STUNNING scenery greeted competitors last Saturday as the fifth annual Kerryman Dingle Marathon got underway.
78 ultra-competitors had set out on their epic 50 mile journey from Camp to Dingle earlier in the morning and despite the mixed conditions, with squally winds and cold showers, spirits were high as the sun broke to shine on the 1,950 half marathon participants and 450 full marathon participants who lined up at the start line shortly before 9am.
Mayor of Kerry Cllr Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald, assisted by Michael Begley, got the event underway with a shotgun start that set in motion a swarm of bodies which moved in unison out and across Baile an Mhuilinn (Milltown) bridge with their sights set firmly on what has to be one of Ireland's, if not the world's, most stunning marathon routes.
Speaking to The Kerryman after the event, Mayor of Kerry Seamus Cosaí Fitzgerald commended all involved in the marathon which provides a huge boost to the local economy, year in year out. "It was an absolutely great event, well organised, well supported and well executed," said the Mayor.
"It managed to attract over 2,500 people from all over the county, country and around the world; not to mention the numbers that travelled with competitors, there wasn't a bed to be had, practically."
"The publicity it affords the area is invaluable."
"Everyone leaves with a good impression of West Kerry and of its people; it shows us at our best.
"Great credit is due to all involved, especially Ken Dunne, who founded the marathon, and Tadhg Moriarty, who is the event organiser."
"Competitors and visitors were very impressed with the event and the area and they will leave with good memories. After the event concluded there was no litter, no mess, the town was left in an excellent state."