Last Saturday the Clare Burren Marathon Challenge took place in Ballyvaughan. Cepta Daley & myself headed off to undertake the challenge & boy was it a challenge!The temperature had already hit the 20’s when we arrived at 8am.We knew it was going to be a hot one and no PB’s would be run today.
There were nearly
2,000 participants in total across the 3 races (10Km, half Marathon and Full Marathon) 80% of which were walking the challenge all accompanied by backpacks and sticks. A little over prepared I thought but I was soon to learn the method to the Clare madness.
The first 2 miles were on road at this point the 10Km participants took their own route and the half / full participants turned left and headed for the trail road or so it was called! At mile 4 we hit first water station / food station (yes girls loads of food, I was in my element.) It was there that we left the tarmac for the first time. Then the adventure had really begun. The next 6-7 miles involved climbing up and then running down the other side of the first mountain. That was followed by with 1 mile run on the road and then came the second challenge another mountain climb, slightly steeper than the first one and it was time to stop running and start walking, for your own safety if nothing else.
At one point you felt like you end up on all fours and we now wanted to badly meet one of those people who had the sticks at start line to beg one off them! The heat did play its part but even without the heat it could still only be walked, you would be insane if you tried to run it. One guy did run out passed us but he didn’t get too far, he twisted his ankle and hobbled off in front of us. We had reached mile 11 by now and were back on the road! Just a 2.1 mile run back to Ballyvaughan would see us completed the challenge in time of 2hrs 52mins. As I said no PB’s. But we did enjoy the challenge.
It’s something very different indeed. Would I do it again? Yes indeed with more of the Craughwell AC gang, a flask of tea & sandwiches and off course a big stick! We all need to enter a race for the fun side every now and then and the Burren Challenge is one of those. Let’s hope they get glorious sunshine again next year because the view of Galway Bay from Summit last Saturday was like something you see on postcard of the Mediterranean.It was truly beautiful. Mary Ps:Also to mention Ann Moran from Craughwell AC and her friend Nora completed the full marathon Challenge in time of 6hrs 18 min. well done girls!