Here are our favourite runs around Ireland this May. Lets start by kicking off the bank holiday weekend with a few events in Dublin and Limerick.
Great Limerick Run
One of our favorite weekends away is the May Bank Holiday where you are sure to spot a running chick or two at the Great Limerick Run.
The race quite literally has something for everyone with a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Full Marathon Relay, 6 mile and a kids race. It’s easy to see why its such a popular event among the Forget the Gym gang.
The race starts and finishes in the centre of Limerick for all of the events of the day.
With the Marathon starting first at 9am it can seem quite lonely as it’s not the biggest of race starts as you make your way through the quiet bank holiday Sunday morning streets of Limerick. The route takes you out of the city to see some of the neighbouring sights and suburbs surrounding limerick. You will take in the grounds of University of Limerick, Run past the rugby greats of Thomond Park and as well as starting in the city you come back into the city twice more before finally returning into the crowds of the finish line. On your first trip back into the city, depending on your pace, you will pick up some of the half marathon crowd. This makes it feel like a much bigger race to the one you started out in earlier and the crowd certainly spurs you on. The loops in and out of the city are great for the runners and even better for cheerleaders who don’t have to travel to far to spot you a few times along the route.
2013 & 2014 finishers from Forget the Gym
The Marathon also has a relay option so if you have always wanted to say that you ran a marathon but don’t actually want to run one simply get a team of between 2 and 4 people together. There are changeover points at mile 6.5, mile 13 and mile 21 and everyone crossed the finish line together.
The Half Marathon starts at 11.45 and if you are fast enough you might catch up on some of those Marathoners. It follows the 2nd half of the Marathon route.
Last but by no means least the 6 mile (10k) run is by far the most popular of all the races on the day. It starts at 1.30 in the afternoon when most of the Marathon and half Marathon runners are already home to cheer you on. It is the flattest of the 3 races and a big charity event drawing in large groups of runners fundraising and donning fancy dress for the day.
Whichever event you choose, the weekend starts with the race expo on the Saturday in UL. It is a small expo so won’t take up all of your day, you collect your race number, t shirt and goody bag but you have to wait until the finish line to get your medal. The kids race takes place on the Saturday out at the expo also so if you have any budding runners who always want to try out running with Mum or Dad its a great way to introduce them to it.
Overall the course is very achievable with a few ups and downs along the way but no heartbreak hills to test you.
Where to stay?
There are lots of options for accommodation within the city and surrounds, we try and stay as close to the city as possible with The George Hotel being our first choice as it is right around the corner from the finish line, what better way to finish a run than to be within a couple of hundred yards from your shower and bed! Just for a short nap as there is plenty of celebrating to be done in Limerick city that night.
The Arc Cancer support run takes place on the May bank Holiday Monday in the Phoenix Park.
With the 5k (1 loop) and 10k (2 loops) there is something for everyone. Both starting on Chesterfield Ave down into the Furry Glen and up the Furze road a very easy going race with small numbers so its not too congested. You can collect your number on the morning from the tent just down from the start line and this year you can also register on the day.
Pieta House Darkness into Light
The Darkness into Light really is an event with a difference. In aid of the charity preventing suicide, Pieta House hold this event nationwide. With numerous events nationwide and internationally its hard not to find one close to you. Although the event has grown in popularity over the years it does tend to sell out early.
This is not a race for a PB or even one where you will be able to run without being held up by walkers but it is a very spiritual walk / run starting at 4.15 am (yes AM) and walking or jogging into the sunrise as a symbol of hope and new beginnings. If you have not attended one of these events to date we would highly recommend and you can always come home to bed after for a few hours sleep.
Terenure 5 Mile
This Flat course is a 2 loop route, the first larger loop of 3 miles with the 2nd smaller loop of 2 miles where the crowds cheering you on will definitely help you to the finish line. With pacers up to 50 minutes The Terenure 5 mile a great opportunity to work on your 5 mile time and challenge yourself.
Number collection from Sportsworld on Saturday and in the race HQ in Terenure on Sunday. A technical t shirt for the first 1000s entries and a great post run feast of tea, sandwiches and cakes is being held in the new location of the local school this year.
We really like their tour of the course from the website, gives a great feeling as to how flat the run really is, although hopefully we wont have to stop for any traffic lights on the day.
Virgin Media night run (formerly known as the Samsung night run)
Sure what else would you be doing on a Sunday night in May? For something very close to home for our Forget the Gym gang, The Virgin Media Night run is ideal.
The Dublin run route has changed over the years and is now based around the docklands and Ringsend areas. A great run for anyone trying out for their first 10k or for the seasoned runner.
Registration packs can be collected on the Friday evening or Saturday of the event weekend but t shirt sizes are usually on a first come first served so if you want to secure your size head to the registration early. One of the few long sleeve running tops given out in races this comes in handy for some of the cooler late spring or early summer runs and then again when the nights get cooler post summer.
This run draws big crowds so expect some delays at the start line and ensure you get into the correct wave to start off with.
Once you cross the finish line you will be given your finishers medal and directed to where to collect your bag. It can get cold quite quick at 10 pm so have a warm jumper in the bag for after the run.
Virgin Media 2016 medal and race t shirt
Community Response Fun Run – 5k & 10k
In the surrounds of the phoenix park this charity event is a great reason to get out to the park for your mid week run. One loop (5k) commencing just beside the papal cross and heading down (yes down) the kyber pass before coming back up to complete the lap of the football pitches in the centre of the park. A well organise run formerly ‘Leg it for your liver’, this is a great event for all levels of runners and there are also plenty of walkers too. The 10k is the same loop twice.
Need to find a race?
We also have lots of our own events this month : ForgetTheGym Events.