Taking on the challenge of running a half-marathon is no easy task and, unlike a film with a happy ending, if you haven't put the work in you're going to get found out as there's nowhere to hide once the results are published!
One man who was leaving absolutely nothing to chance was Drogheda & District AC's David Campbell who decided to test himself over the classic 13.1-mile distance at the recent Carlingford Half-Marathon, which would rival any race in the country for its picturesque views.
This year's race attracted a large field of quality athletes, all anxious to see how well their winter training had gone, and thankfully race day dawned dry and not too cold.
However, the windy conditions, which are the real enemy of a distance runner, were to make things difficult for some of the runners on the hilly outward stretch of the course.
Campbell is one of those athletes who likes to prepare well and once the starter's gun went it was time to put the plan into action and he quickly settled into a good tempo as he tried to shelter from the wind during the all-important early miles before the race begins in earnest.
Coming up to the half-way mark, which the athletes were more than glad to see, Campbell looked to be in good shape and with barely 45 minutes showing on his watch at that stage he turned and headed back towards the village along the exposed coastal road.
The ability to hold one's form and get the best out of every stride is the hallmark of any runner worth his salt and Campbell's upper body strength played its part as he finished strongly over the last few miles to cross the line tired but reasonably happy with his time of 1:30:06, finishing 60th overall in the rankings.
Drogheda & District's next finisher was Joe Carroll who had a terrific run to finish in 1:38. He's really benefited from the group training structure where consistency is the key to improved performance.
Also running were Paul MacArdle and Mike Staunton who were having a great battle for club honours, and on this occasion MacArdle shaded it with his 1:58:01 finish to Staunton's 1:59:12 - decent running given the conditions.
Proving that age is no barrier when it comes to distance running was Gerry Carroll who ran the race on his 75th birthday. He showed many of his younger rivals a clean pair of heels when finishing in a remarkable 2:53, followed by his training partner David Thornton who was just a minute behind with 2:54.
Meanwhile, at the mid-week ALSAA Winter League meeting, Christy Duffy ran the 3,000m event in 14:33 and it was good to see him racing again after a recent injury.