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What an amazing all-day racing festival the Portumna Forest Marathon is turning out to be. Now it goes right through the day with the half marathon as an additional distance. First up on Sat was the 100k starting at 8am, next came the 50k at 10am, the marathon at 12, the half marathon at 2, and finally the 10k at 4pm. An assorted mix of distances and runners, and paces, to say the least.

Assorted weather too. It reminded me of some waltzing classes I have taken: sun-rain, wind-sun-rain, repeated over and over throughout the day. But overall a good day for running, not too hot, some sun to warm the shoulders occasionally, rain to ease over-heating and a beautiful location.

29 completed the 100k, 74 the 50k, 117 the marathon, 113 the half, and finally we had 67 run the 10k. What a feat of organization on behalf of Seb and Aisling, Iain Shaw and all the others marshalling and I saw Alan Burke at his laptop with all the timing as well. That 5k loop course is now very familiar to all the runners and the ultra runners know every incline, twist, and vista along its whole length.

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It's a great place for spectators to hang and cheer on their families and friends. Special thank to all from Athenry who made the trip and to those who provided the sandwiches, chocolate biscuits, and coffee (made to order) as well. I believe they include Deirdre Quinn, Aoife Callan, and Janet Clancy.

In the 100k, Vasily Neumerzhitskiy took the title with 7:51:33, a time that is just under 8 minutes a mile for 62 miles: this is a pace that shouldn't be pondered too deeply because you might feel that you could do it someday. Our own Ruthann Sheehan took the women's title and was 5th overall with 8:52:41 running at around 8:35 a mile, again a phenomenal achievement. I think we can say she's back, after being impeded by injuries for some months.

Ed Egan was another of our athletes on the comeback trail and our sole male representative in the  50k this year. Martina Passman continued her ultra experience with a great run in the 50K, shaving a full 12mins 1sec off her time over the same course last year - well done Martina !  In the marathon, those running twins Martin O'Hara and Kieran Guirey lined up yet again with Chris Deakin joining them this time.

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Orla McCluskey joined her mother Angela (running with GCH) at the half start: what a brilliant way to spend quality time with a parent! Well, it was for their father/ husband anyway, he watched and seemed to enjoy himself. (In no time at all, we'll be seeing Aoife and Clara Callan jostling another for position at that start of a marathon). Jim Leahy, Brian O'Donnell, and Philip Magnier joined the McCluskeys in the half.

See the results at http://www.forestmarathon.com/results.html by clicking on 2013 and opening the Excel sheet.

See photos of the runners and races from Iain Shaw at http://www.flickr.com/photos/51512923@N07/sets/72157634144092445/.



This photo set focuses more on the ambiance: www.flickr.com/photos/pmagnier/sets/72157634162022324/show.

iainshaw

11 years ago

That would be Martina Passman, and the story above has been changed to acknowledge her great run

pmagnier

11 years ago

I saw and spoke with you of course but you are down as GCH in the results. You have come back to Athenry AC though?