Eager to start 2019 with a challenge?
This could be a solid way to work off the excess Christmas poundage.
The Ballyhoura Midnight Marathon will take runners, hikers and walkers through a dense forest that stretches from north-east Cork to south-east Limerick this January – all under cover of darkness.
Starting on the stroke of midnight on Friday, January 19th, the brave bunch will begin the race through the frosty winter wonder of the Ballyhoura countryside.
Will it be freezing? Yes. Will it be absolutely magical? Absolutely.
Following a trail of head torches, participants will walk, jog or run the 42km.
The fully marked course includes a 500m ascent in difficult terrain so aid stations will be set up along the route.
Entry (€60) includes hot soup, rolls and hot chocolate served at the halfway point. Hot showers and a post-race full Irish breakfast will also be available in Limerick the next morning.
Athletes can also participate in the Ballyhoura Moonlight Challenge, a half-marathon that begins at 2.30am.
Participants for the shorter race will be transferred by bus to the start of the Challenge, finishing in Kilfinane for a hot shower and a full-Irish. Entry is €45.
To enter, register on the Irish Mountain Running Association website. If you’re new to running, check out the Beginners section for everything you need to know about footwear, navigation and protective clothing.