Double Victory at the Hills of Connemara 

Unpredictable spring weather has really shown us her smile at the Gaelforce Mountain Run in partnership with John West this weekend in Leenane, Co. Galway. After thunder and lightning in the early hours of the morning, things calmed down for the race. The Mountain Run offered spectacular views of Connemara and gave runners unique access to some of the most stunning peaks in the region.

With trail running and mountain running taking the world by storm the Gaelforce Mountain Run lived up the promise of a tailored race to fit a wide audience from novice mountain runner to experts with many competitors coming over from Europe and America.

The Gaelforce Mountain Run proved an amazing event for runners of many levels, offering three difficulties – 12km Introductory, 13km Intermediate, 22km Expert.

The 22km Expert route follows another ascent and a steep descent to keep it interesting. This distance is an UTMB qualifying race – The UTMB is Europe’s most prestigious trail running event through the Alps. Big congratulations to Ricki Wynne who claimed first price in the male category with a time of 2 hour 24 minutes. Rachel Nolan and Elizabeth Wheeler who finished the race together with a stunning time of 3 hours and 7 minutes. Both women decided to donate the prize money of 250 Euro to the Galway Rape Crisis Centre in honour of International Women’s day.

The 13km Intermediate offered stunning views from various peeks varying from 320 to 562 meters in elevation. Bernadette O’Neill was the first female over the finish line at 1 hour 54 mins and Aidan Buckley came first in the male category at 1hour 44 mins.

The 12km Introductory Mountain/Trail Run saw Vernon Walsh take first place in the male with a time of 1 hour and 3 minutes and Emer O’Connell being the fasted woman on the route with 1 hour and 13 mins.

As well as taking part in the event, participants, especially from overseas, had a great time exploring the West of Ireland and took in some of the famous sights between Clifden and Westport such as Kylemore and the Connemara National Park during this spring weekend.

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