Per­fect con­di­tions for 2018 Lakes of Kil­lar­ney Marathon

The Kerryman (South Kerry Edition) - - NEWS - By TADHG EVANS

YOU’LL rarely find a more scenic Marathon than one that can boast Kil­lar­ney Na­tional Park as its back­drop – but for Derek Grif­fin, Rachel Stokes, Damien Fo­ley, and Su­sanne Fo­ley, there was no way the scenery would dis­tract them from their tasks in this year’s Lakes of Kil­lar­ney full and half marathons.

The route along Lough Lein took in a bounty of at­trac­tions and, there­fore, it’s lit­tle won­der such a course was able to at­tract a large field of ath­letes. The event was or­gan­ised by Alan Ryan of Hard­man Events, who was thank­ful for the day’s fine weather.

Derek Grif­fin had over 20 min­utes to spare on sec­ond-placed Ai­dan Ho­gan in the Men’s Marathon as he com­pleted the course in two hours and a touch over 45 min­utes. Rachel Stokes had a sim­i­larly im­pres­sive time in the women’s equiv­a­lent, fin­ish­ing the route in three hours, 16 min­utes, and 16 sec­onds.

Damien and Su­sanne Fo­ley won their re­spec­tive half-marathons, but there was no shortage of sto­ries away from the win­ners’ cir­cle to keep view­ers in­ter­ested. Killorglin’s Thomas Buben­dor­fer notched up his 100th Marathon, while Cork wheel­chair ath­lete Jerry Forde added to his col­lec­tion.

“I am truly grate­ful to the Na­tional Park and Wildlife Ser­vices for use of Kil­lar­ney Na­tional Park for this race,” Alan Ryan said af­ter­wards. Also to the many vol­un­teers, stew­ards, pac­ers, and of course the 300 ath­letes who en­cour­aged each other along every mile of the looped course.”

Pho­tos by Va­lerie O’Sul­li­van

Kil­lar­ney Na­tional Park was a pic­ture-per­fect back­drop for this year’s Lakes of Kil­lar­ney Marathon and Half Marathon, run­ning along the spec­tac­u­lar Lough Lein, Ross Cas­tle, an­cient cooper mines, and this year’s crop of wild gar­lic and blue­bells.

Tom Shana­han, 3rd place; Hard­man Race Di­rec­tor Alan Ryan; Derek Grif­fin, win­ner; and Ai­dan Ho­gan 2nd place with, in this year’s Lakes of Kil­lar­ney Marathon and Half Marathon.

Win­ners al­right…A great day for Kerry, Derek Grif­fin and Rachel Stokes, win­ners of this year’s Lakes of Kil­lar­ney Marathons.

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