Ireland > Achill Half Marathon
Saturday, July 3, 2010
By turns shrouded in ocean mists and bathed in the warm summer sunlight
of early July as the race progresses, the course for Ireland's annual
Achill Half Marathon features ample views of the rugged, untamed
natural beauty for which this westernmost region of the country is
known. More than 1,700 runners crossed the finish line at the race's summer 2009
running, which follows the same course as previous years and
will feature the popular post-race barbecue at the "Tented Village"
near the event's start and finish line.
From the starting line in the village of Keel near the center of the
island, runners head out on a counter-clockwise loop route that takes
them along R319, through the villages of Cabaun, Closhreed River and
Bunacurry on the way toward Dooniver and Doogort, after which the last
few miles of the race unfold along Pier Road and Slievemore Road toward
the finish line back in Keel. The race course takes runners along paved
country roads throughout both the island's interior and along portions
of its coastlines, along Blacksod Bay along the island's northern side
and with views of Camport Bay along its southern side.
And while the course includes some flat stretches, it also features
numerous hills, in keeping with the kind of terrain one might expect in
Ireland's western regions. Separated from the rest of the country by
the narrow Achill Sound, the island -- like Ireland itself -- offers
visitors seemingly every shade of green, from the natural grasslands
along the hills to the trees and native bushes runners will see plenty
of throughout the race.
Part of County Mayo, Achill Island offers visitors plenty to do and see
while they're on the island for the race. Travelers can experience part
of Ireland's rich history at both the Tower at Kildavnet, a
16th-century era stone tower that still sits sentry over the nearby
ocean along Achill's southern-side Atlantic Drive, and the Deserted
Village at Slievemore, where roughly 80 abandoned cottages still sit at
the foot of Slievemore Mountain, offering a glimpse into what life was
like centuries ago in this corner of Ireland.
The race is open to runners, walkers and wheelchair participants, and
the race starts and finishes at Keel Caravan Park.
Weather & Climate
Nestled just offshore of the northwest coast of Ireland, about 130
kilometers by car from Galway and just north of the rugged beauty of
Connemara National Park, Achill Island typically experiences weather
much like that of the larger neighboring island to its east (the Irish
"mainland"), which is to say it usually sees plenty of rainfall
throughout the year, with temperatures in July and August that average
between 16°C (61°F) and 14°C (57°F).
€60 per entrant
€6 transaction fee for online registrations
To reserve your spot in the summer 2010 running of Ireland's
Achill Half Marathon, register online at the event website.
Achill Island Tourism Site
Your Race Story
Ever run in Ireland's annual Achill Half Marathon?
your impressions and read fellow runners' stories
and tips for the event.
Discuss it in the HalfMarathons.Net