Dune Half Marathon
DUNE RACE REPORT
The inaugural Dune half marathon took place yesterday 18th March. Aptly named "DUNE" taken from the start and finish locations of "DUndalk to NEwry" The big appeal of this race was crossing the border from south to north. Don't believe this had been done before, at-least not in a road race.
The race started from the sq in Dundalk and followed the old N1 north bound and finished at the Quays shopping centre Newry. The route from mile 2 to 12 was very much a gradual climb. Total climb of 600-700 feet. Looks easier in the car as most racers found yesterday. Mile 12 to the finish was a very welcome and deserved down hill back to sea level. Race finished just along the Newry canal beside the Quays shopping centre. Handy if ye have energy left for shopping!!
Route details at link attached.
Yesterday's race had approximately 500 racers that were very well marshalled by both Garda and PSNI. With the main traffic now using the new M1 the road was very quiet and indeed closed off most of the way to the border at the Carrickdale Hotel. From there on it was along the side of road / hard shoulder, but well marshalled.
The hills made the going very tough and made PBs very hard to come by. Water stations well manned and fuelled.
Plenty of spectators along the way for much needed support.
Racers were bussed from Newry to Dundalk. This suited me as i parked the car by the finish line in Newry. Bags left at start line in Dundalk were transferred to finish line with no problems.
Only criticism was the lack of toilets at the start, racers had to use the local cafes, hotels shops and bus stations.
It rumoured that next years race is the same route in reverse. So a massive hill to contend with at beginning and then gradual downhill for last 12 miles. Those that raced yesterday deserve a crack at the reverse route where PB's may be more achievable.
Friendly folk everywhere and dry weather made for a good days effort that was well priced at €25 euro including a t-shirt.