A BIG "Thank You" to all participants & supporters for making 2016 one to remember.
Saturday June 25th saw Waterford host its 5th Annual Viking Marathon, boasting terrific entertainment all the way along the route as over 2,000 runners wound their way along the roads.
The international appeal won out again this year with many visitors using the event as an excuse to travel to Ireland. Participants travelled from Brazil, Johannesburg, Sweden, Norway, Alaska, all over the rest of the US and from all corners of Ireland. New to the event were a wonderful group of 6 Japanese marathon runners, who between them have completed over 3,300 marathons.
This year’s event took in over 10 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 again this year, with high profile local bands and musicians in abundance over the entire route. The weather played its part too, a light breeze cooling tired legs as they headed for home.
The novel distance of the quarter marathon was the shortest route available for runners and they were the first group to enjoy the stadium finish on the welcoming blue of the Mondo track. The men’s race was well contested with mostly local runners vying for the tops spots.
Back with a bang to the running scene was Ferrybank AC’s Ruairi O’ Donnell in a time of 36.21. Next home was Waterford AC’s Brian Swaby 36.57 and 3rd place went to Raivis Zakis in 37.52. Similarly in the lady’s event, first home was Vanessa Bray from Limerick in a time of 43.59, with local athlete Sinead Brannigan finishing in 45.49 and 3rd placed Louise Matthews in 46.17.
The flat half marathon route proved its popularity again with great numbers winding their way back through Waterford’s Eco Park after splitting from the full marathoners before hitting the track. There was a terrific battle for 1st place between Sergiu Ciobano of Clonliffe Harriers, who just recently missed out on selection for the Rio Olympic Irish Marathon team, and Hungary’s own Olympic hopeful Koszar Zsolt, with Sergiu pulling away only over the last mile and the ultimate winner with a time of 1.07.44, only 7 seconds clear. 3rd place honours went to Portlaoise AC’s James Hamm in 1.16.05.