The 2014 date for Gaelforce West, one of the most gruelling adventure races in Ireland, has been announced for August 16.
This year will see the 67 kilometre race, now in its ninth year, finish in Westport town centre for the first time in its history.
The organisers, Gaelforce Events, said they are “delighted” to be bringing the race into the town as they feel this will add a new element of excitement to the event and hopefully adding to the positive knock-on effects for businesses in the town.
The event is expected to attract more than 2,000 competitors and their supporters as well as spectators to the town on the day, delivering a significant boost to the local economy.
The new finish line will be located at the Leisure Park, off James Street in the town centre, and facilities at the leisure centre have been made available to competitors for changing, showers, and massages after the race.
“This is an ideal site for the finish line with lots of space, green areas, and a playground for children,” said Ciara Young, Gaelforce Events.
The race will start at Glassilaun beach in Connemara and follows a route of stunning scenery along Killary Harbour, through the Delphi Valley, across Drummin Hill, and up Croagh Patrick.
The final part of the race brings competitors along the quays in Westport and this year through Westport House to the finish line in Westport town centre.
“This race is an incredible personal journey for many,” continued Ms Young.
“It is the original and most challenging adventure race in Ireland being entirely linear with no loops. The fact that so many people return year after year to take part is in no small part to do with the spectacular route.”
Ms Young also expressed her appreciation to the businesses and residents of Westport town who help to facilitate the race each year.
“We hope to bring benefit to the town and the wider area again in 2014,” she added.