A pinch of luck and lots of hard training gave Nancy Buonanni the 60-64 age group win of 1:56:10 at the Dingle Half Marathon in Dingle, Ireland on Sept. 3.
“It was an epic day,” wrote the 61-year-old lass who formerly co-coached the Merritt Island cross country running team with her husband, Bill. “It was a beautiful scenic course along the Emerald Isle coast. It was pouring rain the first six miles but – wow – when the sun came out.”
Now splitting their time between a Cape Canaveral beach condo, a Breckenridge townhouse and a home in the Highlands (Denver suburb), the Buonannis have spent the summer preparing for the undulating Irish course by hiking, running and racing on Colorado’s mountain trails and roads.
Although well prepared for the event, a lucky leprechaun blew kisses Nancy’s way near the end.
“Happy to say I saw a lady who looked like she was in my age group at mile 13,” she said. “I turned on the after-burners and caught her by a few seconds.”
After finishing the event, Buonanni went back to take photos of and cheer in Bill and Merritt Island friends, Tommy and Suzie Enlow.
“It is so fun to share this destination race with them,” she said.
While most would be happy to relax a day or two after a race, the two couples plan to spend five days on a self-guided 15-mile-a-day hike along the Dingle Way.
Maith thú* 321 finishers Bill Buonanni, 2:37:02, Nancy Buonanni, 1st 60-64, 1:56:10, Suzie Enlow, 2:07:01 and Tommy Enlow, 2:07:01.
*Irish for 'well done'.