On Sunday, 6th April, almost 1,400 Dubliners will head west to Connemara to participate in this year’s Fáilte Ireland International Connemara Marathon, or the Connemarathon, as it has affectionately come to be known. Not to be overshadowed by the Dubliners, Connacht will be well represented with over 1,000 people taking on this challenging race. This year’s event was a complete sell-out and is set to be the biggest yet, with over 4,000 runners, joggers and walkers, from 40 countries taking on this challenging route. Over 400 international participants from as far as New Zealand, Japan, Kenya and almost every state in America will travel to Connemara to take on this difficult race. Participants range from ages 18 to 81 years and many are completing the race to raise much-needed funds for local charities. The Connemarathan comprises of the popular half (13.1 mile), the traditional full (26.2 mile) and the gruelling ultra (39.3 mile) marathons. The course meanders past bogs, hills, lakes, and the Twelve Pin mountains rising up over the great expanse of Killary Lough, through the quiet village of Leenaun, around the Maam Turk Mountains and all the way back up to Maam Cross, where the races finish. The ultra marathon, launched in 2004, is Ireland’s only on-road ultra distance race with an impressive 110 people set to participate. Surprisingly, another 15% of all participants are walkers.