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MUSINGS When tan runs in tandem


Ciara Galvin with her parents (AKA the roomies) at the finish line of the final Great Lakes Challenge in Ballinrobe.
?Ciara Galvin with her parents (AKA the roomies) at the finish line of the final Great Lakes Challenge in Ballinrobe.

When tan runs in tandem

Diary of a homebird
Ciara Galvin

PREPARATION before a running event is key. You have to have your priorities right – you know, eat the right things, warm up, hydrate, that sort of thing.
Prepared as always, I did none of the above before the final event of the Great Lakes Challenge Series in Ballinrobe. Well, technically, I did make sure to drink fluids beforehand, those fluids being two bottles of Bulmers. I blame this on my rubber elbow, bad influences and nerves! Whether it was the thoughts of the ‘home crowd’ or the later start time of 6.45pm, I found myself trying to fill my day as the hours ticked down.
Going for lunch and a brisk walk with the female roomie filled an hour, and beforehand I really got my priorities right – tan.
Usually I don’t give it a minute’s thought as to what I look like while I run, but the only difference this time was I was going out on the tiles after the race. Considering I haven’t experienced extended periods of sunshine in quite awhile I’ve been resembling Casper the Ghost these days, so out came the fake stuff.
I enlisted the female roomie to do the ‘paint work’. She was hesitant at first. ‘Are you sure this is a good idea?’ she asked, concerned about the tan running. I ensured her it would be fine.
Boy, was I wrong.
Having being talked into going for a pre-race drink, I didn’t have time to wash off the tan. (For those of you not au fait with the art of fake tan, you always wash off the application after a few hours.) Race time arrived, and all was going well until the first water station on the route. I grabbed a cup of water, and to ensure I kept up the pace, kept running while attempting to drink it. And yes, I ended up spilling it all over myself, and next thing I knew, there was a brown river of tan rolling off my arm. ‘Uh oh’.
Same thing happened at the next water station. No amount of wiping could help. I avoided the final water station, but the damage was already done. I resembled a character from The Walking Dead TV series. Crossing the finish line, the roomies greeted me with a hug and a smile, before the female roomie proclaimed, ‘The state of your arms! I told you it wasn’t a good idea’.
Tanning disasters aside, I crossed the line in a time of 52.04 – a personal best, which I was delighted about. I even won a trophy. Granted I won the slightly makey-upey ‘Journalists’ category, which didn’t have any other competitors in it, but hey, a trophy’s a trophy!
So that’s the Great Lakes Challenge Series done, and I hope to continue with a little bit of running. The next event I’ll be going to is a very special one, the Pieta House Darkness Into Light 5k in Shrule. The most recent suicide statistics I could find date back to 2011 where the total number of deaths in Ireland were 554, with 458 of these being male, 83 percent of the total figure, and this trend continues today. Sometimes there are no obvious signs, all we can do is look out for family members and loved ones and ask them if they are okay. The onus is also on men to start talking to each other.
Pieta House does incredible work, and deserves huge numbers to again come out to support its fundraising events on May 9. It takes place at 4.15am, and is a lovely way to remember those lost to suicide.
For more information, or to register for an event, visit

In her fortnightly Diary of a Home Bird column, Ciara Galvin reveals the trials and tribulations of a twenty-something year old still living with her parents.