Breege Connolly beat over half the field, in her Olympic Final yesterday, to finish in 76th place in a time of 2’44’41
We caught up with Breege Connolly as she sets out to enjoy Rio on what is one of her first running free days this year.
“It was a brilliant experience, my whole family was at the finish line, and I heard so many voices along the course, and then of course, everyone back home and at work cheering me on,” she says.
Breege was conscious of enjoying the race yesterday, and as the temperatures climbed from early morning, she knew it was going to be a tough run. But the full-time engineer handled the pressure well, working her way through the field and placing higher than anticipated.
“I felt really good in the early stages and decided to run to feel for as long as I could. At about 13 miles I got a slight cramp, so I had to lay off the pace a slight bit to get that shifted and it was a reminder of the heat to come.”
Her caution paid off, as being a little more conservative in the early miles, meant she was able to keep going as other runners flagged.
“I guess coming from a cooler climate you expect that some of those girls are going to deal with the heat better which didn't turn out to be the case.”
Conditions were tough, not only was there heat and humidity to contend with but the marathon included three 6 mile loops that would test the will of even the most determined marathoner.
“It was a tough race, but an amazing experience. To run for your country in the Olympics, I don't think it gets any more special than that.”
Phenomenal is exactly what Breege’s achievement has been, and we can only congratulate the Olympian on what has been a fascinating running journey.