14 Oldpark Terrace, Belfast BT14 6NN

Marty gets second in Connemara

There was an extra special buzz throughout the valleys of Connemara last weekend, as the 39.3 mile Ultra Marathoners, merged with the 26.2 mile Marathoners and the 2,000 strong field of brave Half Marathoners.

Giant runners entertained the nervous participants at the start area of the Half Marathon, U2 blared and danced on the ‘devil’s mother’ just outside Leenane and devils goaded the runners up the ‘hell of the west’ and on to the finish at Maam Cross.

The Ultra event saw a good battle between the top three – Donegal’s Gary Crossan, North’s Marty Rea and veteran Mick Rice.

On a very warm day over a testing course, Marty was well placed throughout but lost some ground in the middle of the race trying to stay with the group.

The race marked Marty’s second Ultra in two months (he won the London Ultra 50km in February) and he is now looking forward to an easy “sub 3” as one of the official pacemakers in the Virgin London Marathon this weekend.

In the women’s half marathon, Regina Casey was victorious and in the women’s full and ultra as Clonliffe Harrier Finnuala Doherty and Carol Morgan took top places. Mens: 1. Gary Crossan 4.22.17 2. Marty Rea 4.27.44 3. Mick Rice 4.29.05