Westport was awash with more than 2,500 competitors who took on the gruelling challenge of Westport Sea2Summit on a bright and breezy Saturday morning.
Now officially Ireland's largest adventure race, the winner of the Supreme Event was Kevin Keane from Cork who came over the line in a time of 2:50:08. The gruelling 56.5km course took the Cork native through an intense journey of road running, mountain cycling, and the challenging uphill run to the summit of Croagh Patrick and finishing with a sea dash in Clew Bay before finishing in the middle of Westport town.
First Supreme Lady over the line was Dena Hogan in a time of 3:16:56, smashing the women's record by 11 minutes. “This was a tough race," she said. "It was my first ever adventure race but I really enjoyed it. The last run was the hardest because you think you’re home but you still have a bit to go. I have to say thank you to the marshals because they are so supportive and encouraging.”
Records were also broken in the Spirit Race with Jonathan Caulfield over the line in a time of 1:36:03, and local girl Aileen McNamara beat her personal best of last year in a time of 1:52:01.
Now Ireland’s largest adventure race, the extreme sporting challenge of Westport Sea2Summit has attracted the elite of adventure race enthuasists from all over Ireland and beyond including England, France, the United States, and Canada.
Taking part for the third year running was former Irish international soccer star Kevin Kilbane as he took on the Spirit Event in aid of this year's charity partners, the John Giles Foundation and The Down Syndrome Centre. “I love coming back to my roots in Mayo," he said. "It's a fabulous event for the town of Westport and huge effort and commitment is put in by everyone to host it. Word is spreading fast because this is truly one of the greatest events anyone can do.”
Starting at the Castlecourt Hotel in Westport, the race incorporates a mix of road running, cycling, and of course the hike up Croagh Patrick. Competitors have the choice of the Spirit Event (30km ) or the Supreme Event (56km ).
Race director Paul O'Brien said: “We are delighted with how the event went, now in its seventh year. Westport Sea2Summit is a big attraction to all levels of athletes and is growing year on year. It’s a real feel good race and there is always such a great atmosphere out on the course. Huge thanks to our amazing volunteers, we simply couldn’t do it with them.”
The event has given a great economic boost to Westport in the middle of November and has firmly put Westport on the map as the adventure capital of Ireland. Full race results are available on www.westportsea2summit.ie