Killarney Half Marathon & 10k
Taking place at the end of July each year is the truly spectacular Killarney Half Marathon. The incredible mountain views along the Ring of Kerry, long PB-helping downhill sections and a finish in the vibrant town of Killarney make this well worth the trek to Ireland's south west.
The day starts with a bus journey from The Gleneagle Hotel on the edge of Killarney to the race start at the highest point on the route at Molls Gap. Frankly, this is a convenient feature that should appear on every run. The build up to the race at the viewing point of Molls Gap will, I wager, give you the best views you've ever had whilst queuing for a toilet.
When the fun begins, the route descends back into Killarney along the famous Ring of Kerry driving route with an unbroken 13.1 miles of stunning, ever-changing views. There is absolutely no functional section on the route, it's all just open countryside and peaceful roads..
The undulating first few miles give way to an enjoyably solid three miles of downhill which incorporates the beautiful spots of Ladies View and Kissane Farm. When the terrain evens out there's a nice, sheltered forested stretch then just as you think that the run will hit the main road into Killarney, it turns off for yet more pleasant running in Muckross Park. Here you'll run alongside jaunting cars (horse and carts), perhaps spot some of roaming deer and enjoy views of Muckross House, Lough Leane and the mountains beyond.
If you manage your run properly then, with the amount of downhill on offer, this is certainly a PB track. It's not one for cheering crowds - more bleating sheep - but the views and speedy track more than make up for this. Registration for the 2019 half marathon and the 10k is open now at runkillarney.com.
Killarney can be reached by car, bus or rail in the guts of full day of travelling from Dublin. Shannon and Cork Airports are closer but less easily connected. Definitely don't let this put you off as Killarney is a pretty tourist town that's certainly worth the journey for a running weekend away. After the mid-morning race finish there's plenty of time to drive the rest of the Ring of Kerry, explore Killarney National Park in a jaunting car or simply get on a session at the Gleneagle Hotel's post race party..
*Thanks to Run Killarney / Elite Event Management for the images. I run too fast to take photos.