Hazel Wood Run: A Triumph of Spirit Over Storm

April 09, 2024

The first-ever run of the Sligo Women's Trail Series took place amidst Storm Kathleen's howling winds, yet the enthusiasm of 46 out of 60 registered participants prevailed as they braved the weather at Hazelwood. Organised by Race Director Theresa Kilgannon and supported by the Sligo Sports and Recreation Team along with IMRA volunteers, this event marked a significant milestone in promoting trail running in Sligo.

Despite the adverse weather conditions, almost all participants, most of whom were new to trail running, completed the course with smiles on their faces. The event wasn't timed, but the sheer determination displayed by the runners as they covered the distance running all the way spoke volumes about their passion for the sport. This inaugural run not only showcased the resilience of the participants but also hinted at the potential growth of trail running in the region.

Turlough Conway, speaking to Run Republic, described the atmosphere as enchanting, noting that even Storm Kathleen couldn't deter the runners' spirits. Sligo's designation as a pilot location for IMRA's trail running events further highlights the significance of this series in the region's sports landscape.

The event drew a great number of women, the majority of whom were newcomers to trail running. Their positive experience and evident enjoyment of the run bodes well for the future of trail running events in Sligo and potentially across the country. Conway expressed hope that participants, inspired by their first trail running experience, might progress to other challenging events like those in the IMRA West League.

The success of the inaugural Sligo Women's Trail Series at Hazel Wood underscores not only the growing interest in trail running but also the determination of participants to embrace new challenges despite external obstacles. As the series progresses, it is expected to attract even more participants and hopes to foster a deeper love for trail running in the community.

Featured Image: by Carl Brennan

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