Western Way non-stop

Ultra-running athletes take on gruelling challenge

A group of ultra-running athletes will attempt the monumental task of running the entire length of the Western Way trail.

The attempt is the brainchild of David Noone from Loughrea and Pat Staunton from Westport.

“We have been training and racing on the Wicklow Way, Mourne Way and various trails and mountains for a number of years, so the idea occurred to us, why hasn’t the Western Way been used and promoted more,” explained Mr Staunton. He came up with the idea of trying to run the entire Mayo section of the Western Way. When he mentioned the idea to David Noone, he proposed running the entire lenght of the trail from Galway to Mayo.

The Western Way is a long-distance route stretching some 184 kilometres from Oughterard in Galway to Ballycastle in Mayo, passing through Leenane, Westport and Newport along the way.

The scenery is spectacular along the whole route.

Since the end of last year, the group have been running different sections of the Western Way to train and get familiar with the trail.

In planning the project, they have picked up a few more keen running companions and are going to be joined on the challenge by Caroline McLoughlin from Achill, and Sligo men Paul Higgins and Damien McSharry.

The challenge is starting in Oughterard on Friday, April 25, at 9 am. It is estimated that it will take between 30 and 36 hours to complete the run, arriving in Ballycastle between 3 pm and 9 pm on Saturday, April 26.

The runners would love if people could come out on the day to support or to run some of the route with them.

“We see this as a very exciting adventure as we cannot find any evidence that this has been done before,” said Mr Noone. “We see the run as a great way to promote the Western Way and promote the west of Ireland and its beautiful trails and mountains as a tourist location.”

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