Ireland > Connemara International Marathon, Half Marathon
Sunday, April 11, 2010
Filled with rugged hills, glacier-carved lakes and views of the
dramatic mountains of the Connemara region of western Ireland off in
the distance, the Connemara International Marathon, Half Marathon and
Ultramarathon (also called the "Connemarathon") offers runners the
choice of a 26.2-mile full marathon, 13.1-mile half marathon or the
event's toughest challenge, a 39.3-mile ultramarathon that follows a
loop course through many of the same villages, roads and highways
traversed by runners in the first two races.
The event's half marathon race features a point-to-point course that
starts near the village of Leenane, which lies at the head of Killary
Harbor surrounded by mountains and is often called the "gateway to the
Connemara." From there, runners follow the course roughly southward for
the entire 13.1 miles of the race, hitting the biggest hills in the
early going and near the end of the race -- runners hit the steepest
uphill stretches of the course between mile markers 1 and 2, when the
elevation climbs from just above 10 meters above sea level to over 80
meters above sea level; and between mile markers 10 and 11, where the
elevation climbs to nearly 100 meters above sea level.
All throughout the race -- which takes runners from Leenane through
Munterowen, Breenaun and Teernakill south to the finish line at the
village of Maam Cross -- runners will encounter the sights and sounds
that this wild, rugged region of the country is known for: stone
fences, rocky brown-and-green hills and mountains, rainy and misty
weather conditions, sheep herds grazing free along the road, and the
warmth and friendliness for which the Irish are known among the
volunteers and fellow runners you meet at the race.
Since its first running in 2001, the event has grown from just over 70
runners at its inaugural race to more than 3,500 participants at its
spring 2008 running, thanks especially to the addition of the
ultramarathon in 2004. Both the half and the full marathons are open to
walkers as well as runners (the ultramarathon is for runners only).
Those running the ultramarathon are the first to start, at 9:00 AM
local time, followed by those running the full marathon (10:30 AM) and
the half (12 noon).
Weather & Climate
Nestled among the hills and mountains of western Ireland's Connemara
region, about a 45-minute drive northwest from the city of Galway, the
village of Maam Cross typically experiences weather conditions much
like those throughout this rugged western part of the country, with
plenty of wind and rainfall, especially along the coast, and often
chilly temperatures in the late winter and early spring. In March, the
average monthly temperatures in nearby Galway range between
(49°F) and 3.2°C (38°F).
To reserve your spot in the spring 2010 running of the Connemara International
Marathon, register online at the event website.
Connemara, Ireland Tourism Site
Marathon Course Map
Your Race Story
Ever run in Ireland's annual Connemara International Marathon or Half
your impressions and read fellow runners' stories
and tips for the event.
Discuss it in the HalfMarathons.Net