A reflective mien.

Stablemate Fran “Sisco” Hanlon felt a whole lotta love at the Dublin Marathon after blasting a stupendous 17 minutes off his personal record with a 3:38:05 clocking. The helpful health worker came in 3,962nd overall and 673th M45—not too shabby!

Sisco saw the weather forecast and knew it was going to be a grand day. He experienced “on-and-off rain for the first 24 miles, then a torrential downpour from mile 24 to home!” Good job he finished fast, then.

Itching to get to the pub, Ally “the Chin” Smith was pleased to see what he hoped would be the last Stablemate of the day:

AS: Bingo bongo! Another one comes home with a humongous result! How are you doing, Fran? You must be happy with a massive PB like that?

FH: Happy is an understatement. I ran a very controlled race, planned and paced really well. 

AS: As you do.

FH: I had trained for 3:30, but I’m glad I pulled it back to try for sub-3:40 and finish with a 3:38:05. It’s the first marathon where I didn’t have to walk … The little victories!

AS: Absolutely. And well done you for realising you had to reign it in to not blow up completely. Anything else happen?

FH: Oh, ye! Another runner threatened to hit me at mile 19. He decided to stop right in front of me to wait for his mate at the water station; I put my hand on his back to make sure I didn’t fall. This led to a few words between us, and luckily I could turn up the speed to lose him!

AS: Pfft, what a plonker! Come and train with me and Stazza, and you’ll spark out any ruffians at your next outing. Which is

FH: Next race is a half in March 2024, and then the Amsterdam Marathon in October.

AS: Great stuff; I’m sure you’ll find a few more to jump into in between. Well done again for today, Fran. I’ll hang about for any stragglers and possibly see you at the bar.

FH: See you there!

Coach Stazza was down at his local Mexican eatery, devouring a fistful of fajitas, when the call came in from the News: 

Chomp, chomp … Oh, I do love a good fajita … Just like our pal Fran … The tortilla wraps combined with the spicy Mexican filling fuelled him to a grandísimo personal record … Nicely done pulling it back, my boy … Next time, you won’t need to!”