half marathon

I’ve always enjoyed going for a walk, preferably in the hills which isn’t possible at the minute, but find walking anywhere relaxing and enjoyable. Since Covid in January I’ve been using walking, alongside cycling, as a means to get my fitness back to a good level. I have steadily increased my distance and frequency and have also started carrying a weighted backpack.

Yesterday I completed my longest walk since 2012 by walking 21.5km which is very slightly over a half marathon. I was also carrying a 4.5kg bag plus food and water which added approx 1kg for the first 10K.

I’ve only ever walked further than this twice before and both times in 2012. I was training for the Bluestack Challenge walk which I completed in September 2012. This was 30km through the Bluestack Mountains along part of The Bluestack Way for charity. That is my longest walk with a 25km training walk the week before the event being the next.

I’m not sure how far I want to push the distance but it would be nice to beat that 30k record.

strange sheep that looked like a mini llama
short lunch in the lee of a hedge out of the bitter wind
i didn’t risk it!
click image to view on strava

where’s the border?

I live in Donegal in the North West of Ireland and very close to the border with Northern Ireland (approx 3km) and now therefore an EU border with the UK. As part of the drawn out negotiations between the UK and EU there won’t be a hard border thereby preserving the Good Friday Agreement of 1998.

As part of a discussion on Facebook a few days ago Paul of 36×25 asked me how we know where the border is. On most maps the international border is marked by a dark line.

© strava

The RoI/NI border follows the original and long established historic county borders. Anyone living close to the border has an almost instinctual knowledge of the border location as it’s an integral part of daily life. However, for visitors to the area it can be very vague.

Major roads will usually have very obvious signs crossing the border in either direction.

ni ➡ roi
roi ➡ ni

The majority of the approximately 300 crossings are on minor, sometimes very rural roads where the border crossing is much more subtle. In the walk above I crossed into NI for a short section and took the photos below to show the most common crossing.

roi ➡ ni
ni ➡ roi

The actual border is usually clearly seen by a change in tarmac where the two road agencies meet.

The red and white paint on the poles and road are for the Tyrone GAA team. There is a strong GAA rivalry between Donegal and Tyrone as next door neighbours and often contenders for the Ulster Championship.

Donal and Seamus are sitting in their local bar in Donegal watching England playing football. Seamus turns to Donal and asks him “would you ever consider supporting England?”. Donal thought for a few minutes before answering “Never….well, maybe…..if they were playing against Tyrone!”

Header image by Pixabay from Pexels

11 thoughts on “half marathon

  1. A Dude Abikes

    a long, cold walk. we’d call that a hike over here. i’d like to get back into that when the strain I’m having is better, have the money for new boots, a reliable way out to the country, and warmer weather. in other words, not soon. but maybe in town just for nature walks. anyway, good job on your distance, #3 is a bronze medal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. idlecyclist Post author

      I guess it is a hike but to me that’s off road, a bit like the difference between road and mountain biking 😊

      Boots are good but I’ve been doing most of my road walking in trainers – lighter and more comfortable.


    1. idlecyclist Post author

      Sometimes it’s more than just visible. It’s often a very physical difference as the roads can have two different classifications either side of the border resulting in very different qualities of surface.


  2. Pingback: a week of walking | the idle cyclist

  3. Pingback: the longest walk | the idle cyclist

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