The Inaugural Bohernabreena 10K Forest Run
Originally I had planned to only run the Rock’N’Roll Half Marathon in Dublin in August. It was to be my third and I was really looking forward to it.
I won’t be talking about the RNR here as I think it’s been already well covered. I added two other events one being the Malahide Forest Run (4 days after the RNR) and the other one was the Bohernabreena 10K forest run 3 days’ prior the RNR.
Yep you read it correctly that’s 3 running events in 7 days! Something I never do or would encourage anybody else to do either.
Two reasons behind this…
First – I had spent two weeks in Spain running every other day on hilly terrain and heat so I had become efficient by my standards.
Secondly – it was the first time those two races organised by Born2Run would be taking place in Dublin.
Earlier in the year I had promised myself I would be part of the two inaugural races and had not realized there would be the same week as the RNR.
In the end I waited almost to the last day before registration closed to enter. I decided I would go easy and treat them as standard run practice.
Now that was the plan, but it turned out that week I ran my two fastest 10Ks and half marathon in four years!
Hmm… I am glad I did it but I don’t think this was wise so please don’t try this this at home as running too many events can easily become a landmine if you are injury prone.
Giraffes Gathering In South County Dublin
Bohernabreena 10K Forest Run was to take place 10 mins from where I live – ideal. It’s on the edge of Dublin’s suburbs near Tallaght.
I parked my car on the St. Anne’s GAA grounds who were hosting the event and I had a quick chat with the organizers. They informed me there would be roughly 150 runners.
I like week days’ races especially the 10-k distance. It doesn’t kill your weekend and it’s a great opportunity to meet other fellow runners.
I was meant to meet Patrick Downey, a local runner and great running friend. Patrick is a bit younger and a faster than me but we shared the same line of vision. I think we treat running the same way.
He is probably 6’4″ or about that at least, and is probably one of the few running giraffes I can speak to without developing the fear of having a lumbago.
On that very day, he was accompanied by Sean Egan another local runner who was treating that run as final prep for his first ever half marathon on the coming Sunday. (He would do very well there by the way).
A Very Different Kind Of City Run
Soon after the countdown, 150 runners, my two amigos and I found ourselves part of a long procession of colourful running tops. I am always fascinated by the variety.
Some are the reminiscence of previous races and individual exploits, while others are wearing the colours of their running clubs or running groups.
In less than two kilometers we realized we had entered into a different world and that this race would be very special.
A small road led to an even smaller trail. Postcard cottages sitting on the side of the road would almost make you forget you were here for a run.
The course was now a trail which included a series of small inclines followed by a bigger climb. At this point it made us realize this would not be a run in the park.
It was clear by the time we had reached the first major climb at kilometer #4 that a natural selection had already taken place. I turned my head and noticed that for reasons unknown to me, Patrick and Sean were slightly behind!
The Hazards & Beauty Of The Trails
On the hill itself it was very noticeable that some competitors were already struggling – some even started to walk the steep climb. After a welcomed breather on a small plateau we all moved along the river on our way towards the reservoir and I felt very good I must say.
I progressively began to overtake quite a few people and it felt good. You know those runs everything seem to go according to plan or even better? Well, I was getting very confident if not euphoric.
So just when I was about to get ahead of myself in terms of ambitions, I got overtaken by a 13 year old at full pace, so much for my wanna be elite status you may say.
There was no more large groups, at that stage we were progressing in pairs or group of 3 to 4 runners max to the other side of the reservoir.
We navigated our way on a narrow forest trail, making sure to avoid roots, holes and other various uneven surfaces. It certainly made sure our senses were kept in check.
No matter how challenging the landscape we felt privileged to run around such beautiful scenery. Lovely trees with fantastic colours reflecting in the water.
Late summer flowers and squirrels staring at competitors, probably debating between themselves who would make a PB or not on that day.
The Descent To The Finish
At about kilometer 7/8, just before crossing the reservoir, a few runners had to reduce the pace significantly. Signalling that the course had taken its toll in terms of energy.
For the runners with stamina still intact, they progressed nicely downhill towards the finish line. A few locals on the side of the road were superb at encouraging runners and it gave some of us a great boost.
It was hot enough when I crossed the finish line. I was presented my medal and I waited for Patrick and Sean to join me very shortly after.
The start and finish were not the same location, so we took the opportunity to cool down with a small jog back to the start at St. Anne’s GAA club.
Made Feel Like A VIP
While exchanging our experiences and thoughts it was pretty clear that the consensus was ultra positive. We agreed it was amazing to have a race with such stunning scenery only 10 minutes from the city.
The wonderful BBQ smells welcomed us back to the GAA grounds where we had the prize giving. Add excellent organization and marshalling, and I don’t remember the last time I felt like a VIP at a race.
I learned a few things about off road and terrain running that day. Most importantly and unknown to me, it made me realize that there was a forest in the city.
Go to Born2Run Events for more on events in your area and to register.
We’re currently seeking writers who wish to contribute to The Smart Runner blog. No matter what level of running you happen to be at, we value your unique perspective. To find out what we’re looking for and make a submission to the “Stories” section check out the writing guidelines.