The Togher of the track.

Stablemate and member of the Cork hobby jogger fraternity “Rapid” Ray O’Connell banged out a sensational, 30-second PB, running 35:17 at the Coillte 10K in Dundrum, Tipperary.

With racing finally returning to Ireland, it was a hotly contested competition—O’Connell finished 23rd overall. The conditions Wednesday evening were warm, and most importantly for us runners, calm!

O’Connell looked sullen (but, somehow, smiling) when he walked into The Stable News‘ press conference to describe how he felt after the race:

“I’m happy with the PB but feel I should have done better. It’s a bittersweet result, to be honest. I had two shocking miles in the middle where I completely fell off my target pace, but I managed to get back on for the last 2.2. I thought my GPS was out, as the effort felt consistent. But alas, I had actually just slowed down. ☹”

Ally Smith—on hand to give a bit of support and massage Ray’s legs once he had completed his AIS stretches—had this to say: “I don’t know what you’re moaning about, Ray! That was a top-class run there. Roll over so I can get your calves. Anyway, a brilliant run; you deserve a Tunnock’s Teacake for that. Here, get that down ye.”

Coach Stazza FaceTimed in to the conference to console the hobby jogger, and to make sure Ally wasn’t messing up Ray’s legs: “Watch his peroneals, Ally; they’ll be sensitive after that run. Well done, Ray. That was a solid and consistent performance!”

So what’s in store for the man who desperately wanted to go sub-35?

“Most likely a TT set by Stazza. This race will be helpful for that—blew the rust off.”

Good luck with the TT, Ray. Just remember they don’t count for official PBs in Stazzaland.