Sold out Listowel is a record breaking success
Even by the high standards of some of the previous Listowel 10k's and half marathons, the 2018 version of the run proved to be a huge success for one simple reason - the sun was shining.
With the downpour of rain from 2017 just a distant memory, hundreds of runners enjoyed the warmth on their faces as they set off on the annual Kerry Crusaders fundraising run last Saturday.
This writer once again braved the route for a second year in-a-row and I can officially confirm that the route is still as challenging, varied and beautiful as ever - even the dreaded 'Howard's Hill' has its appeal - in between those moments when you're gasping for air.
Affectionately named after the late Howard Flannery - a man who had dedicated his time to fundraising for kids with special needs - the hill is both a dreaded and very special part of the run each year.
Hill conquered, the route levelled out nicely from here on out, with plenty of chatting and laughing to be heard from groups of runners all the way toward the finishing line on Market Street.
They say that records are made to be broken and by jove, they were well and truly smashed at the weekend as last year's winner Freddy Stuk knocked an incredible 48 seconds off his time last year to set a new half-marathon course record of 11:11:05.
Dónal White was the male 10k winner in 34:38 while Avril Hurley was the female winner in 40:16.
Mairead O'Keeffe was the first female home in the half-marathon in a time of 1:35:40.