Monday, March 30, 2009

Excellent finish for O'Regan in Celtic 100k

In what can be described as one of the most gruelling events in road racing, the 100k challenge presents competitors with an opportunity to run nearly 2 and a half marathons in one race. The Celtic 100k race was held on Saturday 28th of March in Salthill, Galway and featured a truly international field with athletes competing from Ireland, England, Wales, Scotland, Germany and Poland. Incorporated into the event was the Anglo Celtic Plate, a home countries international between Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales. Le Chéíle AC’s John O’Regan took part in this event and despite competing for the first time at this distance, put in an exceptional performance.

The winner of the race Jez Bragg (England) who completed the course in a time of 6:58:00 and the first Irish man home was 6th place Thomas Maguire (7:30:56). The winner of the women’s race was Ireland’s Helena Crossan finishing in a time of 8:11:04. Leixlip man John O’Regan finished in 16th place overall with a time of 8:36:42 – Imagine running non-stop for longer than is most people’s working day!

The team event was won by England with Ireland achieving 3rd place in the Celtic Cup, and the Ireland women’s team coming in third place overall after England and Scotland.

Although not selected on the Irish team for this event (he did not have prior experience in this type of event) he managed to finish as the 3rd placed Irish man. I expect that John will certainly feature in Ireland's team selection in future ultra distance events.

Not content with resting on his laurels, O'Regan will today be putting on his runners and forgetting about the aches and pains to prepare for his next events. He will take part in this year's London marathon (26th April) as an official pacer. The job of a pacer is to being a group of people through the marathon course at a predefined, consistent pace. A bit like the pied piper, John will lead athletes at a consistent 8 minute mile pace, to complete the marathon in under 3hours 20 minutes.

The London marathon will be a training run for O'Regan's preparation for the North Face 100k run. This will be his second 100k ultra marathon and takes place in Australia's Blue Mountains on the 16th of May. This race, described by the organisers as "challenging, spectacular course through some of Australia's most iconic landscape" will present more of a challenge than the Celtic 100k, but John will have learned a lot and will be well prepared.

Well done John!

(Picture shows John with Celtic 100k race director Richard Donovan)

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