Sunday, 10 June 2012

Off to greener grasses (for two weeks)

Hip-hip-hooray! Monday night my mom and I are off to the green lands of Ireland. My mom, luck as a rabbit's foot, won flights to Ireland through a competition held by Discover Ireland earlier this year. The original competition rules stipulated that the trip had to be taken before the end of May... I wrote to Etihad and asked whether we could extend the deadline so that I could run in the 24hr Rogaine Ireland - and they agreed without hesitation (thank you Etihad and Ireland Tourism).

Mom and I will spend two weeks seeing the countryside. We arrive in Dublin on Tuesday afternoon and will spend the night there. I'm hoping to meet up with my rogaine teammate, Sean Murray - an Irish adventure racer, for a quick hello. On Wednesday we'll set off for our first destination. Our plan is to meander around checking out walking trails and reserves and parks - also archaeological sites. We plan to walk in the mornings and then in the afternoon we'll drive to the next spot and spend the night there to head out on foot in the morning.

We were hoping to miss little over two weeks of winter but it seems that summer in Ireland is very much like winter in Jo'burg... Our minimum and maximum temperatures vary more, especially when a cold front comes over, but for the rest the maximums are similar - certainly warmer and sunnier here.

I've been chatting to Sean frequently on email and a week or so ago he said it had been unseasonably hot and that the hills were drying out. I checked out the weather graphic and the colours were all greens and blues - not even touching 20C. I replied to him to ask, "What do you call hot?". Evidently it had reached 22C on one day.

This is my temperature classification:

Around these parts (Jo'burg) hot is >30C ;)

A 'lovely day' is around 27C

Cold is <18C

Friggin' cold is <12C

Freezing! is <9C

I've packed winter clothing for summer in Ireland!

Here's the really cool thing... sunrise and sunset times. Sunrise is just before 05h00 (so it will be light before 5) and sunset is just before 10pm. Nice long days, which will be great for our activities and the race.

The rogaine is over the weekend of 23/24 June and I'm so looking forward to it. I think Sean and I are going to have such fun running together. Our combined ages top 80 so we're running in the Masters category *grin* Thanks to Chris (an ARer I met in Abu Dhabi 2010, who saw my post on Irish orienteering/rogaining forums) for introducing us. Mom will chill at Chris' place, which is near the rogaine location, while we're running.

I'm also looking forward to seeing some ARers that I know and meeting others that I don't - we've got a Guinness evening planned for the Tuesday after the rogaine.

Mom and I haven't been away together in a very, very long time. We're paranoid about our kitty, who has very nice kitty-sitters taking care of her. We're usually away separately so the other is always around to be with Bracken. Yes, she is a much loved and indulged feline.

As this time away came up unexpectedly and the date for my Metrogaine Jo'burg event was set at the beginning of the year, I'll be missing my own event. Maps and clues are done and prepped and I've left it in the very capable hands of my dear friend, Fred. I've also got a bunch of helpers who have jumped in to offer assistance on the night.

I may or may not post while away... So, until my return keep warm and keep running.

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