Yesterday saw the official opening of Lifford AC's new mondo track. It has been named after Ben O'Donnell who was the leading light behind the establishment of the club some forty years ago. I wasn't there for the inaugural races on the old cinder track, although my age would have allowed me to have run one of the senior races on that day back in 1974. I did however trot along to yesterday's, "meet," and put my toe to the line in the, "Masters Mile." I even managed to navigate my way around the necessary four laps and a little bit.
The weather conditions in the afternoon did not augur well for a track race but by the time of the recoil of the starting pistol the wind had eased and racing conditions were almost perfect. The numbers in this mile race were somewhat less than I had anticipated, but at least there was one individual who I was able to track in the early laps and then pass with two furlongs to go. The rest of the field were somewhat ahead of me as anticipated and as their lesser ages would have predicted.
There was to have been a separate senior men's mile race but only one senior athlete appeared and accordingly he was forced to race against the crumblies. It had been mooted that the, "Meet," might provide Co Donegal with its first sub four minute mile but that was never going to happen.
It is a pity that more masters/vets don't forego the plod of the road and instead savour the relative speed of the track. I expect that my time was not too dissimilar to what I would have run as a callow youth back in 1974. Well maybe a trifle slower. Age does weary one and the years do condemn and in the morning the aches are present.