9/80 West Coast of Ireland and a Run Out to Dún Laoghaire

8/80 I set off from Leeds at 4.30am to catch the first flight to Dublin on Friday 21st. We arrived on a bus to the plane to be told that there was no crew for the flight and that we wouldn’t be leaving until at least 2pm. Ryanair…

Thankfully the flight took off later that day and despite from the drunk woman stroking my hair – eight hours in Leeds Bradford Airport had clearly taken their toll – it was a fairly uneventful 40-minute journey over the Irish Sea.

Camping plans unfortunately had to be laid to rest, so I spent the night in Dublin and I travelled with my friend to the West Coast early Saturday morning in time for the start of Clew Bay Half Marathon.

Running in the beautiful Irish countryside

The undulating route left Louisburgh and went along the Atlantic coastline. It was a really stunning road race and by far the most scenic of my runs so far.

It felt like the entire local town had either come out to support, or run, and there were loads of snacks at the finish and lots of friendly faces. I would love to come back and run this event again and would suggest it to anybody. The drive was approximately 3.5 hours from Dublin, with views of lovely countryside. My flight from Leeds was only €9.99. Really cheap, if you ignore the huge delay…

Following the Wild Atlantic Way, we made our way back to Dublin via an overnight stay in Westport and a daytrip to the beautiful Achill Island. There is an ultra-marathon in May which follows the Wild Atlantic Way, for which a flyer was handed out at the finish. Safe to say I’m more than a little tempted as that will be a month after 2019 London Marathon! Would anybody like to join?

Sean McGibney -- Achill Island
The idyllic Achill Island

9/80 I set off from the centre of Dublin to run out to Dún Laoghaire, the port where many Irish relatives waved to their loved ones as they set off to war, many never to return. It’s a really significant place that evokes a lot of memories of songs from my childhood, so I was happy to be able to include it as part of the challenge.

I took a wrong turn and almost missed the start of the run with Dublin Runners and Dún Laoghaire Pier Runners. My friend picked me up on her way to the run, so thankfully I managed to make it in time for the start!

The running club were an extremely welcoming and lovely group of people, who ran alongside me and pushed me to finish my ninth run of the challenge. I really hope to be able to make it back to run with them on my next trip to Ireland.

Sean McGibney and Dublin Runners
Dublin Runners / Dún Laoghaire Pier Runners

I plan to arrange a trip up north to Armagh at the end of this year or beginning of next, to run around places familiar to my Grandma from her childhood. I will also be on the lookout for official events in the new year that I can enter.

My next run is Great Scottish Run on Sunday in Glasgow. I’ll be meeting up with two other runners who are raising money for dementia research, so it will be great to support each other along the route.

Thank you to everybody who has donated so far. For anybody who would still like to donate please see click here.