Cutting a dash.

Stablemate Derek Vaughan battered 36” off his PB at the Adare 10K, clocking a thunderous 38:22 in the poetic county of Limerick. 

Hurling hound Vaughan finished in a bullseye-like 50th position overall (out of 737) and sixth M45. 

The Stable News race reporter-cum-weatherman, Ally “Gusty” Smith, rocked up with his anemometer to give an accurate gauge of the runners’ plight:

“It’s a fair blast out here today; the participants have clear skies, but that northerly wind will cause some trouble. The last couple of miles are headfirst into it until the finish.”

Satisfied with his Carol Kirkwood homage, “the Chin” was ready to scoop up as many Stablemates as he could:

Ally: Ah, there’s Del Boy! … Derek! Can I have a few words for The Stable News?

Derek: Absolutely. How’s it going, Ally?

Ally: Excellent. You were gritting your teeth through the finish there—did you PB?

Derek: Yes! A nice PB of 36 seconds. My previous best was 38:58 at the Milford Hospice 10K in January 2018. That’s a while trying to improve on that time, but I suppose my legs were training for the longer races.

Ally: A whopping PB there, Derek! You can’t expect to break 10K PBs training for the halfs and mara’s, mate. How was the race overall?

Derek: A well-organised race by West Limerick AC. The conditions were windy throughout. 

First mile out through the main street was nice and flat; I probably was a little fast, but on mile two, there was a bit of incline, and I kept the pace, as there were one or two drags.

All was going fine until I hit mile four, which meant facing a headwind for most of the way back to Adare. 

I was still in control, pace wise, until I hit a couple of niggly hills, and with the wind, my pace dropped. After the last hill, I picked up the pace for the final stretch. 

Was happy to get in, but on another day I am sure this time can be further improved. 

In fairness to Coach, he has me running faster (which is great), and it’s hard to take even a few seconds off a 10K, so a PB of more than half a minute is a substantial improvement in a few months. Thanks, John. 

Also want to thank my partner, Jennifer, who was the unofficial club photographer, and I am grateful for her support and patience during the training.    

Ally: I’m sure that time will be lower very soon, Derek. The hills, the wind, the pressure of looking good for the other half! It all takes its toll, ha-ha—fair play to you, pal. What’s next?

Derek: I’ve registered for the Mallow 10 Mile in a couple of weeks and then the Great Limerick Run Half-Marathon.

Ally: Fantastic, pal; enjoy the rest of your day.

Derek: Thanks, Ally, you too.

The Stable News got Coach Stazza on the phone while he was performing his yoga pose down Diani Beach:

“Oh, this is the life! I start my day at 5am with an hour of yoga to set me up for the day of calls and checking the weekly training. 

The locals get an eyeful as well—I’m such a hunk of funk! Someone else who’s a bit of a hunk is our Derek Vaughan; whacking 36” off his PB in horrid conditions is testament to all the hard work he’s been putting in.”

Good man, Derek! Time for downward dog, Stazza-style!