A prayer for the Ironmen...

O come ye Ironmen and Ironwomen, let your sinewy legs find cushions on the hard concrete of our town, may your sturdy shoulders feel the welcome of the waves in our water as they drift you towards the shore, may our roads eat up the rotations of your cycles as your thighs pound at the pedals and propel you faster and faster, the western wind in your faces arcing around to gently push you towards your finishing line. May the pounding of your heart as it pumps the pistons of your body act like a gentle staccato soundtrack in the movie of your feat. May the isotonic blood flow through your veins pushing your skin as your body stretches into its fullness and makes you feel invincible. May the thoughts of failure appear as if bubbles, popping and dissipating in your line of vision, as you drive yourself on. May the hard disk drives of your mind become sponges to absorb all that is around you. May you hear every word of encouragement as being for yourself alone, may every barking dog be a mentor, ruff-ruffing out a message of goodwill. May every cat on a wall appear like a cheetah daring you to go faster, faster. May every face in the crowd be bearing a smile and a wink and a glad-eye. May every shallow puddle on the road be a cooling oasis to splash your ankles, may your hamstrings become lithe like an accordion in the hands of Sharon Shannon. May the sweat dripping off your brow be a sort of mead from the Gods to power you on. May you fill your lungs with all that is Galwayness and let that soak through your being. May the aches and pains of each day’s competition be worn by you like a medal, a souvenir of your effort, an appreciation to the being that allows you to partake in this endurance event...may you take a short moment to be thankful that you can and share a small thought for those who would love to but cannot for reasons of fitness, infirmity, ability and age. May your time among us be one of wonderment and satisfaction...may every piece of morsel that passes your lips detonate your taste buds and may every soothing drink spread its coolness throughout you. May you enjoy Galway and all that it offers you and your fellow competitors. May your families and supporters take great enjoyment and pride from your achievement and when it is all over and when the warm shower is washing away the sweat and effort of the day’s endurance, may you be happy and may you plan to come back again and do it all again next year. Welcome to Galway, Ironmen and Ironwomen. Enjoy yourselves.

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