Friday, February 25, 2011

Ballymacarbry Cycling Event Launched By Sean Kelly!

And talking of launches, (see below, sorry lads terrible link) I last night attended the Ballymacarbry Community Centre where Sean Kelly, no less, made an appearance to support the Ballymac Cycle in aid of supporting the Irish Team at the 2011 Athens Special Olympics and the volunteers that are so crucial to making it all run smoothly. Local man Martin Moore is hoping to be amongst that number so cyclists from all over the region are urged to show their support for this worthy cause.

Sean agreed to endorse the ride as part of his ever successful Sean Kelly Series of events and being a cyclist of the highest stature, who has ridden so many times through this area it means a great deal to the event organisers. Well done that man!

The date is Sunday 29 May 2011 starting at 10:00 a.m and details of the route can be found here Ballymacarbry Cycle 96.52km, and if chosen the ever demanding Seskin Hill can be added for those that relish a test. The event would be a great way to kick off your Summer in the saddle!

Registration will be in the form of a 25 euro donation and can be paid here at the Special Olympics fundraising page, (anyone not entering can volunteer a donation from as little as 1 euro!) and of course for all you Social Networkers out there you can find out more on their FACEBOOK page.

Now spread the word and start spinning them wheels.

Helmets, for your safety, will be compulsory for this ride.

(Thanks to the catering team, much appreciated!)

NASA Not NAMA Raw Video: Shuttle Discovery's Final Launch

Any reports that Gadafi, Moubarak and Fianna Fail members were seen fighting for the last of the astronaut outfits at the launch sight were wildly exaggerated!

Great Nasa video though, from Associated Press.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Irish Election Posters

"All your stupid ideals
Got your head in the clouds
You should see how it feels 
With your feet on the ground."
Useless by Depeche Mode.

I was walking last week when the discussion turned to the posters absolutely plastered all over Dungarvan (and the whole country no doubt), and was asked "What purpose do they serve?, it's not like it will affect my vote!" 

I had to agree, but said I was sure that they must work on some subliminal level that only becomes apparent when we enter the polling booth. The Fine Gael posters for example feature candidates in front of a brutally computer enhanced "holiday brochure" sky that in this rather inclement period of Ireland's history reminds me of watching The Holiday Programme with Judith Chalmers, you'd feel great for half an hour as if you were there on the beach, but when the reality set in the blues returned and that unaffordable vacation returned to your dreams. I can only hope that the FG candidates are not as false as the "little fluffy clouds" behind them and that really they are informing us that they are in fact some ethereal race of angels or an army of valkyrie (valkyrjur) descending from the skies to save our ailing nation.

I am sure that their marketing company is hoping for just that effect, as they count the cash, if any of you are reading let me know what the pitch was. 

And as for the Fine Fail Posters..............

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Irish Windsurfing - GPS Records Fall in Dungarvan!


Video of Irish Speedsailing Champion Oisín van Gelderen breaking all Irish records while sailing in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford, Feb 2011.

Speeds achieved:
Irish GPS Speed Record for 10 sec run: 45.02 knots

500m: 43.96 knots
5 x 10 second average: 44.26knots
Peak Speed: 46.34knots

These are the fastest speeds every achieved by any Irish sailor on Irish waters, though Oisín's highest ever peak speed is 47.17knots on a speed course in the UK.

The Diary congratulates Oisin on his achievements and a great video too. Dungarvan is becoming world known for the speed strip and hopefully with record breaking speeds like this the sport will only continue to grow locally. Another sport I have never tried but did witness an event a couple of years ago when after we had great winds for weeks, the weather decided to change dramatically and not even a breeze was available to competitors.

Hopefully we can post up more details of any upcoming events this year and make more people aware of another positive for Dungarvan.

Want to know more?  Read Oisin's Blog Here

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Searching For The Perfect Fit!

Felt real slouchy today just didn't want to move, which for a large percentage of hours is exactly what I did.  In fact I'm doing the very same right now.

I started searching the interweb for a new pair of runners, for the better half, in the early hours of this morning (it seems she is taking to this fitness challenge a little quicker than I) and now, happily, the pay now button has been pressed and we eagerly await their arrival, like a dog approaching a lamp post.  It's a flaming jungle the on line shopping world, predators at every turn palming off dodgy goods to extract you of your cash. So much information has been garnered during this search I now hold a HDIP in running shoe technology, am I a better person for it, no, somehow knowing whether a persons foot is likely to make them likely to be underpronated or supinated (look up the meanings yourself, had it up to my neck!)  is not going to going to change my world but the test to find out foot shape could be appearing in party situations in the future.

But seriously, it's important to purchase the right shoe for you and seeking the advice of someone who knows is always a good idea before buying.  It could save you from shin splints or any amount of feet, ankle and leg pain, I know, having read thousands of testimonials today.

During today's search however a break did occur when "persuaded" to take in a run on the foggy beach and albeit short it provided much needed fresh air, and it looks like I am going to be up against it when the new runners finally arrive!

Watch the "Wet Test" Video From Runners World Here

NB; There's many types of soles out there people, choose wisely (especially on the 25th).

Normal (medium) Arch
Wet TestIf you see about half of your arch, you have the most common foot type and are considered a normal pronator. Contrary to popular belief, pronation is a good thing. When the arch collapses inward, this "pronation" absorbs shock. As a normal pronator, you can wear just about any shoe, but may be best suited to a stability shoe that provides moderate arch support (or medial stability). Lightweight runners with normal arches may prefer neutral-cushioned shoes without any added support, or even a performance-training shoe that offers some support but less heft, for a faster feel.

Flat (low) Arch

Wet TestIf you see almost your entire footprint, you have a flat foot, which means you're probably an overpronator. That is, a micro-second after footstrike, your arch collapses inward too much, resulting in excessive foot motion and increasing your risk of injuries. You need either stability shoes, which employ devices such as dual-density midsoles and supportive "posts" to reduce pronation and are best for mild to moderate overpronators, or motion-control shoes, which have firmer support devices and are best for severe overpronators, as well as tall, heavy (over 165 pounds), or bow-legged runners.

High Arch

Wet TestIf you see just your heel, the ball of your foot, and a thin line on the outside of your foot, you have a high arch, the least common foot type. This means you're likely an underpronator, or supinator, which can result in too much shock traveling up your legs, since your arch doesn't collapse enough to absorb it. Underpronators are best suited to neutral-cushioned shoes because they need a softer midsole to encourage pronation. It's vital that an underpronator's shoes have no added stability devices to reduce or control pronation, the way a stability or motion-control shoe would.

Slainte Mhiath.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Duathlon and Logistical Parking

I accidentally came across a Duathlon taking place last Sunday over in Clonea that started and finished in front of the Clonea Strand Hotel.  The Diarist was out for a stroll/jog along the old railway tracks and then descended to the beach, all this before 9.a.m very impressed with myself I must say.  It was a grand morning blue skies and shining sun but the swell of the ocean was enough to have encouraged two lads to don the wetsuits and take out the surfboards, that's another "yet to experience" added to the list.  It really is a beautiful area and sitting at home in front of the t.v or p.c just helps you forget how lucky us resident in this area really are with the abundance of natural resources for recreation.

Some of course are fully aware of this fact and I'd say there would have to have been over 100 competitors in the duathlon, and around 20 supporters, cheering them on as they completed the first 5k run and clambered into the seats of their bicycle as fast as their ever tiring legs could get them and the pedals taking their first rotation on the 20k cycle, before throwing down the bike and repeating the run, or if it was too much just ordering a taxi.

I noticed that the hotel gym was also busy that morning, maybe a quick workout or swim before mass, but not because I looked in there but because of the number of cars parked along side the side entrance to the leisure centre on double yellow lines.  Now I'm only starting out but isn't the point of an expensive gym membership to get one fit.  And let alone driving probably less than a mile to workout, they then totally ignore the numerous empty spaces in front of the hotel, cause a traffic hazard and look like prize numpties in the process and all because they can't be arsed to walk an extra 30 yards. Unbelievable!  Maybe some kind of "Lazy Fecker" sticker could be introduced, clamp the car and make them walk 5 miles to get it released, no charge, and the exercise they get from that means they can cancel their membership saving money into the bargain, everyone's a winner!  Either that or the hotel should consider providing members with a small outboard motor before they embark on their swim to lessen the effort.

There's a couple of pics of the duathlon in the photo's section, shame I didn't get video for the new Diary You Tube Page but was not prepared, won't be long though.  I have moved the Weekend Bet and treble to it's own page also as it really shouldn't be part of The Diary, business and pleasure and all!

Talking betting, the Cheltenham Festival Preview night is on this Sunday in the Park Hotel, starting at 7:30 p.m.  It was great crack last year and the information given by those present was excellent.  Again jockeys Davey Russell and Andrew Tinkler will be in attendance and tickets are 10 euro (including a 5 euro free bet) available from Paddy Powers, Dungarvan.  Funds raised go to a local GAA club so come along and get the inside track on the greatest race meeting of them all.

Off to do a little weights, but then again their in the room next door! Anyone give me a lift?

Slainte Mhath.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Fit As a Flea - Albeit a Slightly Overweight One

Well I come back to the keyboard today after having completed a good walk around Ballinacourty  a beautiful part of Dungarvan (edit; Abbeyside), very enjoyable too, even when a friendly dog latched on for the trip, always a heartwarming moment that, until 200 yards on you realise that he may have no intention of returning home at all and that you may then have to feed, walk and house the blighter till he decides another adventure beckons.

The legs felt it and a little perspiring took place, think that's what it's called, at least it was the last time it happened, though that was pre 21st Century.  Tomorrow heading out again and hope to jog a bit of it. Bit being the optimal word, though feeling good about the undertaking (probably not the right expression!)

A proper walker in every sense is Kate Veale who is now making her mark both locally, winning the Pat Noctor Trophy for a third consecutive year, and internationally with the World Junior Racewalker record over 3,000m at only seventeen. Often out training in all weathers here's hoping that she advances further on the international stage in the near future and garners more success.

All weathers is exactly what we are getting at the moment, one moment like spring blue skies, little cloud and then an upsurge in the wind and the rain begins to fall, but it does not deter people.  Passing Colligan yesterday I surely saw 10 walkers, and 4 runners out though the rain was coming down hard.  Fair play to them.  And again in town a number of cyclists were on the beat squinting their eyes to avoid them a lashing.  Could I rebrand swimming goggles for cyclists? MMMmmmm?

Talking of rebranding, I am having a think of the structure of the blog, it's feeling a tad haphazard at the moment, and I may have a daily posting structure, Event Review Sunday, Monday Club Of The Week,  Local Sports Event Preview Wednesday, etc, along with my own progress in getting in a bit of shape. Like a bet? I think I will try to throw in my views on a sporting event over each weekend on a Friday as well keeping the running total of winners and losers updated for the year.

Whatever's decided I'll update things here a.s.a.p.

Dungaran Diary You Tube Channel now ready for launch (well, as soon as I do a video and upload it obviously).

Slainte Mhaith.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Trapped in the Square

"Could you spare a moment of your time?"

Blimey O'Reilly, I awoke this morning from a night horror I will not want to revisit any time soon, it's mid afternoon and the hands still quake at the thought of it.

What happened was I was in the square in Dungarvan visiting the Farmer's Market for a bit of this and that, when I realised that at each corner of said square was a different group of individuals who I just knew would pounce if you passed within fifty yards of them, even desperately trying not to establish eye contact would be a forlorn tactic. I was trapped holding nothing but a pound of carrots and a mackerel as my weapons. I suddenly realised that overpriced cappuccino I passed on could have come in handy. 

On the Mary Street exit were the "Concernites" busily waving their clip boards and looking hungry for commission, had they already marked me for an approach, rapidly hatching a plan to extract my bank account details by any means necessary, like an angry dentist? I therefore looked to Main Street where a dubious pair of buskers combined to produce what can only be described as a calamity of noise as a mechanical monkey in a box gyrated in the manner of a non too sober fella as he tries to stand up straight when looking for another brew. No good, a surreal, ear deafining exit.

So I turned to O'Connell Street, a calmer scene, "Free Bible Lessons Here", suspicious! A respectable looking lady sat alone in a chair, or was she, a couple of similar types hovered around her quietly every now and again passing a comment or nodding, snakes in the grass, I thought, lying in wait pouncing suddenly giving you no chance of escape. Bridge street? Oh Mother of Devine, THE POLITICIANS, aaaarrrrghh, this was a like a round up, and I was in this moment, the cattle. Images of attacks on wagon trains from the wild west appeared in my mind, and the candidates began to do a rain dance in my direction, this is a dream remember, though saying that a rain dance could be a nice analogy of what the TD's of this country have been doing recently. The Dail full of Little Big Men doing things arseways back to front.

I felt claustrophobic, the square was closing in, leaving by the exit to to the shopping centre would embroil me in impulse buying, a weakness of mine, and I made a conscious decision to avoid (impressive whilst asleep) so my only option was Crossbridge Street where the Army were guarding the van distributing our spondoolies to the "noble" banks of the town. The monkey was at my back as it were, and I ran, frantically throwing the carrots behind me.

"Drop the mackerel!" came the cry from the Colonel as an itchy fingered newbie took his aim.

I obeyed the order and successfully made it passed the "blockade" and took a deep breath......... strolled into Paddy Powers and lost a fortune! Nightmare!

Choices are many and we can all too often have them pushed on us, hurrying us into the wrong decision. It's nearly getting to the stage that the fictional trolls that who, if you paid, would grant you free passage over their bridge could make a come back at busy junctions. 50 cents and no one will bother you, sounds like a deal to me! Or could it be just another tax to come?

Monday, February 7, 2011


The horses continued their way around, jockeys bypassing the fence where one of their own, young Jack Tyner lay being attended to by the medical staff at the course and those closest to him.  Unfortunately he passed away this morning in Cork, all too young at 19.

I had attended the Point To Point last Tuesday in the company of a few friends and with a view to writing a review for The Diary, but after leaving that day it just didn't seem to sit right when not knowing how young Jack's condition was.

After falling at the fence directly in front of the stands the race continuing was not unusual, but felt cold with an air of guilt about it, as children's eyes were averted by anxious parents and the crowd volume dropped, the occasional heckles and calls of the bookmakers rang through the frosty air.

Horse Racing along with many sports has plenty of dangers, and they rear their ugly head all too often, but the love of the game is a powerful drug to those involved and the day when we turn up to have a bet or cheer them on shows only a tiny percentage of what trainers, stable staff and of course the brave jockeys put themselves through repeatedly prior to the horse even making it to the track.

The race goes on albeit a jockey (and son) light, and we should never forget just how much is at stake.

R.I.P Jack Tyner

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Super Bowl XLV - Some Out Of Game Statistics

The Dungarvan Diarist today came across some outrageous and staggering stats relating to tonight's Superbowl XLV and thought i'd present them to you in the form of a conversation between a Superbowl Advertising executive and a business potentially wanting to place a half time advert

"Hi, I'm Gloria your Super Bowl Ad Space Content Advisor, last year we had 106,500,000 viewers in the US who are dying to hear about your product, how can I help?"

"Wow Gloria, that's real impressive, tell me just how many bucks do I need to hand over for a half time ad?"

"A half time Super Bowl Special Placement Advertising Supercast would cost you just $3,000,000."

"Wow sounds impressive, do I get fries with that? Only kidding, how much airtime we talking?"

"For the duration of 30 seconds"

"Cough, OK maybe that's a non runner Gloria, that's almost 6.3 million sales of my product just to pay the ad costs, it's a beard mouse by the way, namely Brett's Pet, you know Brett Keisel defensive end of Pittsburgh his beard is 18cm long, grown it since June"

"Hope he doesn't lose it tonight against the Packer's 1560lb offensive line."

"Hey Gloria could we perhaps do something with the cheerleaders, involve the mice in the set?"

"I'm afraid Super Bowl XLV has no cheerleaders, The Packers and Steelers being two of six NFL Teams not to employ them."

"Ah jeez, I'm just gonna have to get into that game and throw around some pamphlets, any tickets left?"

"The entire ticket allocation has sold out, though our cheapest tickets were originally priced at $600 the average resale price is now $5,000 if you can find one."

"Thanks Gloria, i'm going get down there pretty late any parking nearby?"

"Yes of course, may I recommend a very practical lot that has it's own restrooms and is available for just $990."

"Cough. Yes you can Gloria but I ain't buying it, I wanna park in it."

Our poor business associate never makes it to the game, and drowns his sorrows with a few beers that together with all 325,000,000 gallons that will be drunk across the States tonight is enough to fill no less than 500 Olympic swimming pools.

For my part I'll be sitting in my living room here in Dungarvan County Waterford, maybe drinking enough beer to fill my goldfish's bowl, and ensuring the TV doesn't meander too far from the toilet.

Go Packers, Kuhn for MVP!

Saturday, February 5, 2011

(Lack of) Progress Update

Separating the task of writing the blog and actually achieving the aim of participating in the activities needed to improve my flagging fitness is so far proving too much.  At least my fingers have got plenty of exercise battering the keyboard to produce the words you read today.  It's a start (defends self vigourously) but the fact that I have begun to see the plethora of clubs and events on in the area has been enjoyable and inspiring.

Inspiring not just to myself I add but to those closest to me.  As I sit here in front of the monitor The Diarist's partner is doing some weights and climbing the stairs with aplomb after having restarted a walking programme in the week, the irony of it, but great that something positive is afoot in the household in these times of recession.

I think it was attending the Dungarvan 10 Mile race last weekend that sparked this change of heart seeing all the efforts of over 1100 people around the local streets I suppose could do nothing else, and we both look forward to attending more of the same possibly a Dungarvan Rugby Club match next and I am aware of a Boxing event in March taking place in Dungarvan Sports centre where Katie Taylor (an Irish World Champion) and the local lads of Dungarvan Boxing Club take on a Chinese team preparing for next years Olympic Games. This would be my first boxing event and of course I will write up a preview in the near future hopefully visiting the Club as part of the experience.

Thanks to my first follower on Twitter (you know who you are) and as I take another drag on a cigarette and keep up to date with my Fantasy Football Team, it becomes all to apparent that the challenge of getting in shape is very much a reality that no amount of typing is going to achieve.

Calories burnt on this post - 5 and a half.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Dungarvan Hillwalking Club - Mangerton

"Move any mountain" a much used pep talk quote and dodgy 90's number one by The Shamen could also be a motto applied to the brave and hardy souls of the Dungarvan Hillwalking Club who this weekend I see are planning to head to County Kerry to tackle An Mhangarta (Mangerton) known as The Long Haired Mountain on Sunday morning.

Formed in 1995 the club now has an impressive 150 masochists members locally and seem to have an endless range of peaks to conquer. Mangerton is the 25th highest of Ireland's mountains at 839m above sea level and can be seen from Killarney's High Street where the shoppers and early season tourists will be blissfully unaware of the distant specks of bright rainjackets ascending the summit to be welcomed by stunning views of the lakes.

The Diarist has experienced these views before, but generally from binoculars and warm, air conditioned passenger seat of a car, surrounded by a throng of tourist buses and traffic, somehow I think it does not compare, let alone the environmental impact.

Good Luck to all travelling and hope the weather treats you well and The Diarist eagerly anticipates to participate in an event later this year.

Further details of Sundays exertion excursion 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Torres to Chelsea - A Load of Bull!

"Fernando who?" could be heard muttered amongst the broad Scouse accents around Anfield after a victory that was more about relief than anything else. A proud team with a distinctive history would once of expected a comfortable win against the team from the potteries Stoke City, but last night's performance was a statement that the history would not just be a thing of the past and future glories could be gained after a traumatic period for the Red's.

Luis Suarez's first goal on his debut for the club after being introduced as a substitute ensured the points and provided breathing space, allowing the volume from the Kop to finally vent their passion, and a new belief in the new era under "King Kenny" a beloved son of the club recently reinstated as manager after the unfortunate tenure of Roy Hodgson.

Of course, another (adopted) son of Liverpool had just left by the back door, a nice fat cheque being delivered to Anfield in compensation. And maybe most surprisingly it was quickly spent as a young and currently injured Andy Carroll joined Suarez to bolster a long stuttering attack.  N'gog and winger Kuyt were never the men required to fill The Kid's often crocked boots and I for one can only see this as a good piece of business, however obscene the fees involved.  The Uruguayan is up there with Torres in most areas of his game except in the air and Carroll will help him out there.

Chelsea's purchase however stinks of another money monger flexing his muscle in an already exaggerated market, a misfiring team who had mysteriously dropped off the pace since Ray Wilkin's obscure departure.  Every player seems off the pace and bringing in Torres, who can't make the Spanish national starting team remember, is often injured for long periods and can be seen to sulk when things aren't going well may not be the answer. Anelka, Drogba, Torres when they were good they were very good and when they were bad etc. At 50 million plus an extortionate wage package it will be an expensive but entertaining journey to see how it pan's out.

Ironically Torres may turn out against his former employers this Sunday at Stamford Bridge and after Dean Sturridge also scoring on his debut for Bolton last night after having been used all to sparingly for Chelsea, the pressure is on Fernando already before he's taken to the pitch. He may feel He Walks Alone for a while to come, well him and his paycheck!

Bowling Course for Over 55's

If you were to hear the word "Strike" you could be forgiven in these difficult times of recession and political uncertainty for thinking it relates to yet another set of workers taking action to protect their rights, but thankfully for now at least, this word relates to bowling.

Found this on the excellent Waterford Sports Partnerships site and the poster can be found here.  In Dungarvan Sports Centre each Monday for five weeks from 31 January 2011 between 11 and 12:00 a.m for the grand total of a fiver, that's really a recession buster. I realise it started Monday past but only found this myself so have put it out there for any others unaware it is taking place.

I take it that this is an indoor version of crown green bowling not of the "tenpin" version (let me know if you do) and is a relaxing and very sociable sport without requiring a lot of physical exertion. Get a couple of friends down there with you or sign up and make some new ones.

Think this is a great initiative by the WSP and hope there will be many more to follow.

Further Information - Peter Jones on 058 21191