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Bertie blazes a fresh trail down historic Butter Road

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Bertie Harte at the start in Millstreet on the second part of his run over the Butter Road to Cork City. Picture John Tarrant

Bertie Harte at the start in Millstreet on the second part of his run over the Butter Road to Cork City. Picture John Tarrant

Bertie Harte at the start in Millstreet on the second part of his run over the Butter Road to Cork City. Picture John Tarrant

HARDY trekker Bertie Harte completed his run over the Butter Road after mastering the second leg to Cork City last Sunday.

Promoting the traditional route between Kerry and Cork, the Lyre man proved his mettle after setting off from a chilly Millstreet.

"The aim of the run was to encourage people to slow down and take notice of the countryside. For a few years we lost the run of ourselves - it's nice to chat and get in touch with people", he said.

The first leg saw Bertie departed Kerry County Museum in Tralee, heading for Castleisland, Cordal, through Knocknagree, Rathmore before arriving in Millstreet; taking six hours eight minutes to complete.

"The second leg was a lot tougher than I expected. I was in okay shape at the start in Millstreet and ran almost all of Mushera, after 30km I was really tired and even loading up on energy gels didn't seem to help", said Bertie.

He commended two guys in Rylane that attempted to keep him motivated yet the terrain continued to be an obstacle.

"I just couldn't keep running so ended up walking every hill. It was really only at the top of Kerry Pike that I began to feel normal again, and ran all of the remainder. The last hill up Dominic Street to the museum was hard too but there was no way I was walking at that stage", he said.

Having initially thought ' never again', having had time to digest things Bertie now reckons he simply must run it again.

However, the Kostal Mallow employee now appreciates the tough conditions endured by travellers of the road from the 19th century.

"Today's leg really drained me and I'm annoyed that I didn't appreciate the beauty of the road fully. Having said that, it also gave me a deeper understanding of how that journey must have felt all those years ago.

"It inspires me so much that this road still exists, it hasn't disappeared into the post Celtic Tiger apocalypse, it pre-dates a lot of our current problems and is a fantastic asset that deserves to be promoted."

Bertie is now hoping to attract others to the same challenge of the Butter Road. "The full route is too tough for most runners to complete in one day ... as a two-day event people would have to overnight in Millstreet, which should assist the local economy," he concluded.