Saturday June 27th saw Waterford host its 4th Viking Marathon, boasting terrific entertainment all the way along each of the 3 routes for over 2,000 runners.
This year participants traveled from Kenya, Italy, Johannesburg, Sweden, Norway, all over the US and from all corners of Ireland to gather at the start line. The full, half and quarter marathons set off together at 9.00 am with a rapturous cheer and an electric atmosphere from the assembled crowd.
This year’s event took in over 5 miles of the Viking city’s streets before the full marathon runners made their way out to the seaside town of Tramore. It was all about entertainment, with high profile local bands and musicians in abundance over the entire route. This year’s route was held over a flatter course and resulted in many personal bests, despite the strong head wind for those headed to Tramore.
First home for the day and getting proceedings underway in the Quarter Marathon was Alan O’Shea of Bantry AC in a time of 34.04. Alan, 3rd in this year’s Ballycotton 10 Miler, had little challenge from locals, Noel Murphy of Waterford AC and Ruairi O’Donnell of Ferrrybank AC as he pushed the pace from gun to tape, extending a 200m lead at 2 miles to 5000 before the finish. Sandra Fitzpatrick, from Ballyroan, Abbeyleix and District AC came from behind in 3rd place to win the ladies quarter ahead of Janet Quinlan of Waterford and Melisa Murphy in a time of 46.49. Sandra was 1 of almost 40 athletes that travelled to the event from Laois having read so much about last year’s event.