Inaugural Streets of Killarney 5 Mile Race a Resounding Success

April 02, 2024

The picturesque town of Killarney witnessed the inaugural Streets of Killarney 5 Mile road race under the evening skies of Friday, March 29th. Organised by Killarney Valley Athletics Club, this event marked a significant return of road racing to the heart of the town, drawing in a crowd of 500 runners who took to the streets.

The race kicked off from the historic grounds of Killarney House, weaving through the scenic beauty of the National Park before hitting the streets of Killarney. It was not just a test of endurance but a showcase of the vibrant sporting culture that thrives within the region.

The event was graced by one of Kerry's finest, Irish U23 International Oísin Spillane of Ennis Track A.C., who turned in a remarkable time of 24:45, a clear testament to his top-class talent. Hot on his heels were Gavin Sweeney representing Cork with a strong finish and Killarney Valley's own Darragh O'Leary who lead his club into first place.

In the women's category, Leevale's Carol Finn broke the tape in an impressive 29:15, setting a high standard for future contenders. She was closely followed by Niamh O'Sullivan of An Riocht AC and Caoimhe Ní Shuibhne of Inishowen A.C., who both turned in strong performances.

The event also highlighted the potential of junior athletes, with Grace O'Mara and Tommy Arthur winning their respective junior categories and demonstrating that the future of athletics in the region is in capable hands.

The race was a comprehensive celebration of athletic prowess, with categories for visually impaired runners and wheelchair users, ensuring everyone had a place on the starting line. Notably, Ross Gallagher and Ger Daly triumphed in the visually impaired and wheelchair categories, respectively, embodying the inclusive spirit of the event.

The masters categories of the Killarney 5-Mile Race witnessed remarkable performances. Husband and wife duo, Doreen and Stephen Moore, representing An Riocht AC, demonstrated their enduring prowess by clinching victories in the F40 and M50 categories respectively. Meanwhile, Ray O'Connell of Togher AC showcased a resurgence of form as he claimed victory in the fiercely contested M40 category, crossing the finish line in an impressive time of 26:50. The F50 and F60 categories were decisively won by Caroline Murphy of Gneeveguilla AC and Geraldine O'Sullivan of Bantry AC, showcasing their enduring strength and determination. In a closely fought battle, Liam Lynch of Donoughmore emerged triumphant in the M60 category.

Killarney Valley Athletics Club extended their heartfelt thanks to all who made the race possible, including the OPW, Killarney House and Garden staff, An Gardaí Síochána, Kerry County Council, and the numerous local businesses and sponsors such as Polly’s, Luna, Activate Gym, Portwest, Daly’s Supervalu, and Property Partner Galvin. Their support was pivotal in bringing this event to life, reinforcing the strong community bonds that define Killarney.

With the resounding success of the inaugural Streets of Killarney 5 Mile race, the town has firmly positioned itself as a beacon for road racing in Ireland. As athletes and spectators alike look forward to next year's event, the promise of competition looms large on the horizon, ready to draw in more participants and further enrich the spirit of Killarney