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The Vikings are coming, Run for your lives

Saturday June 27th 2015 has been confirmed as the date for the fourth annual WLRfm Waterford Viking Marathon. The event was launched this week with the announcement that RNLI Lifeboats will be the nominated charity to benefit from next year’s event. Running is known as playing a positive role in managing mental health and with this association in mind Waterford Viking Marathon is particularly pleased to support RNLI Lifeboats.

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The 2014 Marathon Officially Launched

On Saturday 28th June 2014 the streets of Waterford will once again fill with runners and joggers from far and wide as the city plays host to the 3rd annual 'WLRfm Waterford Viking Marathon'.

The 2014 marathon was officially launched on Friday last by, well-known Waterford athlete, Kelly Proper and last year's Marathon winner Gary O' Hanlon.

Speaking at the launch in the Bishops Palace Des Whelan, WLRfm's Managing Director and Chairman of Waterford Viking Marathon, said "Following two successful annual events, WLRfm's Waterford Viking Marathon 2014 is open for registration once again. 2014 will be very special as Waterford celebrates 1,100 years and following in the steps of our Viking ancestors the marathon route will take in the historical Viking Triangle and travel through the ancient city streets before heading out towards Tramore.

"WLRfm are delighted to be involved with this event once again. It's a great opportunity for people to embrace a healthy lifestyle whilst also supporting local and national charities. This year I am happy to say that IMNDA and Aware are our two nominated charities. As title sponsor, WLRfm's involvement will help make it possible to promote this great sporting event to our listening audience in the city & county and we certainly share the vision and aim of the organisers to grow this event into one of the headline Marathon's on the calendar". Des went on to express his heartfelt thanks to all involved and to acknowledge the hardworking committee, sponsors and partners who have supported the event to date.

Race Director Joe Cawley outlined the new improved route which makes the course even flatter and faster than before. A new Quarter marathon event has been introduced for next year, which, in addition to the Full and Half, gives runners of varying levels an opportunity to take part.

Also speaking at the official launch Waterford Mayor Councillor John Cummins said "I am delighted that this event has become an annual date in Waterford`s programme of attractions. . This marathon prides itself on being the South East`s friendly marathon with runners from every walk of life taking part. I would like to thank all involved in organising this great event which helps to promote and showcase the wonderful culture and heritage on offer in our 1,100 year old city." Cheques were awarded to the two nominated charities for 2013, Waterford Hospice and The Alzheimer's Society, Waterford.

Registration is now open for the 2014 Marathon with early bird entry available

For further information and 2014 Route Map go here »

Photography : Noel Browne Photographer. 086 0366904
For further information contact : Roisin Ferris 086 8194952 or Deirdre Houlihan 086 6863571

3 Weeks And Counting

3 weeks and 3 days and 10 hours. That's what the Waterford Viking Marathon website is telling me as I'm plonked on the sofa typing the latest instalment of this blog. Gulp. Jitters. Excitement. How are you feeling?

The self-doubt has all but fizzled away (though I expect it to make a re-appearance sometime soon) and I'm left with a calm confidence and quiet excitement that maybe this will be a good marathon after all, and maybe I'll get the time I'm going for and you know, maybe I'll enjoy it into the bargain.

My new found running Zen is down to a number of factors this week. Firstly, a man named Davy Wade who is a Sports Psychologist and will also be Chief Steward on June 27th. I had the pleasure of Mc-ing the wonderfully timed WVM seminar which hosted by Whitfield Clinic on Thursday last. Thanks to all those who came along, it was great to chat to many first-time marathon runners and great to see so many ladies involved this year too. Girls run the world and all that! Nutritionist Charlotte Cummins had some brilliant tips especially around carb loading (you can expect to gain a few extra pounds with a steady increase of carbs in the days leading up to race day) hydration and fuelling on the day itself. I'm at the point now where 3 Weetabix and toast or porridge and a bagel are my staple food exactly two and half hours before a long run. I'm not straying from this on the morning of the marathon, along with a strong coffee to make sure all waste matter has made its exit!

The Famous Glutes

Glutes. It's one of those things I've heard lots of runners, athletes and wannabe athletes talk about as I scoff and think 'Pfff they're obviously not warming up enough and now they're moaning on about injury.” Well not anymore. The famous glutes, or gluteal muscles struck hard about two weeks ago, to the point where i knew I needed a bit of help.

I had been feeling a bit funny on my right hip for some time, and noticed that during long runs, my bottom started to feel very 'hard' in the cheeks. I could imagine drivers on the hard shoulder seeing a Kim Kardashian lookalike from the rear as I ran along, I became so aware of my ever strengthening hazlenut cracking buns. However, as I was to discover, this pain is caused by the 'glutes'.

I had my first physio session which instantly nailed the sight of the problem. Physiotherapists are amazing people and they work they do with recovering patients, whether sports, medical and accidental injury related, is phenomenal. The physio was quick to ask about my job and how much time I spend in the car each week. I do a two hour round-trip daily and sit quite a bit in studio. Obviously while I've been putting all the focus on running as exercise, it's important to remember that the stuff we do when not running can cause problems too.

There is a certain muscle in the lower abdomen (cannot remember the name of it) that can become quite troublesome if the body stays in a sitting position for long periods of time on a regular basis. The physio gave it a little prod. AGHHH you could hear me scream at the top of the Comeraghs. Anyway, we worked out that my hip issue is being caused by the glutes and so I had a wonderful session of what was really a painful but helpful massage on my bottom for an hour. It's quite tickly too so I found myself in the strange scenario of lying on the physio bed with lots of snorting and giggling. It's not quite the Hot Stone Massage with sounds of the ocean that I'm used to on my girlie spa weekends but ooh it did the job big style.

Waterford’s Viking Marathon sees O’Hanlon wins his 5th 2013 Marathon

Saturday June 29th saw the second annual Waterford Viking Marathon set off from the Mall in the city centre in glorious weather.

Over 2,000 participants travelled from Europe, Australia, the US and from all corners of Ireland to gather at the start line. The full, half and relay marathons started together with a rapturous cheer and an electric atmosphere as the gun went off.

After leaving the city’s environs the race ran through the countryside before reaching the scenic town of Tramore for an out and back loop that was the entertainment highlight of the route. Spectators lined the promenade to cheer on Gary O’Hanlon as he led the race pack through the seaside town. Music and song was in abundance over the entire route and whilst no marathon is easy, this year’s certainly presented many challenges, but spirits remained high.

An impressive 350 stewards lined the route and ensured the safe return of all involved to the Waterford Regional Sports Centre. This year the runners were treated to a full lap of the brand new blue Mondo track before crossing the line to cheers from the thousands of spectators in the stands and strains of Waterford band, “Kodakid”, playing in the background.

The half marathon winners got their just recognition this year with West Waterford’s Raivis Zakis hitting the track first ahead of Michael Morgan, St. Finbars Cork and Brian Murphy, last years Marathon winner form Carrick-on-suir AC in a course record time of 1.13.05. In the women’s event Teresa Agar finished in 1.28.34 with Susan Finn following closely just 26 sec behind.

Gary O Hanlon, Clonliffe Harriers succeeded in his drive for 5 winning his fifth marathon this year completing the course in 2.28.05 ahead of George Waugh of Bandon AC. Local man Frank Quinlan reached the podium again this year with a 3rd place finish in 2.49.12.

Tullamore Harriers Olympian Pauline Curley enjoyed the undulating roads around the city and county, which presented no problem to her. ‘It was a last minute decision to enter, having given everything at Cork last month, but I’m delighted I came down here and really enjoyed the day and the cheers from supporters out on the course’.

A festival feel then took over as a stream of tired but determined runners crossed the line with many extraordinary and emotional moments to behold. The most poignant story being that of the Ryan & Ethan Marathon challenge. 250 runners from Tramore and surrounding areas helped to raise over 30K euro for Ryan & Ethan two local Tramore boys who suffer from ALD, a rare neurological disease. The Waterford Hospice and The Alzheimer’s Society of Ireland were the two nominated charities to benefit from Waterford Viking Marathon with many more local and national Charities benefiting through monies raised.

So all round a huge success, was the overwhelming consensus for most who took part, be it organising, running, stewarding or supporting. A memorable event created not only by the heroics of the participants but by a sense of Waterford taking the Waterford Viking Marathon to its heart.

Registration has now commenced for 2014, For further information and route map log on to

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