Five races to run if you’re training for the Dublin Marathon

With many half marathons already sold out, here are options in August and September

The Donegal Half Marathon begins and finishes in Letterkenny.

The Donegal Half Marathon begins and finishes in Letterkenny.

 

More than 22,000 people are entered into the Dublin Marathon on October 27th, and participants will be well into training now. If you’re one of those and you’re looking to run a training race beforehand, then here are some options that aren’t yet sold out.

Donegal Half Marathon

Date: August 18th.
Price: €30.
Registration: njuko.net/donegal-half-marathon.

The race begins at the leisure centre in Letterkenny town and does a loop of the town centre before heading out west towards Glenswilly on the R250. It loops back around near Glenswilly GAA club and finishes back at the leisure centre in the town. The race also has a three-person team challenge, with each member running 7km before their team-mate takes over.

Ratoath Half Marathon

Date: September 14th.
Price: €35 (half marathon), €20 (5km).
Registration: ratoathac.ie.

Runners in the Ratoath half marathon finish in front of the stands at Fairyhouse.
Runners in the Ratoath half marathon finish in front of the stands at Fairyhouse.

Ratoath Athletics Club are operating a half marathon which begins at Fairyhouse racecourse and heads out towards the town of Ratoath itself before looping back around and finishing in front of the Fairyhouse grandstand, just like the horses in the Grand National. The run has fast, flat and PB-focused courses as well as pacers along the way. There is also a 5km event on the day.

Medieval Marathon, Kilkenny

Date: September 14th.
Price: €50 (full marathon), €40 (30km), €30 (half marathon), €25 (10km).
Registration: medievalmarathonkilkenny.com.

Kilkenny City is the location for the Medieval Marathon.
Kilkenny City is the location for the Medieval Marathon.

This event offers a wealth of options for whatever stage of training you’re at, with four different routes ranging from full marathon to 10km as well as a 30km which sits between half marathon and full. Races start at St Francis Bridge in Kilkenny city centre before heading out to the countryside and looping back to finish on the Parade in the middle of the city.

Charleville International Half Marathon

Date: September 15th.
Price: €40.
Registration: charlevillehalf.com.

Charleville Half Marathon is one of the fastest in Ireland.
Charleville Half Marathon is one of the fastest in Ireland.

This is billed as Ireland’s flattest and fastest half marathon and the route shows why. The race begins at St Joseph’s National School in Charleville and goes out to Kilmallock in Limerick on a dead straight road before looping and coming straight back. The start takes place on a slight downhill which allows runners to get a good pace up straight away.

Inch Beach Half Marathon

Date: September 29th.
Price: €40 (half marathon), €30 (10km).
Registration: primoevents.com.

The Inch Beach half marathon is run entirely on sand.
The Inch Beach half marathon is run entirely on sand.

While the Charleville half marathon is said to be the flattest in Ireland, this race probably takes that honour as it is run entirely on Inch Beach. With the tide out the sand is solid enough to make a good running surface and, while parts can be soft, the route is clearly identifiable with flags along the way. The race starts and finishes in Annascaul and there is also a 10km run.

– This article is part of a series of consumer-based sports stories. If you have any queries, stories or issues regarding travel, tickets, sport on television or anything else you can email rcroke@irishtimes.com or via Twitter @Ruaidhri_Croke.

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