Runners happy to take scenic route
OVER 2,000 athletes and leisure runners from across Kerry and the world made the trip to Killarney on Saturday for one of the most scenic road races anywhere in Ireland.
Now in its fifth year, The Run Killarney Festival is organised by Killarney-based Elite Management and attracted runners from the US, Austria, Japan, France and the UK, along with a host of local contestants.
The event was broken into three top class races with a full marathon, half marathon and 10k organised on the day.
The 26.2 miler started on the outskirts of Sneem and the course weaved its way along some of Kerry's most scenic roads, passing by Barfinnihy Lake and Moll's Gap from where the half marathon also started.
The race continued into Killarney National Park before turning into the heart of the Killarney Lakes area and Muckross Estate.
While the rain threatened for much of the morning, it finally arrived just as the 10K race got under way and all three races finished at The Gleneagle Hotel for all the aprés running events.
Afterwards, the medal laden athletes were able to relax stressed muscles in Japanese hot tubs, a barbecue and an after-party in the Backstage Bar at the Gleneagle.
"Events like this are brilliant for the town, promoting a healthy lifestyle and showcasing the best that the Killarney has to offer and plans are underway for an even bigger event in 2015," organiser Catriona O'Callaghan said afterwards.
Catriona thanked all volunteers who helped out on the day, including Killarney Rugby Club, Banna Sea Rescue, Killarney Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, the Order of Malta, the NPWS and local authority staff.
1. Eugene McCarthy 2:47:32
2. Mark Guerin 3:00:16
3. Vivian Moloney 3:03:16
1. Melissah Gibson 3:19:44
2. Caroline Kelly 3:28:46
3. Aideen Shinners 3:41:07
Men's Half Marathon:
1. Philip Harty 1:10:57
2. Conor McCauley 1:16:19
3. Donal White 1:20:16
Ladies Half Marathon:
1. Emilia Dan 1:28:08
2. Caitriona Barry 1:29:36
3. Aoife Joyce 1:29:44
1. Michael Dullea 33:58
2. Stephen Young 37:29
3. Shane Spellman 39:22
1. Maria McCarthy 37:48
2. Siobhan Daly 42:58
3. Clodagh Galvin 43:32