Laura Daly with her sister at the Galway Bay Half Marathon

The Galway Bay Half Marathon provided an opportunity for Laura Daly to run with her little sister Kathryn

It’s been a hell of a season for Laura Daly so far. After finishing as 4th female in the Standard Distance Triathlon at the Irish National Championships, she went on to compete in the Ironman 70.3 World Championships in Finland. She was 92nd female there and 19th in her age group. Following that up by finishing first female and 3rd overall in the Standard Distance race at Bournemouth Triathlon, she had indeed been in a rich vein of form.

Since she started training with Bournemouth AC and joining in with the Tuesday night group sessions, Laura’s running had improved a fair bit as well. Recording a sub 19 minute parkrun the weekend before, she returned to Poole Park for the Round the Lakes 10k with a PB looking like it could well be on the cards.

Despite some windy weather on the day, Laura put in a strong performance, recording a new best time of 39:06. That made her 2nd female and was a 51 second improvement on her previous PB.

Next in the firing line for Laura was her half marathon PB which she was looking to assimilate when she returned to Ireland for the Galway Bay Half Marathon. She didn’t really go into it with any specific time target in mind though. She was just doing it for fun. The course did lend itself to the possibility of a fast time though as it was fully flat and mostly along the promenade.

Laura Daly starting the Galway Bay Half Marathon

Laura embarks upon her Galway Bay Half Marathon journey

The race consisted of one short lap, followed by two longer distance laps. Laura went out hard, registering a 5:55 for her first mile and then a 6:10 for her second mile. Completing the small lap in 13:58, there were only two women ahead of her at that stage and that was by about 10 or 11 seconds.

Going through her third mile at 6:25 pace, she the dropped to 6:46 for her next two miles. It looked at that stage like she was starting to struggle but that wasn’t the case. She fought back with a 6:39 for her sixth mile. She then followed that up with a 6:27 and two 6:32s.

Completing her first full lap in 35:54, Laura was going well but the first two woman were in the region of three minutes ahead of her. Grainne Ni Uallachain had caught Laura up over the course of that lap and they were now battling it out for 3rd place female.

Unfortunately Laura had to make a toilet stop on the 11th mile which cost her about a minute and a half. After that her chances of contending for 3rd place  had gone. But she was still 4th female.

Laura and Kathryn Daly at the Galway Bay Half Marathon

It was a fun day for Daly sisters as they both completed the Galway Bay Half Marathon

Crossing the line in a time of 1:27:16, Laura had indeed finished as 4th female and she was 28th in the overall standings out of 1,135 entries. It was a great result for Laura and of course, she would have been higher if she hadn’t had the stoppage.

It was still the fastest time Laura had done in an official half marathon though so she could feel well pleased with that. She did run 1:26:27 at the Weymouth Half Marathon in March but that was a short course so it couldn’t be counted as an official half marathon PB.

For the actual time that she was running, Laura’s average pace was 6:32 so it was a strong performance from her throughout. She now knows there’s certainly scope for her to get a faster time in the future as well and her next target could well be a sub 1:25.