Warriors Run? – yes they do!

Padraic McVann at Warriors Run finish line in Strandhill

When the Warriors Run started in 1985 this road and hill running race, was one of the first of it’s kind in Ireland. That first year 160 competitors ran from the Beachfront in Strandhill to the top of Knocknarea mountain to finish at the megalithic cairn known as Queen Maeve’s Grave.

The initial races finished on top of Knocknarea at the Cairn but in order to facilitate the request of the runners themselves and improve on the race from a spectators point of view, it was extended to return to the beachfront again. The total distance is just over 15k.
It’s a tough run alright as you see from the elevation profile.
Approximately 9k of the course is over paved roads, it’s the special 6k in the middle, to the top of Knocknarea that gives the race its bite – a 700 foot climb through fields, loose gravel, unsurfaced and heather paths, followed by an equally daunting downhill run, back down the often slippery slopes.
The event returned this year on Saturday last (August 27) for the first time since 2019, with over a thousand finishers.
Seamus Somers Sligo AC M45 was first back at the beachfront in 57:10.
He was 4th in 2019 in a similiar time when the race was won by Max Drion in 52 minutes.
Kinlough Co Leitrim native and Rio Olympian Breege Connolly W40 (North Belfast Harriers) was first woman home in 1:03.49.
 Many Mayo AC members have completed the course over the years.
Our two brave finishers this year were Padraic and Angela McVann. Padraic crossed the line in 1:18 in 91st place (in 2019 he ran 1:16.07 when 99th).
As he said today “it’s Wednesday and the quads are still complaining”.
Angela finished in 1:44.46.
Well done both!

Aerial view of the Warriors course.

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