Grit and Glory at the Circuit of Avonbeg IMRA Race

May 27, 2024

On Sunday, May 26th, the Circuit of Avonbeg race, hosted by the Irish Mountain Running Association (IMRA), saw 30 intrepid entrants embark on a challenging journey through Ballinafunshoge in the Glenmalure Valley. Spirits were high as the weather stayed dry and participants geared up for a test of their navigation skills and physical abilities.

Race Director Mick Hanney gave Run Republic insights into the day, highlighting the formidable task that awaited the participants. The course, renowned for its difficulty, demanded runners equipped with map and compass to navigate their way through the undulating landscapes, adding an extra layer of challenge to the race. Hanney emphasised the pivotal role played by volunteers, including Clare, Brendan, Jody, Declan, and Sile, in ensuring the smooth execution of the event. 

An unexpected obstacle in the form of morning midges, created a temporary challenge for both volunteers and runners alike. Undeterred, the dedicated team persevered, manning checkpoints along the route to offer support and guidance to the participants.

As runners pushed themselves to their limits, the competition intensified, with less than a minute separating the top three finishers. Peter Bell emerged victorious, crossing the finish line in an impressive time of 2 hours and 59 minutes, closely followed by Brian Furey in second place and John Bell securing third.

In the women's category, Becky Quinn showcased her prowess, claiming the title of the first lady to finish the race. She was followed by Orla McEvoy and Ivana Kolaric, who demonstrated remarkable skill throughout the demanding course.

The finish line welcomed finishers to a well-deserved reception, with a fine array of food and refreshments awaiting them. Feedback on the event was overwhelmingly positive, with participants commending the challenging yet rewarding experience provided by the Circuit of Avonbeg race.

Looking ahead, the excitement continues to build as the Leinster Championship progresses, with the next race scheduled for June 9th at Stranahely Woods. As runners gear up for another exciting challenge, anticipation runs high for yet another memorable event in the IMRA calendar.

Featured Image: Liam Vines, by Brendan Delaney

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