Friday, March 4, 2011

The Mutton Island Run.

Mutton Island... out on Galway Bay.
There's a training route I love which I call the Mutton Island Run, and t'was that very run I did this evening.  It starts on the prom, heading out towards the football pitches on South Park, with a detour that cuts through Galway Bay as we head out to Mutton Island.  This evening was particularly beautiful, a slight chill the only clue that we were in March and not May.  Mutton Island sits only 1.5km out on the bay and there is an old lighthouse there which is now encased in a sewerage treatment plant!  My good old friend, Bill Scanlon, was the last lighthouse keeper on Mutton Island, stepping down reluctantly in the 1980s when the lighthouses of Ireland were all automated and unmanned.  It's hard not to think of Bill as I run towards the Island - his father and grandfather were also lighthouse keepers there, so Bill spent many years lighting up that rock in the bay. The road that now leads runners and walkers out to the Island was only put in place about 8 years ago, when the sewerage plant was put in place - so some good comes from a pile of sh*t!.  In Bill's day the only access was by boat and as I run close to the Island I get an impression of the incredible peace that the inhabitants must have had on beautiful days like these as the water flaps gently against the rock and the sound of the gulls and other birds are amplified in chorus; 'this is our spot - away with you'.  And turning back is even better - now I can see what Bill and his young brother must have seen all those years ago as they played down by the rocks edge and viewed Galway from afar.  The cathedral is prominent now, but back then this was Galway gaol, the docks are full of tank-like buildings but there are no great ships - many years ago the great liners pulled in here, and Salthill was surely a thinner line than the big blot of property that now stands on the horizon.  But still, the City is beautiful from this distance and the gulls agree...  The Mutton Island run keeps me going for about five miles, round South Park and back down the prom.  I ran this slowly, but steadily - it's the best I can do for now.

1 comment:

  1. It important that you enjoyed the Mutton Island Run although yoou ran slowly!
    Have a nice week end!