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The Course

The Inis “Iron” Meáin is cleverly designed, affording participants a choice of 3 courses. All courses follow the same route for the most part. The 10K NOVICE or ‘CRUA’ course covers 10.5k of island roadway. The 10K SENIOR or ‘FÍOR CHRUA’ course (12k) is the same, but at roughly the mid-way point, there is a turn-off which takes in a sand dune and beach run. This route then joins up again with the road route after 2 kilometres.

The shorter 5K course follows the same route to a point.

The courses are very well marked and take in a large part of the island, with spectacular views and variation in terrain. At each kilometre point there are signs indicating the remaining distance to go.

DETAILS OF THE COURSE

THE  START

The start is at the Halla Naomh Eoin, where you register. When you start you will have a steep incline for about 0.5km.

start

BÓTHAR AN LEISÍN

At the top of this hill you turn right and then immediately left at the church onto a road that will take you out to the back or south side of the island. This side of the island is totally uninhabited and takes in some spectacular scenery. After about 1.5 km you turn left and follow the road which will take you in from the back of the island. This is a slow steady climb of about 1.5 km. At the end of the road you turn right and follow the top road of the island which gradually descends 2kms to sea level where you will arrive at the old pier, Cora Point. (Those who are partaking in the 5k course will turn left 300m before the Cora Point and follow the road past the factory back to finishing line to where they started).

LOWER ROAD

Those doing the longer runs turn left just before the old pier and continue on the flat winding road past the graveyard for about 2kms. At this point, there is a right-hand turning point (water station here) for those wishing to do the ‘Fíor Chrua’ challenge which takes in the beach. For all other participants you continue onwards for another 1km until you reach the airstrip junction.

AIRSTRIP ROAD

At the airstrip you turn left. (It is also at the airstrip point that the fíor chrua challengers meet up with the main course once again). There is a gradual climb for about 0.5 km (water station here), until you reach level ground once again and continue for another 1km. At the top of this road you turn right and continue (past the knitwear factory) for another 0.5km. This is roughly the half-way point. (Here is where the 5K route would have ended).

MIDDLE ROAD

At the end of the middle road you turn right and then sharply left past the water tanks for about 1km where you turn left once again.

THE STEADY CLIMB

At first there is a gradual climb which then levels out. The last 300 metres to the top is very steep (think Everest!), where there is another water station. Here, you turn left for the last 1km on level ground. After the church you take the turn left.

THE FINISH

The last section of 300m is all downhill.  Even if you haven’t run an inch, you can still look the part crossing the finish line at great speed!