Mark Grealish

Cats and wizardry.

Crazy Hobo Beard

in me

Me on the trail with a crazy beard near Renville by Oranmore.

Rocks and Misery

in running

I’ve been training since May for the August Reykjavik marathon, an effort that involves daily runs of up to 32 kilometres in distances! Doing so many long and short runs around Galway quickly became tedious, because there are only a few routes which meet my preferences. With limited choices in the city, I’ve turned to wilder and farther places that I can reach by bus, such as the magnificent forests above Oughterard and Rosscahill, the Moycullen bogs, and now Inishmore in the Aran Islands.

So, Aran, rocks and misery. Last week I dropped a suggestion into the running club’s WhatsApp group: Aran, why the heck not?


  • August 4, 2019

Where do we meet?

  • 08:45 at Queen Street, Galway (link).

Cost and Payment

  • €28 (€20 ferry + €8 bus).
  • Money can be PayPal’d to, sent by bank transfer (ask me for IBAN) or paid cash-in-hand. I’ll confirm cash payments via email.
  • I will make the group booking on Tuesday July 16 based on payments to that date. Anyone who wishes to travel with us after that date can book per times and dates given below.


  • 09:00: Depart from Queen Street, Galway.
  • 10:30: Sail from Rossaveal to Inishmore with Aran Island Ferries.
  • 12:30: Runnnnnnnning.
  • 17:00: Sail from Inishmore to Rossaveal.
  • 19:00: Arrive back at Galway.


Routes are superset: we depart from Kilronan as a group along the Low Road, and turn back after a given distance. I’ll be running the full 30 as it will be my last 30k long run before the Reykjavik marathon. Everyone coming alone is welcome to run whatever length they wish! :)

Details to be Confirmed By Mark

  • Lunch in Kilronan.
  • Bag drop in Kilronan.

Ik Ben Wakker

in me

De straatveger binnen maakte me wakker, ugh. Sinds de lente heb ik blijf om Nederlands te leren, tot nu wanneer kan ik kort zin schrijven! In oktober ik ga naar Amsterdam voor de Mizuno Halve Marathon te lopen, en misschien ook in november voor Le Guess Who in Utretcht.

Ik heb alleen paar Nederlands woorden over mij, omdat de woordenschatten van Duolingo is “gebruiken” woorden. “Ik doe dit.” “Je koop dat.” “Zij ziet deze dingen.” Ik zal meer op tijd leren.

At the Clare Burren Marathon Challenge

in running

Me finishing seventh at the Clare Burren Marathon Challenge 2019 10k

Fun race! I finished seventh at this year’s Clare Burren Marathon Challenge 10k.

Blog Silence

in me

The one rule I have kept to with this blog since the first day has been: write only when I feel like it. If the mood doesn’t take me, then I don’t. Well, truth be told here, the mood hasn’t taken me in some months.

The first and big obvious reason for not writing has been how busy I am:

  • A move to Galway.
  • Two half marathons and injuries and trying to maintain a vegetarian diet while running.
  • A growing relationship with someone new and awesome in my life.
  • Work, including trips back to the office in Dublin.
  • Many new and great books to read.

My life keeps me going even as it is not a morass of stress and busyness. Given that I work from home, the last thing I want to do after a day at my desk is spend more hours at my desk writing or playing videos games.

And as well, I’m out there trying to figure out where I fit. The last round of therapy left me with a profound sense of detachment and burnout. It dislodged my fear, the need to keep everyone away and myself safe, instead leaving burnout. It has left to fight to find the desire to engage with others, to reach out and make new connections. After everything, I’m happy to heal alone now.

So that’s me, running and enjoying the new summer with somebody wonderful.

Run Clare 2019 Race Series

in running

Scariff 5k result (virtual).
Barefield 8k result.
Ennis 10k result.
Lahinch 16k race result.

Scariff (Virtual)

  • Date: 2019-01-26
  • Time: 00:33:03
  • Distance: 5km
  • Pace: 00:06:37/km
  • Finished: 646/878 (74/100)


  • Date: 2019-02-17
  • Time: 00:39:11
  • Distance: 8km
  • Pace: 00:04:54/km
  • Finished: 125/888 (14/100)


  • Date: 2019-03-30
  • Time: 00:45:08
  • Distance: 10km
  • Pace: 00:04:31/km
  • Finished: 88/809 (11/100)


  • Date: 2019-04-07
  • Time: 01:19:08
  • Distance: 16km
  • Pace: 00:04:57/km
  • Finished: 58/658 (9/100)

Previous race: Galway City Harriers New Year’s 5k

The Run Clare event is a series of four road races held through the winter and spring around County Clare. In 2019 took part in it this year for the first time with the wonderful members of the Galway Mikkeller Running Club.

Handsome Mark with a handsome 16k medal.

Running the series as a whole has been a great step for me, first for injury recovery and later for pushing myself hard through races. In January I tore a ligament while out on my morning run. I still don’t know how it was that I injured my knee, only that the pain in my left knee got worse over the course of the run, so that by the end I could barely walk.

So injured, the 5k was a horrible run around Harold’s Cross and Rathfarnham in the rain while my knee screamed bloody murder at me. Every runner has their own mantra to get them across the finish line. Mine is that I pour out all my anger and scorn and pain. My world shrinks down to my breath, my feet and the road below. Nothing matters more than the next step, then the hill, then the next kilometres. These are things I expect on a half marathon,not a neighborhood 5k! I cried, I raged, I ran.

Assembled medals from Run Clare race series.

The other races in the series were not so dramatic. Running with the Mikkeller Running Club was so much fun. It’s a place where we build each other up. We grant each other the confidence to run the length, do the hard thing.

My 8k and 10k runs were perfunctory out-and-back loops around the Ennis area, one that gave us pretty medals at the end. :)

It was the 16k that challenged us (look at the number of finishers!). The race began with a 200 metre ascent and kept us on roads shared with traffic, but the glorious sunshine of the day got me through the day!

My progress and improvements through the four races of the series are a point of real pride for me, proof manifest of the gains of hard work and training!