The King is Back…I was only taking a break!!!

It’s been a while since I’ve sat down and tried to write anything running related. Well actually, that’s a bit of a lie, I’ve started writing this particular piece a number of times but have never got beyond the first paragraph. There is a reason for this and I’ll elaborate on it as I go on here. 


But let’s start at the end,  or at least at the most recent race. The Cork City Marathon 2024. Eamon Hayes and your team, take a massive bow. What a day it was. This was a race organised for runners by runners. It truly was a memorable day. From the outset, there was a great buzz in the City Hall for nu

mber collection.  The expo was much improved on previous years and the volunteers there were incredible,  hats off to everyone. The race pack, for me, is the best one I’ve got for a Cork City Marathon. Maybe I’m a simple creature and a mug will keep me happier than most. The T Shirts, for all three races look amazing, so huge credit to everyone again.

 I did the half marathon, where temperatures were rising as that race began. The benefit of doing the half is that you get to see the start of the full and the 10km. I perched myself down the end of the South Mall with Derek Costello and watched all participants for the marathon pass by. It was a sight to behold. Later, as Derek went to meet his  daughter Aoife for the start of the 10km (her first 10km, well done Aoife), I joined Proinsias O Keefe for the start of the 10km. The numbers crossing the starting line seemed endless, as the 10km goes from strength to strength after its debut last year. As we headed down to the start of the half, we saw some of the leading athletes at the 16 mile mark. It was great to see my Eagle Club mates Vivian Foley and Anthony McCarthy in a bunch with Donal Coakley and others, all looked very strong I might add. I also got to see the eventual women’s winner Aoife Cooke looking strong and composed as she cruised her way to victory. It was great to see Aoife back and I know all of her club mates in Eagle are very proud of her.


The half marathon began in very hot conditions, under the starters orders of the inspiring Sophie Power. I had no time in mind so my plan was to go out very easy and just get home. As I rounded Pairc Ui Chaoimh, I spotted another Eagle, Antonio, who was running his first full marathon. Antonio and I had plans to do some training together but unfortunately I was unable to commit to it this year with him. However, it was great to see him and we put our arms around each other as we greeted. I kept with Antonio for a few miles and I was excited to see how strong he looked , clearly all his training paying off. As I trotted along, I didn’t get too far ahead of myself, I knew I wasn’t fit so I didn’t push myself. I walked in spots and soaked up as much atmosphere as I could. Others on the day pushed a little too hard and suffered as a result. I saw many people looking uncomfortable and receiving medical attention and I hope they all recovered. It goes to show that everyone must respect the distance they are running and the conditions. Eventually that noise coming from North Main Street could be heard in the distance and it kept going all the way to the finish on Patrick’s Street. I crossed the line tired but delighted, in one of the most enjoyable races I’ve run.


   The after party in Deep South was the place to be, as The Runners Diary official after party was in full swing, with the trusty Ed Fitz banging out the tunes. The numbers at the after party shows how much The Runners Diary has grown. Huge credit to Brian, Damian and the newly signed Andy for a great afternoon full of amazing prizes. Kudos to Jonathan and my doppelganger Ruairi who also do massive work in the background as The Runners Diary continues to go from strength to strength. 


I also had the honour of heading for some much deserved lunch with the usual Ballincollig ParkRun crew, there are too many to name here and I’ll only forget someone. But ye know who you are and thanks for having me as part of that special group. I will mention three people however, one is Graham Meikle. Graham is someone we all know, and I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for over a year now. Graham was everywhere over the weekend. Graham wears many hats, he’s a volunteer, a helper, a Coach, a shoulder to cry on. Whatever hat Graham has on he plays his role to perfection and Graham does it all for the love of running and more importantly the runners themselves. Graham , I’m sure the Cork Running community will join me in saying a massive thank you for everything. The second two people are an aunt and niece combination,  Mary Sweeney and Aoife Cooke. Aoife breezed home to win the marathon and Mary received the Lord Mayors award and both are legends of Cork running. Mary is always there to give help and advice to runners of all levels and continues to inspire. Aoife is cool and collected, and it was great to see her win in front of home fans in Cork, in what was a great day for their family at the Cork City Marathon. 


While running has taken a back seat over the last few months for me, I have been out there tipping away. I’ve been doing a few runs a week,  running races at what I would consider as an easy or casual pace. Before Cork I ran the Great Railway Run (another fantastic race) and had a super few days away with the gang to run the AJ Bell Bristol 10 km and Severn Bridge Park Run. I’ve ran watch and garmin free as I didn’t want or need the added pressure of time on me, even though that pressure is only coming from within. I’ve mentioned here before that in recent times I’ve had some vertigo related issues, but that doesn’t tell the full story. Over the last few months a few things came to a head and I went to my GP to ask for advice. I explained some of the symptoms I’ve always had. I’ve always thought about things a little differently, I’ve always had anxiety, and have struggled with mood swings. I’ve had periods where I’ve gone hell for leather into activities and then just dropped them off with no motivation to do them. I’ve never been able to put my finger on why I’ve been like this. I’ve put it down to being a bit lazy, tired or fatigued. After discussing these issues amongst others with my doctor,  I got a referral to a consultant. In recent weeks I’ve been diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder). For those who know me and my personality this may come as a surprise, and for me there was an initial surprise also, but once the diagnosis was explained, things started to make a little bit more sense to me. 

From the outside looking in I appear to be an easy going, happy-go-lucky type of fella, but in my head things are always going a million miles an hour. I’ve always suffered from anxiety, I frequently forget things and have to make lists to remember. I can get into some very low moods and can be difficult and uncooperative especially to those closest to me, without ever being able to explain why. Other symptoms for me include always being late and leaving things to the last minute. I have extremely sensitive hearing and my eyes are very sensitive to light. I find it very difficult to regulate my emotions, and can over or under react to certain situations. These are a few of my symptoms, I have others and some more I am sure that will manifest themselves in the future. I’m sure others who have a diagnosis have other different symptoms also. Getting my diagnosis has been like a weight off my shoulders but being diagnosed also won’t define me. I’ll still be me, just a better version of myself going forward. I hope I’ll be a better person to be around at home, a person with more clarity, a person that will be more proactive and one that’s a little bit kinder to myself. 



Running (when I am motivated enough to do it) has always been a little safe haven for me. It’s a time where I can just not think and just run and clear my head. The physical benefits also help me but it’s the mental benefits that help me the most.  While I learn more and more about both ADHD and ASD, I’ll also start some medication to help regulate some issues going forward. This will take some time to get the balance right but hopefully it will benefit me in the long term. In the meanwhile, I’ll still try to get out and train and race. I’ll hopefully be able to tackle some training for the Dublin marathon and all going well I’ll be able to have a good crack off it. 

    And so, I’ve (finally!) reached the end of this particular blog. I’ll try and keep up with some more updates on my running and everything else on a more regular basis. It’s the end of this blog but it feels like the beginning of something new. Until next time, stay safe and enjoy your running. 

Posted in Guest Blog, Uncategorized.