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‘That's what makes an event like this so special’ – Tralee 100km race is hailed as a huge success

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Tralee's Maurice Kelter pictured taking part in last week's 100km road race in which he finished in 9th place with a time of 11:42:40. Photo by Barry Fitzgerald.

Tralee's Maurice Kelter pictured taking part in last week's 100km road race in which he finished in 9th place with a time of 11:42:40. Photo by Barry Fitzgerald.

Tralee's Maurice Kelter pictured taking part in last week's 100km road race in which he finished in 9th place with a time of 11:42:40. Photo by Barry Fitzgerald.

kerryman

Jim McNeice, one of the main organisers behind the recently held Tralee 100km Ultra Marathon, has hailed the latest outing as a huge success for all involved.

It comes as Cork man and Irish international Alex O’Shea stormed across the finish line to victory in a scarcely believable time of 07:45:02, nearly two hours ahead of his nearest competition, Jerome Debize, who finished in 09:13:15.

Speaking to The Kerryman after the dust had settled on another hugely successful outing for Jim and his team of organisers, as well as for the 21 runners who set off on the morning, Jim hailed the combination of the presence of the international runners such as Alex O’Shea and Paula Wright – who was the first female finisher this year in a time of 09:56:00 – and that of the local runners such as Tom Foley, Maurice Kelter and Fozzy Forristal, amongst others, as the thing that makes the event what it is.

“This event will never make money. This event is being done for the love of the event,” said Jim. “The thing about this race is that it attracts high-calibre, quality runners. We’ve had Northern Ireland international Tríona Connelly, she won it one year, and we’ve had Alistair Higgins, a Scottish international, he has the course record. Then, of course, there’s Alex O’Shea, the Irish international, he has won it and, of course, there was Paula Wright, a Finnish international, as well as Aidan Hogan, another Cork man. He’s another Irish international, and he has won it a couple of times as well.

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So, we’re talking about a lot of great runners right there that the run has attracted,” he continued.

As amazing as it is to have runners of Alex and Paula’s quality taking part, Jim knows that without the support of ultra runners locally who do this out of sheer love of the contest, there simply would not be a 100km event.

“There are two elements to the race. There’s two big international runners who come in and they do it because it’s a challenging course, it’s a good course and they do it to push themselves. On the other hand then, you’ve got people like Tom Foley, Maurice Kelter and Fozzy Forristal, who are what I would call ‘social runners’. They don’t want to run in the Olympics, they don’t want to represent Ireland. This [a 100k run] is their Everest,” he said.

“Runners like Alex and Paula, they show how prestigious the race actually is, but then the people like the Tom Foleys, the Maurice Kelters, they are essential to the event and they show what it [the event] is all about.

“It’s about the people at the end of the day. The happiness, the joy, the self-jubilation of people like that finishing a race like ours, a 100km, they are on top of the world...It’s this feeling of joy and celebration that comes off them, that’s what makes an event like this so special.”

A full list of the results can be found here


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