After a successful inaugural event last August, the Midlands Half Marathon returns this year with a new route and a new 5k option for those who are finding their running feet. Nearly 300 runners took part last year in glorious conditions and event organiser, Mountmellick native Brian Holohan is hoping that this year’s event will be even better.
‘We’ve learnt a lot from last year. We have a new course route which makes for a more scenic run, showcasing some of Laois’ rural beauty, and the fact that we now start and finish at The Maldron Hotel and can use their excellent facilities will be a huge benefit to all our entrants.’
Local interest was very strong in last year’s race, with St. Abban’s athlete Colm Burke taking the top spot ahead of Portlaoise AC’s Aengus Burke and Galway Harriers’ Mountmellick man Owen Byrne. The leading lady was Sportsworld Terenure’s Stephanie Bergin.
The highlight of the race, in more ways than one, is the steep climb up towards the Rock of Dunamase. While it was undoubtedly the toughest part of the run, it was also the one that most entrants felt gave the Midlands run something very unique and this year’s course again utilises that very challenging route.
However, this year will see much more accessibility for the less experienced runner, with a 5k option that Holohan hopes will see even more participants taking part this time around. ‘We have had twice the amount of registered entrants than we had at the same stage last year and with entrants from the USA, France, Spain and the UK already signed up, we are confident that this year’s event will be even better than our first effort last year.’
The event will take place on Sunday, August 12th and is open to all levels of participants from experienced runners to those who want to enjoy a fun event at their own pace. On-line registration and all other details can be found at the event website, www.midlandshalfmarathon.com and those who register by tomorrow (May 31) can avail of an early-registration discount.