I knew it would be hard. I knew I would be pushing me to the limits. What I didn't know is that this Ultra marathon would prove to be the hardest and most fun experiences ever - and that I could hold a beaming smile on my face for 6 hours.At the Finish line each of us, in turn, received our medals, waddled around in our mylar blankies and looked around for friends and loved ones in the throng --- it finally hit me --- I had completed my ULTRA marathon and my next thought is WHAT NEXT.People say that training for a ultra marathon is worse than the ultra marathon itself. And while putting in the necessary miles takes plenty of planning and time, I have quickly became accustomed to pounding the pavement, doing extra loads of sweaty laundry, Running was built into my routine and I had courses mapped out from my home in macroom. I have watched my body become different, stronger…and smaller losing alot of weight So i ask Can a man change? I suppose so. I'm not done yet, I want more. A lot more.If you want to run, run a mile. If you want an Experience run a marathon if u are crazy run a ultra 40 mile marathon.So i will leave with this. Life is a journey and the stages you go through. Same with a marathon. Take it one stage at a time. Listen to everyone, but pay attention to those who know what their talking about. Whatever you do in training, do the same thing on race day. Over 3,000 amateur and professional athletes will descend on the West this weekend for the Connemara International Marathon, known as the Connemarathon. The sell-out event, which takes place on Sunday, 1 April, will feature three races, a half marathon, a full 26.2 mile marathon, and a gruelling 39.3 mile ultra-marathon, one and a half marathons combined. Representatives from over 30 nations will take part, including groups from France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Germany. The 3,200 places sold out four months in advance, a testament to the race’s popularity. Just 72 runners participated in the first Connemarathon in 2001. Two hundred athletes will take part in the ultra-marathon from Maam Cross, while 800 will run the regular marathon from the Inagh Valley. The majority of participants will run, walk or jog the 13.1 mile half marathon, which starts in Leenane. All three races will finish back at Maam Cross.


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