athletics.

When asked who his role model may have been in his early days, he replied, "Alf Tupper - the Tough of the Track", in the "Rover" and later "Victor" a boys weekly comic book. I remember it well ;o)

Throughout his running career, he had no coach, and even expressed dismay that of £100,000 Lottery money given to Athletics, £55,000 was given to ... Coach mentoring!
When asked about Hydration, etc, he told us how in the 1960s, runners were not allowed *any* water on the course before 10 miles.e.g. In the Ballycotton 10, there would be *no* water stations. One could have been disqualified for taking any water given by spectators on the course!
He echoed one of the earlier posts on the blog, where there are far more runners participating today, but turning in fewer records...
Overall, very informative, and entertaining!........Donal O'Donoghue"

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