Portumna Forest Marathon
Saturday, 08 June 2019 07:00
Taking part in the Portumna Forest Marathon is a spiritual experience – while it tests the body physically it soothes the mind in equal proportions. The runners, crew and marshalls blend in with the environment and although there is plenty of clapping and encouragement for the runners there is a serenity about the place that bows down to the beauty of the natural environment.
Everyone talks a little softer and smiles a little wider. When those inevitable Irish rain showers put in their short but frequent appearances, everyone looks up at the rain drops through the leaves and marvels at the reflections of the rainbows in the puddles – appreciating the fact that the rain had a vital role to play in providing such a luscious backdrop for the run.
There is of course a more practical reason that this Marathon remains one of the most popular ultra events in the country – Portumna, whilst rural, is also very accessible from all four corners of the country.
By the time nightfall descends on a summer Saturday night, over 1,000 competitors would have completed one of the five races on offer -100km, 50km, Full Marathon, Half Marathon or 10k. The fact that runners of all ability and speed are running together turns the event into a motivational haven where training tips and running experiences are shared enroute and everyone leaves determined to move up to the next distance before returning next year.