Ireland’s Oldest City Celebrates Another Viking Marathon Success

The start of the 2014 Waterford Viking Marathon.

The start of the 2014 Waterford Viking Marathon.

Saturday June 28th saw the third annual Waterford Viking Marathon set off from the Mall in Ireland’s oldest city.

Over 2,100 participants travelled from Europe, Australia, the US and from all corners of Ireland to gather at the start line.

The full, half and quarter marathons set off together at 9.14am to coincide with Waterford’s 1100 anniversary with a rapturous cheer and an electric atmosphere.

This year’s event took in over five miles of the Viking city’s streets before the full marathon runners made their way out to the seaside town of Tramore.

It was all about entertainment, with music and song in abundance over the entire route and whilst no marathon is easy, this year’s marathon was held over a flatter course and resulted in many personal bests.

The new Quarter Marathon option was a very popular addition to the race line up and first home for the day getting proceedings underway, was Brian Murphy from Carrick On Suir AC in a time of 35.07. Brian was the marathon’s first winner two years ago was delighted to reach the podium again. Ladies winner Martina O’Dwyer from the same club and a very popular local athlete lead the ladies home in 40.38.

The Half Marathon route was a huge success this year and will likely prove an even bigger attraction next year given the runner’s praise it garnered.

On the winner’s front, West Waterford’s Phillip Harty continued his recent successes with a top class finish in the half marathon in a time of 1.10.46. In the women’s event last year’s first and second places went unchanged this year as St.Abban’s AC’s Teresa Agar finished in 1.24.59 followed by Susan Finn in 1.28.56.

Mary Ryan surrounded by her family celebrating in the RSC after she completed her 100th Marathon.

Mary Ryan surrounded by her family celebrating in the RSC after she completed her 100th Marathon.

Gary O’Hanlon, Clonliffe Harriers took the marathon race out at a great pace, but was overtaken in the second half by Keith Russell, originally from Carrick on Suir but living in Reading, Keith took 1st Place finishing in a time of 2.29.51, Gary crossed the line shortly after in 2.31.56, with Paul Lynch of Sliabh Buaide Rovers 3rd in 2.38.48.

Last year’s female winner and recent Cork Marathon winner, Pauline Curley, floated around the course in 2.46.40. The hugely popular Tullamore Harriers athlete had a quick shower and headed back to work in Tullamore for the evening!

A festival feel then took over as a non-stop stream of tired but determined runners crossed the line with many extraordinary and emotional moments to behold.

So all around a huge success was the overwhelming consensus for most who took part, be it organising, running, stewarding or supporting.

An impressive 350 stewards lined the route, along with marshals, water stations and medical personnel ensuring the safe return of all runners to the Waterford Regional Sports Centre.

A memorable event created not only by the heroics of the participants but by a sense of Waterford taking the Waterford Viking Marathon to its heart.

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