Over 500 people are expected to take part in one of the world’s most scenic running events this weekend.
The Donegal Wild Atlantic Marathon and Half Marathon takes place on the Wild Atlantic Way on the South West Coast of Donegal this Sunday.
Sponsored by Magee 1866, the aim is to build on the success of last year’s inaugural event.
“We have over 130 for the marathon and around 400 for the half-marathon,” Race Organiser Eunan Quinn told the Post.
A sizeable number of those taking part did it last year.
“About 80% of those taking part are from outside the county so it is a huge boost to the local economy,” he pointed out.
Indeed, sports related tourism is a rapidly growing sector and many of those taking part will be bringing friends and family to Donegal especially for the event, staying in local accommodation and eating out in the area. Entrants from ten different countries will be involved.
The course consists of a Full Marathon (26.2 miles) from Killybegs to Glencolmcille, and a Half Marathon (13.1 miles) based in the Glencolmcille area.
The full Marathon starts in Killybegs and ends in Glencolmcille. The Half Marathon starts in Glencolmcille village and joins the Full marathon course with both events finishing at Glencolmcille Folk Village.
The Marathon starts in Killybegs Ireland’s largest fishing port, with a backdrop of the sea and Ireland’s largest fishing fleet. The course passes Fintra beach running adjacent to the coast approaching Largy, onto the coast road, past Shawly beach, with fabulous views toward Muckross Head, and Muckross beach. Participants will run through the quaint village of Kilcar, along the coast road to Carrick with the backdrop of Sliabh Liag across Teelin bay.
The course follows the countryside to reach Malin Mor village and proceeds along the spectacular coastline through Malin Beag village to the turnaround at the world famous Silver Strand beach. It then goes back along the coast to reach Malin Mor, and the awe inspiring view of Glen Head and the final downhill to the finish at Glencolmcille Folk Village.
The marathon course is challenging with coastal roads but the experience and reward will make it all worthwhile for the participants.
In a sllight change from 2018 the Half Marathon is now contained in Glencolmcille area. The Half starts in Glencolmcille village and begins with a loop around the country roads and Glen village. The race will then proceed past the Folk Village (finish line) and out and back on the coast road. The race will climb toward Malin Mor and the mesmerising view of Glen Head, join the marathon course at Malin More and proceed with the marathon participants to finish back at Glencolmcille Folk Village.