MARK MCPAUL WAS THE WINNER OF SUNDAY’S DONEGAL HALF MARATHON IN LETTERKENNY IN A TIME OF 71 MINUTES AND 11 SECONDS, WITH MARK GREENAN SECOND IN 72:34 AND SHANE O’DONNELL FROM ROSSES AC THIRD IN 73:24.
THE WOMEN’S RACE WAS WON BY MONICA MCGRANAGHAN OF LETTERKENNY AC IN 90:03. DUBLIN-BASED FIONA STACK WAS RUNNER-UP IN 92:03, WHILE CIARA CUNNINGHAM WAS THIRD IN 97:14.
KAROL DOHERTY FROM INISHOWEN WAS THE WINNER OF THE WHEELCHAIR SECTION IN 81:10.
ON A PERFECT MORNING FOR RACING, THE FIELD OF OVER 300 WAS LET AWAY IN TWO WAVES BY OFFICIAL STARTERS, DONEGAL COUNTY COUNCIL CATHAOIRLEACH, CLLR JACK MURRAY, AND LETTERKENNY AND MILFORD MUNICIPAL DISTRICT CATHAOIRLEACH, CLLR JIMMY KAVANAGH.
SPEAKING AFTER BEING PRESENTED WITH THE DESSIE LARKIN PERPETUAL SHIELD AFTER HIS FIRST DONEGAL HALF MARATHON WIN, MARK MCPAUL SAID HE WAS DELIGHTED WITH HIS RUN.
“I’M SO PLEASED. WHEN I CAN HERE THIS MORNING I DIDN’T KNOW WHAT I HAD IN MIND. I TOOK OFF AT THE START WITH A MAN FROM ROSSES AC AND HE WAS GOING FOR A SIMILAR TIME THAN MYSELF. WE WENT UP THE MAIN STREET TOGETHER AND COMING DOWN I PASSED HIM. I FELT GOOD, KEPT GOING AT IT, AND KEPT PUSHING THE WHOLE WAY ON MY OWN. I FELT COMFORTABLE THE WHOLE WAY AROUND UNTIL THE LAST THREE MILES AND STARTED TO FEEL A WEE BIT OF PRESSURE AFTER THAT,” HE SAID.
“CONDITIONS WERE IDEAL AND MY WINNING TIME OF 71:11 SECONDS WAS AN IMPROVEMENT OF ALMOST THREE MINUTES – I RAN 74:02 TWO YEARS AGO IN THIS RACE. THIS VICTORY IS UP THERE WITH THE BEST OF THEM. I’VE BEEN GUNNING FOR THIS TITLE FOR A FEW YEARS NOW. I’VE BEEN RUNNING BETWEEN 55 AND 60 MILES PER WEEK OVER THE LAST NUMBER OF MONTHS – NOTHING CRAZY,” HE ADDED.
WITH THE ROAD SEASON SET TO FINISH OVER THE COMING WEEKS, MARK WILL SOON BE TURNING HIS ATTENTION ON THE CROSS COUNTRY SEASON.
“I’LL BE GOING TO BELFAST IN OCTOBER FIRST TO RUN WITH PADDY RYAN – HE’S LOOKING FOR A TIME SO I’M GOING TO RUN UP THERE WITH HIM WHICH WILL BE GOOD PREPARATION FOR THE DONEGAL SENIOR CROSS COUNTRY IN NOVEMBER.”
THE DONEGAL HALF MARATHON, HELD IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE KERNAN’S RETAIL GROUP, WAS FIRST HELD IN 2014 AND HAS GROWN TO BECOME ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR RACES IN THE NORTH WEST. BECAUSE OF COVID-19 RESTRICTIONS, THE EVENT WAS HELD VIRTUALLY LAST YEAR.
Entries open for 2021 Donegal Half Marathon
The 2021 Donegal Half Marathon is now open for entries.
As the country begins to ease gradually out of Level 5 lockdown, the Donegal Half Marathon Committee are confident that an actual race will be allowed to take place in Letterkenny on Sunday, August 29th, 2021.
Speaking at the launch of the event on Tuesday, race director, Brendan McDaid, said: “Due to the Covid-19 restrictions last year, we weren’t able to stage an actual race. But given the indications from government in relation to the continued opening up of the country, we are extremely hopeful that we will be hosting a race in Letterkenny on the morning of Sunday, August 29th in Letterkenny.”
“This week has seen the resumption of adult group training in pods of 15 which is a massive step forward for the sport of athletics. There’s also a notable level of excitement about the return of the Donegal Half Marathon in 2021 to Letterkenny. It has been a long lockdown since December and the Donegal Half Marathon, which will once again be held in association with the Kernan’s Retail Group, will give many something to aim for as we head in to the summer,” the race director added.
“Sponsorship is key to the success of the Donegal Half Marathon. We are delighted to be teaming up again this year with the Kernan’s Retail Group who have been so generous since they became the main sponsor a few years ago. We are also grateful for the support we receive from Donegal County Council, Optum, Donegal Sports Partnership and the Donegal Volunteer Centre.”
In a new departure, the Donegal Half Marathon will adopt a Wild Atlantic Way theme. Donegal Half Marathon Ambassador, Danny McDaid, outlined the reasons behind the move.
“While the Donegal Half Marathon has been based in Letterkenny since it was first staged in 2014, the Donegal Half Marathon Committee members are keen to give the race more of a county feel. Given the success of the Wild Atlantic Way tourism trail, we thought it would be a good fit for the Donegal Half Marathon. We are planning to promote a different point along the local Wild Atlantic Way route over the coming years,” he commented.
“The idea is to promote one of the key points and this year we are going with Fanad Lighthouse which is regarded as Donegal’s most iconic tourist attraction by people both at home and abroad. The medal and t-shirt will depict the Fanad Lighthouse image. We are extremely grateful to Joan Crawford, Wild Atlantic Way Client Services Manager with Failte Ireland, for her help and support and we look forward to working with herself and the organisation over the coming years. We hope this is the start of a long and successful partnership and that competitors can build up a collection of Wild Atlantic Way themed medals over the next number of years,” the double Olympian added.
After much deliberation last year, the Donegal Half Marathon Committee organised a virtual event which proved an overwhelming success.
“Almost 250 people took part in the 2020 Virtual Donegal Half Marathon from all parts of Donegal, different parts of Ireland and in various countries throughout the world. The event raised €6,000 for the Acute Stroke Unit, while a defib was also purchased and installed at the Kernan’s Store at Tullygay from the proceeds,” race director, Brendan McDaid, recalled.
“The Donegal diaspora took a big interest in the Donegal Half Marathon. For that reason we have decided to hold a virtual event again this year, in conjunction with an actual race, to accommodate those who can’t make it to Donegal on the last weekend in August, or Irish-based people who won’t be in a position to be in Letterkenny on race day.”
“Guidelines permitting, we are hoping to be able to let the entire field away from the start line at the same time. We are looking at a number of options with regard to how we will stage the actual race this year, with letting the runners off in waves being one of them, if the guidelines that are in place in August don't allow all participants start together. We will let the participants know in advance what way it will be run off.
“The relay section, which will see three-person teams each complete 7K, had a great response two years ago. We are expecting an even bigger entry for this part of the event this year,” Brendan added.
The 2021 Donegal Half Marathon will be based at the Aura Leisure Centre in Letterkenny and gets underway at 9.20 am.
Entry fee this year’s event is €30 and the cost of a relay team is €75.
To enter click on the link below:
Caption for image: Pictured at the launch of the 2021 Donegal Half Marathon at the Danny McDaid Track at the Aura Leisure Centre in Letterkenny where the race will finish. From left, Danny McDaid, Donegal Half Marathon Ambassador; Eunan Kelly, Donegal Half Marathon Treasurer; Cathal Curran, Kernan’s Retail Group and Brendan McDaid, race director.
Virtual 2020 DHM entry continues to grow
Almost 100 entries have been received for the 2020 Virtual Donegal Half Marathon scheduled for the last weekend in August.
The T-shirt for the event, being held in association with the Kernan’s Retail Group, was unveiled this week.
“Given that there might not be a lot of long-distance road races this year, the 2020 Virtual Donegal Half Marathon T-shirt could well be something of a collector’s item,” commented race director, Brendan McDaid.
After much deliberation, the organising committee took the decision in June not to proceed with an actual race this year because of the Covid-19 restrictions.
“With the race not now taking place in an organised form, we are appealing for as many of the running fraternity as possible to get involved and run the half marathon distance over the last weekend of August – Friday 28th, Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th. There’s also the option of entering a three-person relay team, with each member completing 7K.
“We are happy with the entry so far and we are expecting the numbers to rise over the coming weeks. Holding a virtual race is providing a new challenge for us as a committee and given the number of entries so far, there is an obvious appetite out there for something like this,” he added.
The early bird rate of €25 is the fee for the 2020 Virtual Donegal Half Marathon.
To enter the 2020 Virtual Donegal Half Marathon click on the link below
Local charities to benefit from 2020 Virtual Donegal Half Marathon
Local charities to benefit from 2020 Virtual Donegal Half Marathon
The proceeds from the 2020 Virtual Donegal Half Marathon, which is being held in association with Kernan’s Retail Group, will go towards the purchase of a defibrillator.
The defibrillator will be installed at Kernan’s Spar at Tullygay on the outskirts of Letterkenny.
A donation to fund the provision of an acute stroke unit at Letterkenny University Hospital , c/o consultant geriatrician, Professor Ken Mulpeter, will also be made from the proceeds of what will be an event with a difference this year.
Last month the Donegal Half Marathon Committee decided not to hold the actual race this year. Instead they opted to organise a virtual race over the weekend of Friday, August 28th to Sunday, August 30th.
Race director, Brendan McDaid, said entries are increasing gradually.
“We’ve exceeded the 100 mark and expect a late surge nearer race weekend itself,” he added.
“We gave a lot of thought to who should be the beneficiaries from the 2020 Virtual Donegal Half Marathon and we are happy that the money raised will be spent locally. Kernan’s Spar at Tullygay is located on the Donegal Half Marathon course. It is an extremely busy stretch and we believe it is an ideal location for a defibrillator in case of an emergency in the area,” he commented.
“We are inviting runners both at home, throughout Ireland and all over the take on the challenge and be part of the Virtual 2020 Donegal Half Marathon over the last weekend in August. For those not up for the 21K distance, there is also the option of the relay event which involves three-person teams each competing 7K.”
To register for the 2020 Donegal Virtual Half Marathon click on the link below
The organisers of the Donegal Half Marathon have announced that this year’s event will be held in a virtual format at the end of August.
Swimming and running compliment each other in so many ways, and when it comes to fitness, recovery, and feeling good, an hour in the pool is worth as much, if not more, as an hour on the roads.
While many of us run purely to get fit and burn calories, eating the right food can be critical in getting the best out of your training. A great way to stay on track with your diet is to consume healthy snacks throughout the day, and both before and after a run.
Well, it’s all over! I really hope you enjoyed the experience of the half or full marathon. It was a great day with great support on the route. The numbers participating were amazing too so well done one and all. I finished the full marathon in 3.38 which considering the heat and the hilly course (a big challenge at times) I was delighted with. I hope you did well too.
So what so we do now? Well, I’m taking 2 weeks off from running but will get walking a few evening and plenty of stretching and generally looking after myself and basking in the glory of the achievement
Well done and take care!