Man in the city.

Stablemate John “Mighty” Meehan mashed the Berlin Marathon in a glass-ceiling-shattering 3:20:56, taking a whopping 10’34” off his official best.

Ally “the Chin” Smith was squeezing through the masses (beer aloft to avoid any spillages) at the finish:

AS: Whoo! Johnny boy! This is some shindig; how did you get on? I hope the heat didn’t affect you too much.

JM: No, the weather was kind—although it hit 29℃ on Thursday/Friday in Berlin, and I got a wee bit worried. Thankfully, by this morning it had cooled to 15℃, and even though the sun came out and it got much warmer, things were still comfortable.

AS: Yeah, the weather’s great for the post-race party. Have a shandy and fill me in.

JM: I’m really pleased with my PB (a mere 79 minutes behind Kipchoge, ha!) 

My previous best was 3:31:30, and I ran a 3:32 in Dublin last year, so 3:30 had been a bit of a glass ceiling for me. There was a brilliant atmosphere. It’s a lovely city, with really loud spectators all along the route, loads of drums, and plenty of water stops.

AS: Yes, mate! Smashing through that invisible barrier like the mighty man you are. You’ve set quite a few PBs since joining The Stable, haven’t you?

JM: Yes! This is my first year with Stazza, or any coach, for that matter. (That makes him my best running coach ever!) 

Anyway, if you think we should give him any credit, I’ve had PBs in the 5K, 10K, 10 mile, half-marathon, and now the marathon. And I’m only running because I’m too old to play Gaelic football!

AS: Tremendous stuff, John; a PB at every distance within 12 months. I suppose Stazza does know what he’s talking about, hee-hee. Oh, and never mind Gaelic football; I see some M50 bling coming your way soon. What’s next on the agenda?

JM; I have registered for Dublin at the end of October, and if my body behaves, I’ll hopefully turn up. I’ll maybe even behave myself, or maybe not. 😁 Who knows? I might go out slower (my first half was 1:38-ish and the second 1:43 in Berlin).

Positive split.

AS: Good plan, ha-ha. No need to behave today, though. Let’s celebrate with a few more, as I think I’ve only one more Stablemate to find.

JM: Now you’re talking.

Coach Stazza was tucking into his fifth breakfast pastry when the Chin rang: 

AS: Here, Coach; thanks for the extra budget to fly me over—it’s well worth your investment. Now how’s about wee Johnny Meehan destroying his full ‘thon PB?

CS: You’re welcome, Ally … A ruck of preposterous PBs in the German capital … Young Meehan is made of tough stuff, coming from the Drumlin County of Monaghan (about halfway between Dublin and Belfast). A little fact for you: Drumlin is Irish for “little hills,” which supposedly were formed by ice melting during the Stone Age … Those hills have served John well, and we’re only just getting started … Great stuff!”