Well I guess I should start the run report by saying that the first outing of the Barrow Line Race wasn’t on the Barrow Line but ran from Tullamore to Robertstown on the main line of the Grand Canal. That was because of ongoing works on the Barrow Blueway between Monasterevin and Rathangan. That said when this work is finished, hopefully by August 2022, it will make the next event on the Barrow Line all the better.
The second thing I should own up to is that the route we used on Saturday wasn’t 30 miles but was slightly over 31.5 miles. For some this worked out well as it brought them over the 50km mark which they were delighted for but I apologise to those who found the unexpected extra distance tough on what was already an ultra event day. Anyone interested in a GPX of the route can view it on Gary O’Grady’s Strava HERE.
After meeting at the finish area in Robertstown, 25 intrepid runners made their way to the start line in Tullamore on the bus. This included three members each from Blackrock A.C., Clondalkin Flyers and Donadea R.C., a two times Spartathlon finisher, a runner who came all the way up from Cork, seasoned Ultra veterans and first time Ultra runners. The weather was fair and the stage was set for the 17 men and 8 women who set off at 8:54am.
The start of the race took the runners out east of Tullamore climbing up from the 26th Lock to the 21st Lock near Ballycommon where the old Kilbeggan Line of the Grand Canal branches off.
The first bag drop area was set up just before Molesworth Bridge at Daingean and it wasn’t long after the event crew set up that supporters for the runners also appeared with people from both Clondalkin Flyers and Blackrock A.C. there to cheer on their runners.
Once past Daingean, runners were on the long flat greenway path towards the second bag drop at George’s Bridge at Edenderry.
Unfortunately two of our runners had to call it a day at Edenderry and many thanks to our event crew Colin for giving the two lads a lift back to Robertstown.
After passing Edenderry came the long slog on soft ground as the runners left the comfort of the path behind and took to the grassy trail as far as the 20th Lock at Ticknevin. From here it got complicated as the tired runners had to navigate the crossing points at Hamilton Bridge and Shee Bridge, thankfully the only time the canal had to be crossed on the run.
Finally as they pushed through the 30 mile mark they had to face the final challanges of the extra distance as well as a steep climb up Binn’s Bridge at Robertstown to the finish line. This finish was rewarded first by a can of coke and soon after presentation of the finishers medal and t-shirt.
Of course we could not leave the runners with just that so once more they were sent across the canal to Charlie Weld’s pub where they could grab a cool pint or an iron supplementing pint of Guinness.
Ted Burke was the first man home in a time of 4:10 and Anne Jennings was the first woman home in a time of 4:30. The full results from the event can be viewed HERE.
So well done to all the finishers on the day. We really hope you enjoyed it and that you will be back next year for the real Barrow Line Race and hopefully a few more events. For those of you who haven’t had quite enough, rumour has it the Donadea 50K is open for entry…