Huge turnout for Portmarnock AC's annual beach run
Almost 480 runners, joggers and walkers lined up at the start line at Naomh Mearnog GAA club for Portmarnock Athletic Club's annual 10k and 5k beach run.
Now in its fifth year, the run, which attracted participants from Carlow, Meath and Louth as well as a huge amount of local running clubs, has become an established fixture in the annual running calendar.
For some participants it was their first time taking on the challenge of a road race, according to Race Director Ruth Bannan of Portmarnock AC.
'The interest in the run is growing year on year. Last year we had 270 registered and this year the number has grown to 472 which is amazing,' she told Fingal Independent.
'For some it was their first official road race which is great to see and the feedback we received was fantastic. Everyone seemed to have enjoyed it.'
'The lure of the ice cream vans giving out free ice cream at the end of the race must have drawn them to the run,' she quipped.
Local Thai restaurant Koba also dished out free food for the hungry runners at the finish line. Sponsored by Dublin Airport, race took on a route around Portmarnock, ending up on the beach with each participant receiving a t-shirt and goodie bag afterwards. Spot prizes were also given out at the end of the race.
'The weather was perfect for the run - it was a bit windy that morning but the wind died down and it turned into the perfect evening,' she said.
Fingal's Lord Mayor Cllr Mary McCamley officially started the race while DJ Derek McKeever played music throughout the run and encouraged runners to keep going until the finish line. 'We want to thank everyone who supported the race and we hope it grows in numbers year on year,' said Ruth, adding the interest is already growing for next year's race.