Thoughts on fitness, health, good nutrition ... and running.

Welcome to Bald Man Running, a blog launched by Frank Murphy on January 1, 2015.

In March, 2013 I was selected as a contestant for the sixth season of Fort Wayne's Smallest Winner. Through this amazing program, I learned about good nutrition, sound exercise and accountability. By October, I would lose over 88 pounds (almost 37% of my original weight)! One of the many things I acquired through FWSW was a love for running. You can retrace my weight loss journey and discover how I became a runner by reading those entries labeled "fwsw" ...

Note: Many of the blog entries on this website predate 1/1/2015. Prior to launching BMR, I had written articles for various projects, and I have imported many of them into this blog (labeled "retro").

Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Ireland - Day 9-10

Highlights - Brú na Bóinne, Bray Head, Kilruddery, Glasnevin

My last full day started in Ardee (my third morning at the same BnB) and would end in Swords (a suburb of Dublin). I wouldn't have much time on the following day ... so here's my last entry.

First stop? Brú na Bóinne, which is a Stone Age site sometimes called "the Irish Stonehenge" ... it's a popular tourist stop, and I'd not done much of that. As far as museum-like activities where I paid for a tour, this would be only the second time I did that on the whole trip. For the most part, I stuck to outdoor locations and did a lot of walking or hiking to get there.

One reason I opted to skip so many of these types of attractions is that you've got pre-buy tickets online and you're stuck with whatever time slot you get. If this had been a free site, I would likely spent about an hour here ... but this wound taking about four hours of my time. It wasn't that expensive, but it sure was a large investment of time. I probably would have skipped it if I'd known ahead of time how long it would take ...

Still ... it is a beautiful site. The River Boyne and valley are important sites in Ireland ... it's where the Salmon of Knowledge was caught, and it's the site of a famous battle (Battle of the Boyne). It gets it's name from the goddess Boann ... and her stories in the Irish myths are bonkers.

I did get to go into the innermost chamber of the Newgrange site. It looks like a mound of dirt, but there's a stone structure in the heart of it and the earth mound covers it up.

They wouldn't let us take pics, but it was pretty cool. On the day of the solstice, the sun illuminates the inner chamber for a few minutes. It's a tunnel that's about 60 feet long and is otherwise pitch blank except for the solstice. It's amazing ... this thing was built over 5000 years ago, and it still works as it was designed. 

From there, I went to Bray, which is in County Wicklow.

Over a year ago, Anne Marie and I intended to get married in Ireland and participate in the EcoTrail Wicklow race. We had to cancel that trip, but the race still has a strong allure. It takes place in September. If I hadn't went in April, I would have waited until September to run this race.

Anyway, I was hoping to visit several sites in the area because it is where Anne McCaffrey lived. She was the author of the Dragonriders of Pern. Several spots in this area inspired locations on Pern, including the fact that both Wicklow and Pern are home to village/hold named Greystones. She is buried nearby as well.

The plan was to do the gorgeous and notable Bray-Greystones Cliff Walk. Unfortunately, it was closed due to a very recent landslide. There are other trails in the area, so I was still able to find something fun to do.

I hiked to the top of Bray Head ... on a clear day, you can see Wales from the top. It was not a clear day. I also made it to Ballynamuddagh, which was a little bit higher.

As I was coming down the mountain, I saw signage for Kilruddery House, and that was also on my list. I didn't realize I'd be going right by it ... so I took that in as well. Beautiful gardens and buildings! It's featured in several TV shows and movies, including My Left Foot, Far and Away, Angela's Ashes, Camelot, The Tudors, and Fate: the Winx Saga.


I love trying to get reflection photos, and I really didn't have too much luck over the course of the whole trip. These are probably the best of those attempts.

It started getting dark, so the plan was to get to Swords and enjoy a late dinner there. It was a full day, but I felt like I spent too long at Brú na Bóinne.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Sunday, April 16, 2023

Sunday, April 9, 2023


I did a thing. I went to Ireland. I was gone from April 9-16, 2023.

I took a lot of pictures, and I wrote a journal while there, but I didn't say anything on social media. It just seemed prudent to wait until I returned home before announcing that I was out of the country.

Anyway ... the plan is to write one entry for each day that I was in Ireland. I'll post-date them to the proper day.

Disclaimer: this is my journal about my trip. I'm writing it for me, but I'm sharing it publicly for those who might be interested. This will be a weird, eclectic collection of pictures, thoughts and memories.

I didn't have a laptop, so I kept a handwritten journal was I was travelling. These blog entries are an attempt to clean up those notes, organize the photos, etc. If I don't annotate this stuff, then I'll soon not be able to remember a lot of neat things.

This particular post will contain summary info and links.

I rented a car from the Shannon Airport (near Limerick) and returned it in Dublin. I drove a total of 1658 km (1030 miles).

I spent a lot of time on my feet. When I had a layover in an airport, I walked the concourses.

Links to photo albums: