THE SPIRIT OF COMRADES ALIVE IN IRELAND BY DIARMUID O’MALLEY

“With an extended lockdown just lifted in Ireland, there was definitely an appetite to be able to enjoy a good running experience with lots of like-minded people again. 

A week after her 2019 Comrades success I had the pleasure to show 2019 Comrades Women’s Champ, Gerda Steyn and her partner, Duncan Ross this Gap of Dunloe route and their exact comment to me was, “You have no excuse not to run Comrades again with a training route like this on your doorstep!” so the seed was sown to use this route then for the Comrades Centenary Hope Challenge.

Thirty five runners and walkers gathered at the Gap of Dunloe in Killarney, Co Kerry to cover 10km, 21.1km and 45km over the hills of one of Ireland’s most iconic roads to Lord Brandon’s Cottage. The 45km route covered two loops and the 21.1km was one loop.

In the true spirit of Comrades, all participants managed to successfully get to the finish line in the hottest recorded day of the year in Ireland. It certainly brought back memories of the 2013 event!

We raised just over 700 euro for the Kerry Palliative Care unit. It was great to get out running and catching up with running friends again. We will certainly have some new runners from Ireland on the start line in the 2022 Comrades Marathon.”