dingle ultra

Have you ever thought you would save a race for a special day. I ran Connemara ultra a few years back and was taken away with the scenery and the great people I met someone who told me about Dingle ultra 50 miles I then looked it up and said to myself I will run this as a special run for my 50th ,as this. Looked an amazing run, sadly I was about to enter today , found that they are not going to run the ultra event anymore, this is such a shame as the route looks so beautiful. It's such a shame such a great race is to be no more.



    amster - I heard a rumour that 2014 was to be the last Dingle Ultra.  I've DNF'd once, DNS'd this year but the 2 times I completed it were amazing, the most beautiful and special course.  Reaching the top of Conor Pass was just amazing.

    Unfortunately it never attracted the numbers that the event deserved, maybe because Dingle is not the easiest place to get to and hotels can be very expensive. 

    I'll email the RO today.

  • Thanks shades very much appreciated. You are lucky you got the chance of running the event. I try to explain to people what's it like to run ultras, they can be in the most breathtaking places, like Dingle .They don't know what they are missing. Yes ultras are not easy but you will meet great people and see super places as you know and what an achievement, let's hope other people think the same so we can save these fantastic races. Thanks again
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    That is a pity.  I've done the 50 once.  I think the trouble is the event can't be started early enough in the morning and a huge time gap builds up between the full marathon and ultra runners doing their last 25 miles.


    I've emailed Ken the RO, no reply yet.

    Hi T-Rex - how are you?  Achilles problem sorted?

  • Shades thanks for e mailing its very much appreciated. I can only hope they change their minds. My hubby thinks I'm nuts , he said he would never run anything longer than a half marathon , well after 29 years of marriage and me going on about runs ,he has now done the Hadrians wall ultra two day , and has just done a marathon. He was going to run the Dingle marathon while I did the ultra, T Rex thanks , have you any races planned.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Hi, Shades.  Completely sorted, thanks - took 15 months, though!

    amster - all a bit fluid at the moment.  If I can get a place I'm looking into the American River 50 in California in April. (Even Shades probably hasn't done that one ...)


    Not good news, here's the reply from the RO...

    How's it going.


    No unfortunately not. 2014 was the last year





    T-Rex - good news you are finally over that injury, 15 months is a long time.

    No, I haven't done that ultra in California, is it road or off road?

    I'll be back at Connemara in April.

    amster - best I can offer is my report on Dingle 2013, pasted below:-



    DINGLE ULTRA 50 - September 2013

    Background – I ran this race the first year the event was held in 2010.   At the time I was running really well and had already knocked 11 minutes off my marathon PB that year.   It’s a tough road course and at 20 miles climbs to the top of Conor Pass, the highest pass in Ireland.   The scenery is stunning and whichever way you look there are beautiful views of mountains, moors, beach and the Atlantic Ocean.   Conditions were perfect on that day, warm and little wind and I had a good run and was thrilled with my finish time of 9:53.

    The following year there was no ultra so I had to settle for running the marathon instead but in 2012 I was back on the start line for the ultra.   Although I knew I wasn’t in as good shape as 2010, I wasn’t expecting to have to DNF due to sickness.   Flagging down the ambulance at 14 miles, and then getting out of the ambulance at 20 miles to throw up at the top of Conor Pass, the ambulance man carefully choosing the correct side of me to stand in the strong winds!    Failing to finish a race is a devastating feeling and having to wait a full year to put the matter right can make the challenge even more daunting, so I really needed to slay that pesky dragon this time.

    My preparation for the 2013 race didn’t go well, too many races and racing when I was carrying niggles meant that I was unable to maintain any decent level of training mileage.   But I managed to clear up any niggles before the race and my training was just starting to pay off.   Ideally I could have done with another few weeks of training.  A few days of carbo loading which I usually do for an ultra, not successful this time as my weight remained the same and I would have expected at least a couple of pounds more on the scales before race day.

    Travel to Dingle is fairly straightforward, fly from Bristol to Cork, pick up a hire car and 100 miles later I arrive at Dingle.   I decide to go straight to registration to collect my number, oh dear I’ve been allocated Race No: 1, not good when my goal this time is just to finish in one piece.

    Checked in at the hotel, this is 4 miles outside of Dingle, so peaceful at night.  Am early to bed but didn’t have much sleep, not unusual pre race and something that I don’t let worry me.  Up at 3:45 am, breakfast at 4:30 am, the hotel manager has kindly arranged for the night porter to serve breakfast and he is waiting for me in the dining room and rushes around making sure I have everything I need.

    I leave the hotel just after 5 am and drive to Dingle, runners quietly arriving at the meeting point, we put our bags out for the drop points (every 5 miles), I put 2 bags out of extra food, I’ll carry the rest with me and there will be some supplies at the drink stations.  We’re in good humour and it’s good to catch up with the chat, I’m invited to take part in a 12 hour race in Athlone in November, I decline as today’s race will be my last ultra this year, fortunately I’m already committed to another event that weekend so I have a reasonable excuse.

    We get onto the buses and head off to the start line, about 40 minutes drive and we’re deposited in a quiet country lane.   A portaloo and a chalked line on the road the only indications that this is where it all begins.   Dawn is just breaking and it’s chilly and most of us get back onto the buses to keep warm.  Some of the runners don’t seem to be adequately dressed; the runner next to me borrowed a pair of woollen gloves from the receptionist at his hotel.  Five minutes to go and we go


    back out into the cold, do a few stretches, line up and we’re off.  I’m not feeling that great and don’t want to admit to myself that I have the same sick feeling I had last year, I focus on settling into a comfortable pace and watching the dawn break.   The first mile is gently undulating  and I’m running with a man who tells me he’s the race director for a new 100k road race next August in Tralee, I try and not to appear at all interested in another race right at this moment and we drift apart so the conversation is ended.    The next few miles is very gentle downhill, the perfect start to a race, I can keep my heart rate down and my legs feel good, still feeling a bit sick though.   Race instructions are to wear high visibility kit as we have to run on open and narrow roads for part of the race, in the gloomy daybreak we are all so brightly dressed that the sheep are transfixed and stop eating to watch us.   At five miles we turn sharp left and the first drink station, 10% of the distance completed already.   More gentle downhill and then long flat stretches, virtually no traffic I’m still feeling a bit sick but it’s not getting any worse and at 8 miles I manage to take a little fuel on board.

    The miles click by and just when I get to 14 miles the support ambulance comes along, this is exactly at the place I pulled out last year and I don’t need reminding, I look in the other direction and run on, at 15 miles I’m starting to feel better and take on a bit more fuel.

    At 17 miles the course starts to climb gently and soon the warning signs appear for Conor Pass.   The road to the top is narrow and steep, in places single track, no vehicles over 6 feet wide, I once drove my car on this route, not something I’d do again and with a €1300 excess on the hire car I won’t be risking that either.   At 18 miles I’m reduced to walking, remembering that my last hill training session was in May!   Fortunately we’re sheltered from the wind so I make good progress striding out to the top of the pass, we’re instructed to run on the right hand side, fortunately I don’t suffer from vertigo as there’s only a low stone wall between me and a very steep drop.   I take the occasional glimpse over my shoulder to admire the view of the valley behind me.

    At 20 miles I finally reach the top and up there the wind is howling and the girl at the drink station looks frozen, I take a drink and something to eat but I leave my food drop bag at the station as I haven’t yet eaten what I’ve been carrying with me from the start.    I then start the descent into Dingle; this is the easiest part of the course, 4 miles of gentle downhill with fabulous views.   But within a couple of minutes the rain starts to fall and soon it’s a torrential downpour of icy cold rain that stings as I’m running into the wind.   Half a mile later my feet are soaked and I’m so cold, a car stops and the driver asks if I’m OK and offers me a lift, I laugh and decline the offer, I think the driver thought I was a little unhinged.   The rain eases and by the time I’m nearly into Dingle I’m starting to dry out and then we have another shower of rain and I’m soaked again.   Into Dingle and back down to sea level and the temperature feels lovely and warm as I run into the town and pick up the start of the marathon course.    I take a walk break up a nasty little hill and then pass the 25 mile marker, halfway completed.    I run well for the next few miles as I take the road for Slea Head and continue at a reasonable pace up to about


    32 miles.   As I reach the coast and the edge of the peninsular, the wind is getting stronger all the time, well there’s nothing much between me and the Atlantic Ocean so a bit of a breeze is to be expected.    But by 35 miles I can’t run into that strength of wind and I’m reduced to walking, but despite the wind the temperature is warm and pleasant and I just enjoy the views.  I have another food bag at the drink station at 37 miles but I leave it there as don’t really feel like eating much.   I spend a lot of time doing the mental arithmetic and work out that I can complete the race within the time limit of 11 hours so I relax and just keep plodding on.  I know now that I will finish and I’m in good humour and enjoy a few words with the marshals on the route.

    At about 42 miles I finally turn back towards Dingle and the wind is behind me but I’m tired now and only manage a run/walk.   At 46 miles I pass the hotel where I’m staying and gaze longingly at my bedroom window and look forward to that hot bath.  Just round the corner from the hotel is the second steepest climb of the race and it’s a long drag to get to the top but once there I know I only have gentle downhill and flat to the finish but I’m on a long straight road and I don’t seem to be making much progress.  I’m getting a lot of support from the passing traffic, some are marathon runners on their way home but many are locals that realise that I’m in the last couple of miles of the ultra and hoot and wave enthusiastically to spur me in.

    But eventually I reach the end of the end of the straight road, turn left onto the main road and down the hill into Dingle, just half a mile to go.   I run along by the sea and have a random thought wondering if I will ever see Funghi the resident dolphin at Dingle Bay then turn the last corner to the finish.   The feeling of completing this amazing event is wonderful; I’m suddenly revived and manage what feels like a decent run over the finish line, but probably looked like a pathetic shuffle to any bystander, finish time 10:42.   49 minutes slower than my PB but I’m really pleased to have finished with no injuries and to finally lay that pesky dragon to rest.

  • T Rex hope you get a place in the American river 50 , fingers crossed for you. Shades thanks what a fantastic race report , what a journey. I think firstly to do the first ever Dingle Ultra must have been special, but finishing in 2013 you must have felt on top of the world, after being poorly in 2012. Reading your race report makes me realise even more how special the race is, so if I can't do the ultra I am going to enter the marathon and maybe persuade my hubby to run it also. And I may try and run Connemara in April I ran that in 2011 I still have a chuckle a guy was running up the hill of the west, I think I heard him before I saw him, him swore all the way up , if he stopped swearing he would have got up quicker, mind you I think we laughed that much we would have got up quicker. Thanks again for such a fantastic race report.

    amster - the marathon route at Dingle is beautiful, but not the easiest of courses.   I probably won't do the marathon in 2015 but I will go back some time to do the race again.

    Do you live in Ireland?

  • I like runs that are not to easy. Glad you will do it again sometime. I live near clitheroe in lancashire, some great places to run. I love traveling to different places to run, I make it a holiday as well. This year I ran the hadrians wall two day ultra, a fab marathon in Holland were you can cycle or run the event a good bit of off road , running through a chateaux, cow sheds, tasting cheese, pancakes, wine etc the scenery and atmosphere a must do event again, hubby did this one, plus other events of shorter distances. Hoping to book connemara and Dingle this weekend just trying to persuade hubby to enter as well but only half marathon for him, he did Connemara half when I did the ultra, so he knows the route.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Unfortunately my record 10 consecutive Connemara ultras (I only missed the first one in 2004) will come to an end when I go to my son's wedding in San Francisco in April  (going to try to fit that trail ultra in while I'm there ...)

    I fly back on the Saturday before Connemara and I'm thinking if I fly back to Dublin and get an overnight train or bus I might do it ...  Bit crazy, though.


    T-Rex - if you do decide to fly to Ireland on the Saturday I can always pick your number up for youimage

    amster - Connemara Half is tough as it has the 2 worst hills and it starts on my least favourite hill out of Leenane.

    I live in Devon but go to Ireland about 6 times a year to race.   Next year I'm doing Tralee marathon, Connemara Ultra, Belfast, Cork, Dublin, probably the Waterfront Ultra again and maybe one more depending on budget!

  • T Rex 10 Connemara,s that's amazing. It would be brilliant if you can make it. Shades and T Rex I hope one day I can say I have done the runs you both have done. Have a great weekend.
  • I drove over the conor pass on the way to Dingle to run the marathon in 2012 . Relieved to find it wasn't part of the marathon course . sad to see the ultra has been suspended ..? it must have been a fantastic run


  • Hi Simon I can't wait to run the marathon on Dingle, just wished it was the Ultra. Let's hope one year they may put the ultra race back on. Are you running the marathon again.

    Simon - I think if I was driving to a marathon I would be shocked to find I had to run Conor Pass without prior warning.

    amster - we have a great road ultra here in Devon in June http://www.teignbridgetrotters.co.uk/dartmoor_discovery/dd_general_info/


  • Shades thanks I will look at the dartmoor discovery. My entries are now in for the Connemara Ultra and the Dingle marathon Yipee.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Coming back from San Francisco on Saturday before Connemara.  I forgot to add on the 8 hours behind they are so flight doesn't arrive in Dublin until 1135 Sunday.  Far too late image.  I shall look out of the window as I fly over to see if I can see you all.  

    I'll have ruined my unbroken run of Connemara ultras, but hope to be back in 2016 ...

    One of my favourite events.


    amster - I'll be doing my Conne Ultra entry in the next few days too, so will see you there.

    T-Rex - never mind, at least it's for a very good reason that you break your record of consecutive runs.   Maybe fitting as it's no longer Ray as RD, but I hope they will just follow his fantastic race organisation blueprint.

  • Hope you all have had a great Christmas.T Rex, I will be thinking of you. Shades we are staying in the same place as we did in 2011 for Connemara , a great bed and breakfast which was only a short walk to the bus stop in the morning. Not sure where we will stay in Dingle in September.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Try http://www.wildflower-cottage.com/

    I've stayed there twice - their main (double) apartment is absolutely brilliant.  This is meant for self-catering but they do B&B as well.

    A real bonus, if you're in the marathon, is you only have to step out of the front door and you are in the start funnel area!!

  • I won t be doing it again although  i really enjoyed it We stayed in a hostel on the edge of town which did the job . possibly called the rainbow

  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Shades - is Ray OK?  Wants a break, I expect.  Or perhaps he is doing some extreme endurance event or other at that time?  

    Have you done his 100?  Too far for me on tarmac.


    T-Rex - last time I saw Ray was in June and he was fine.  I think he's probably just moving on to new challenges, I'll find out the next time I'm over there.

    No haven't done the 100.   Would be my dream race.  But I still have stomach acid problems in ultras and until I conquer that problem 100 miles isn't feasible for me.   I don't do any off road races, strictly tarmac for meimage

  • Happy New Year. Thanks for ideas on where to stay in Dingle. I have just booked the Wildflower apartment. Have a fab weekend running.
  • T RexT Rex ✭✭✭

    Well done, amster.  You'll really like the apartment and so convenient for the marathon. 

    My credentials are:

    • Dingle marathons 2
    • Dingle ultra 1
    • Connemara marathons 1
    • Connemara ultras 10

    If you've got any questions about the events, I'll try to answer them.


  • Thanks so much T Rex , very much appreciated. Which airport did you fly to for Dingle. Connemara we are flying to Dublin then driving to Connemara. But not sure which is the. Best option for Dingle. Training going ok at the minute, we had a lovely run this morning, we saw a fox, then we thought we saw a deer, squirrels, and luckily made it home just as it started to rain heavily. What mileage do you run up to in training for Connemara Ultra.
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