Beautiful - but hilly! (about: 2011)|
M. S. from Ottawa, Canada (5/27/12)
4-5 previous marathons
| 1 Dingle Marathon
The Dingle Marathon is a fairly new one, so it is still small, with a mostly local, fun-run crowd. I expect it will get a lot bigger once the word gets out though!
The course is simply spectacular, starting out by taking vertigo-inducing cliffside roads along the sea for about the first half, then turning inland through flattish pastures and over a nasty hill at around the 37k mark - after this, you get to cruise downhill to the finish. The race was generally well organized, although it could have used more water stations, especially ones with food or gels. The water stations also only had water, not sport drink. Also, the bibs were made of flimsy paper that disintegrated when exposed to sweat, so I had to run the last third of the race holding my bib in my hand. Since this is a rural course, don't expect hordes of spectators like you might see in a city (except, of course, for the cheering hordes at the beginning and end right in downtown Dingle!)
And of course, pre- and post-race, you get to enjoy the town of Dingle, which is very charming and has lovely pubs, shops, and people! Since the Marathon is on a Saturday, there is a big party afterward at the school which is a bit of a hike from downtown, although unfortunately I fell asleep after dinner and missed it.
I would wholeheartedly recommend the Dingle marathon for anyone looking to do a memorable 'destination' race- just don't expect to set a PB!