The sixth annual WLR Waterford Viking Marathon has taken place.
The exciting new route, which included Ireland’s longest single span bridge and Waterford’s impressive Greenway attracted over 3,000 runners to the event. This year’s marathon attracted visitors from all corners of the globe, Argentina, Hawaii, India, Canada, Egypt, the US and all over Europe.
Runners left the Mall in the heart of Waterford’s Viking Triangle at 9am after a tremendous warm up which included the Viking Clap followed by an emotional demonstration by all runners for the Irish Heart Foundation’s Hand on Heart campaign.
The heat of the morning meant every drop of water on the course was appreciated by the runners. Just after 9.30, David Mansfield of Clonliffe Harriers showed no ill effects of his recent in podium place in Cork finishing 1st in the quarter marathon in 36.32. Hot on his heels was the first local man home on the day, Noel Murphy of Waterford AC, followed by Ruairi O’Donnell of Ferrybank AC. In the women’s event, Sinead Brannigan, a running inspiration locally with her band of Greenway joggers, took the title ahead of Cork native, Emma Healy and St.Abban’s AC’s Sinead Kelly.
The huge crowd of spectators didn’t have long to wait then to witness the class of Waterford AC’s Trevor Power, who had the race to himself to finish in 1.13.03. James Hamm of Portlaoise AC had more of a battle on his hands and finished just ahead of Carrick AC’s Derek Walsh. Ruth Fitzgerald is following in her mother’s footsteps and had a very clear win in the ladies in 1.24. Last year’s 2nd place marathon finisher Sally Forristal of St. Joseph’s AC took the silver ahead of Waterford AC’s Sylvia Malone. In the main event then, West Waterford AC’s Raivis Zakis literally sailed to the finish line in 2.37 ahead of previous winner Wexford’s Tom Hogan. Liam Tracey of Watergrasshill in Cork took the last podium place, but not before the now 5 times ladies winner Pauline Curley smiled her way to the line. Always a gracious winner, she brightens up every finish line! Watergrasshill AC featured again when Dolores Duffy finished 2nd with Lena Sinclair of Liffey Valley AC in 3rd place, rounding off the senior winners for the day.
Here’s the moment Ravis Zakis crossed the finish line at the WIT Arena.
An impressive 350 helpers lined the route, with marshals, water stations and medical personnel ensuring the safe return of all runners to WIT Arena in very warm conditions.
(Picture thanks to Colin Shanahan DigiCol Photography & Media Productions)