Hotel radio.

Stablemate Dave “Vader” Mullins savoured the tepid temperatures at the Dublin Marathon as he clocked a cracking 3:14:43, slicing four minutes off the personal record he set on the same course in 2022.

Lying down in-between his hard-hitting and straight-talking for The Stable News, Ally “the Chin” Smith could hear faint sounds of “The Imperial March,” and thought: this must be Mullins!:

The Chin: Lord Vader. Impeccable performance, as always. How did you find the rebel race?

Vader: Kshhh. Training was hampered earlier this year by COVID, kshhh, and cold/sinus issues, so it took me some time to get back into form. Kshhh. I had a clear plan in my head from the Dark Side as to how I would race the marathon, kshhh

The Chin: It sounds like the sinuses haven’t cleared up at all, Lord Vader. How did the plan come together with the Emperor? 

Vader: Kshhh. Discussions with Emperor Palpatine-Stazza went well, kshhh. We had a goal of sub-3:15, kshhh. On the day, kshhh, our plan worked, kshhh

The Force was strong, making sure I did not go off too fast, kshhh. Maintained 5 to 10 seconds slower than marathon pace before increasing, kshhh, as the Force settled me into the race, kshhh

The Chin: Wonderful, my Lord. Please go on. 

Vader: Kshhh. I saw the Dark Side after mile 22 and picked up the pace, kshhh.  Once I cleared the last climb, my fastest mile was 24, kshhh

The Force waned in me during miles 25 and 26, kshhh. I heard the Emperor’s voice in my head and held on till the finish, kshhh

We are most satisfied with the result. One of the best-executed marathon plans I had ever achieved, kshhh. And it will stand us in good stead against the rebel fleet. 

The Chin: Absolutely, Lord Vader. I can only hope they don’t see you toeing the line any time soon. 

Lord Vader: Kshhh. They will be thankful. We are strategising and recuperating for the rest of the year, kshhh. We will aim to start back in the New Year with some 10-mile battles before the Death Star shows its true destructive power. Kshhh

The Chin: Uh, uh, uh, good luck with that, Lord Vader … I see an X-wing with my name on it over there. Congratulations, oh mighty one. 

Emperor Palpatine-Stazza was cloaked in darkness when the News came to him: 

Ahhh, my faithful lieutenant comes to pass once more … No one can stand in his way … You should all take heed … Join the Dark Side, and you too can perform as well as Dave ‘Vader’ Mullins! … Argh-hahahaha … Argh-hahahaha!”