So, what now? When this year's Dublin Marathon disappeared from the calendar, that question was on the minds of many runners. A giant, 26.2-mile void opened up in their lives. They were actors without an audience, musicians without a stage.
The blonde-mopped vision in pink and white ascends the hill, panting and wheezing. Eyes and hands and legs pointing resolutely forward as if in a rush to beat the snaking queues at the hardware shop.
The Covid-19 pandemic has achieved what neither the weather nor power struggles within athletics failed to do during the four decades: it has stopped the Dublin Marathon for the first time since its launch in 1980.
Here's the trade-off, a see-saw in his psychology that can go either way on any given day. For Thomas Barr, there are mornings when he skips down the stairs and relishes the thought of lifting weights in his living room. Then there are days when the Olympic finalist, quite frankly, couldn't be a**ed.
He does what he can. Pat Naughton sprints up and down the hallway of his bungalow in Nenagh, cycling through the movements of the long jump, high jump, shot put, events he's practised for more than half a century.
FOMO (Fear of missing out) is rarely a positive thing but after watching people putting their shoulder to the wheel and raising funds for those in need, it was a no-brainer to get involved and play some part.
Top-level world athletics has been put in cold storage for the next eight months. So Irish athletes fretting over missed opportunities to achieve the qualifying standard for the rescheduled Tokyo Olympics can effectively pause their careers.
Irish sprinters Thomas Barr and Phil Healy have expressed their relief at the postponement of the Tokyo Olympics until 2021, a decision announced Tuesday after talks between Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe, and International Olympic Committee president, Thomas Bach.
Sligo's Michael Morgan marked himself out as a future star by taking his third consecutive title at the Irish Life Health All-Ireland Schools Cross-Country in Santry on Saturday, the Summerhill College student coming from behind to take glory in the senior boys' 6,000m race.
In distance running, the concept of giving it your all is widely preached, but rarely practised. In truth, most athletes can count on one hand the number of times they've truly maxed out, entering a world of hurt so dark and depressing it can only be endured on special occasions.
There was no way to hold back the tears - so Dean Adams didn't even try. The 29-year-old sprinter had just won the Irish indoor 60m title, a race he figured might be his last, but the reason for the dam bursting on his emotions had nothing to do with sport.
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