Taking on the Ultra challenge

Published 20/08/2014 | 05:36

Chief Marshal and former world mountain runner John Lenihan, right, with fellow athlete Martin Dineen checking out the terrain for The Kerry Way Ultra.

A NON-STOP endurance race of super-human proportions, The Kerry Way Ultra starts on Friday, September 5, and will certainly be an event to remember.

That's because it features 50 athletes who will run non-stop for a whopping 189 kilometres along the longest signposted walking trail in Ireland.

The mammoth event is the equivalent to 4.5 marathons and it all kicks off at 6am, from Killarney Tourist Office which is the official starting point of the Kerry Way.

The race has already been named 'Ireland's most brutal race' and it stretches along the Wild Atlantic Way, circling the Iveragh Peninsula and traversing one of Ireland's most spectacular mountain ranges with magnificent views of coasts and lakes.

The event is organised by Eileen Daly of Kerry Outdoor Sports who says there's good news about the event's official status.

"The Kerry Way Ultra, although only very new on the ultra marathon circuit, has already been awarded four points by the prestigious The North Face Ultra Tour du Mont Blanc. This is wonderful news for the race as it places it right up there with many of the world's extreme ultra events, like the races held in the Antarctic, Himalayas, Gobi Desert and now our very own extreme event in Kerry."

In 2012 Mountain Instructor John Healy became the first athlete to complete the run who was accompanied by Ultra Runner Paul Gosney for much of the race and in 2013 there were 13 brave athletes competing.

Another mountain running legend will be helping out too as chief marshal, world renowned mountain runner John Lenihan of Ballymac.

The Kerry Way Ultra is also the first adventure event in the world to adhere to the 'No Trace Race' guidelines to ensure that the event has minimal adverse impact on the surroundings

Kerryman

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