There are probably many versions of this story, but here’s the one I heard.
Almost 40 years ago, two friends sat in Sonny Bree’s pub in the coastal village of Strandhill, looking out the back window at the famous Sligo mountain and landmark of Knocknarea. They were trying to figure out the fastest way to the top.
A German couple and their son were sitting nearby and overheard the conversation. The boy was 17 years old and in good shape. He told them not to worry, that he’d make it up in half an hour and they could track his route from their seat. He did, they did, and an idea was born.
Today, my brother, sister and I, along with some of our closest friends will take part in the 34th Annual Warriors Run. So will over 1000 others. The route starts on the beachfront in Strandhill, travels up Knocknarea, and finishes back where it started. It’s one of the highlights on the calendar in our part of the world for athletes, families and local businesses alike.
Many a plan has been hatched on barstools around the world, but only a tiny percentage of them ever see the light of day. It’s an even smaller number that are still around nearly 4 decades later.
The thing is, 1000 people didn’t run the race the first time. In fact the first race only went to the top of Knocknarea and didn’t come back down. Then, the race was part of an exisitng festival but now is the headline event of its own weekend-long festival.
You don’t have to start big. You just have to start.