EUROPEAN CHAMPION: James celebrates

On Saturday, in sweltering conditions (25 degrees and high humidity) Stablemate, James Doran, won the European Masters Half Marathon Champs (35+) in Madeira. 

“I’m minded of the great quote by the Kerry writer, J B Keane,” Doran told The Stable News, wiping his brow in the Madeira heat. “Being a Kerryman, in my opinion, is the greatest gift that God can bestow on any man. When you belong to Kerry you know you have a head start on the other fellow. In belonging to Kerry you belong to the elements, to the spheres spinning in the Heavens. You belong to History and Language and Romance and Ancient Song.” 

On a brutal course with short, sharp hills, tight turns, cobblestones, and long, winding hills, Doran fought hard and smart with Frenchman, Charaf Mouelhi, and Brit, Conrad Franks.

For most of the race, Doran exchanged surges with 68:42 half marathon man, Franks.

“He pulled away from me early on but I worked my way back to him before breaking him,” a delighted Doran said, while supping on a bottle of Fanta. He went on to say: “It was fierce hot and the course was tough but I knew I could do it. I had a dream and now it’s come true.”

BATTLE ZONE: The lads hard at it (snap credit: Nelson Martins photography)

Coach Stazza told The Stable News, “The lad ran a belter. I’ve spoken to him about lactate levels, the difference between effort in 10 mile races and half marathons, and how to control the effort—it worked a treat today.”

When asked about key workouts and if they knew he could win, Coach Stazza said: “My auld fella and I have worked closely with James and his training partners, working towards this win. Recently, he banged out 8×1 mile on the track in 4’52”-54″ and we sharpened him up with 10x(600 in 1’45” +400 in 66″ +200 in 32″). He also did a great 5x2000m session in the pouring rain, with my 80yr old dad at the trackside (I was undercover filming; I’m the smart one in the family).”

The Grand Stablemaster, Edwardo Philipeeo Starrett, while eating a caramel muffin, told The Stable News: “Don’t you love it when a plan comes together!” After wiping his mouth, he went on to say: “James is a smashing young man. He’s a credit to Stazza’s Stable, Kerry, and Ireland. It’s not often a fella gets to stand on the podium in a major championship, receive a gold medal, and hear the national anthem.”