• What you need to know: Loop Head Run

    Prepare to be blown away : March 19th : Loop Head, Co Clare

  • What you need to know: Loop Head Run

    Prepare to be blown away : March 19th : Loop Head, Co Clare

  • What you need to know: Loop Head Run

    Prepare to be blown away : March 19th : Loop Head, Co Clare

Introduction

Loop Head was named a location of Outstanding Natural Beauty by the EDEN (European Destination of Excellence) award in 2010, and it isn’t difficult to see why. Jutting bravely out onto the Atlantic Ocean and at the mercy of the relentless wind and waves, Loop Head is as challenging as it is beautiful.

The wilderness of the peninsula will leave you alone to grapple with the limits of your mind and body while the ferocious weather will prove an extra challenge. Once you finish the race, take the chance to explore the region, soak up the culture and tradition, and experience the warmth of the region’s friendly and accommodating people.

The Wild Atlantic Run on the Loop Head Peninsula curves along stunning coastal paths and roads under the shadow of the famous Loop Head lighthouse. And at the end of your invigorating day of running, take the time to gaze up at the night’s unobstructed sky, at one of the only places in Ireland you can view the constellations and any meteor showers with perfect clarity (rain showers permitting!).

Getting Here

By Car

If you want to experience the Irish landscape, from its countryside to its tiny, multi-coloured towns, then driving is a must. Make sure it’s not too nice a car though, as it may get loaded with muddy gear on the way back! If you have a lot of gear, then a car is a good option, as you don’t have to worry about lugging your entire luggage with you as you go.

FROM DUBLIN (317km)
The winding E20 will have you in Loop Head within 3 hours and 35 minutes. The relatively straight path across will give you a chance to view the great sights featured in the heart of the country.

SOUTH WEST (214km)
This journey will bring you around the Shannon Bay and out to the Loop Head peninsula. This will take you 3 hours flat via the N20, which links Cork to Limerick.

NORTH WEST (338km)
This five-hour long trip will take you down the west coastline of Ireland, through Sligo, Galway City and Ennis town, giving you a blast of the cities before you experience the isolation of Loop Head.

SOUTH EAST [298km]
This journey will take you through Waterford City, Clonmel and Limerick City, and will have you sitting in your car for 4 hours and a half

Air, Train & Bus

BY AIR (TO/FROM KERRY AIRPORT)
As crazy as it may seem to fly within Ireland considering its size, a flight from Dublin Airport to Kerry, plus the journey to Loop Head will take you less than an hour, and will cost less than €100 each way. More info at http://kerryairport.ie/

BY TRAIN
As county Clare has no train station, the closest train station to Loop Head is Limerick Junction. The journey from Dublin would take approximately an hour and a half, and will cost you €37.99 each way. More info at http://www.irishrail.ie/

BY BUS
Regular buses serve Ennis from Shannon Airport, Galway, Limerick, Cork and Dublin. Clare Bus Service connects routes within County Clare. More info at www.buseireann.ie, www.citylink.ie or www.clarebus.ie.

Getting Around & Parking

GETTING AROUND
This can be quite tricky as there are limited travel services available in county Clare: other than Clare Bus Service, there is no public transport available specifically for county Clare. Alternatively you can hire a car, make use of the taxi service, or hire bikes out, if you’re brave enough to rely on the Irish weather!

PARKING
In the nearby town of Kilkee, the East End car park is available during the summer months from May to September.

In Kilbaha, the most westerly town on the Loop Head peninsula, there is also free parking available at the beginning of a 15km walk to Loop Head.

More info at http://www.clarecoco.ie/roads-and-transport/parking-facilities/

The Course

THE COURSE

The Wild Atlantic Run on the Loop Head Peninsula curves along stunning coastal paths and roads towards the finish at the famous Loop Head lighthouse. And at the end of your invigorating day of running, take the time to gaze up at the night’s unobstructed sky, at one of the only places in Ireland you can view the constellations and any meteor showers with perfect clarity (rain showers permitting).

One of the most scenic runs in Europe.

10KM Route

Half-Marathon Route

The route will be a fully marshaled event and well sign-posted with traffic management in place along the course.

What To Do In The Area

The magic of county Clare lies in what there is to see, rather than what there is to do. Experience nature, history and what modern rural Ireland looks like in this humble and beautiful landscape.

NEAR LOOP HEAD

Loop Head Lighthouse
There has been a lighthouse at Loop Head since 1670, originally a signal fire on the roof of a single-storey cottage where the light keeper lived (which can still be seen on the grounds). The present tower, which stands 23 metres high, was built in 1854. The range of the light is 23 nautical miles and its ‘character’ is a white light flashing four times in 20 seconds.

Thalassotherapy
Thalassotherapy, from the Greek word ‘thalassa’, meaning sea, is the use of seawater and seaweed for therapeutic purposes, a tradition dating back to Roman times. The Kilkee Thalassotherapy Centre has won awards for the services they offer, and offer more info here: http://www.kilkeethalasso.com/

Horse Riding
There is perhaps no better way to enjoy the unique peace and laid-back pace of the Loop Head peninsula than on horseback. If you feel like saddling up, Carmen’s Riding School can offer short or long treks on quiet country roads with beautiful views over the Shannon Estuary, Poulnasherry Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. Short treks last either one or two hours, while half-day trips take a leisurely 4 to 5 hours. More info at https://www.facebook.com/CarmensRidingSchool

Bird Watching
Clare’s rural setting and clear horizon makes bird watching a rewarding exercise. Take the time to seek and spot the beautiful creatures that circle the sky over Loop Head, and keep an eye out for land and sea creatures as well: not least of all dolphins! More info at http://www.clarebirdwatching.com/

The Cliffs of Moher
These majestic cliffs are one of Ireland’s most visited sites, and zig zag along 8km of the coast of Clare. The name comes from an ancient Gaelic word ‘mothar,’ which means “ruined fort” as a 1st century BC fort stood where the Moher tower now stands. Be on the look out for landscape curiosities like the Hags Head. More info at http://www.cliffsofmoher.ie/

Bunratty Castle
See 15th and 16th century furnishings and tapestries, and learn how this medieval fortress survived the many events that unfolded in the west of Ireland, form its origins as a Viking trading camp, to the stronghold of two powerful families, to the historic site it is today. More info at http://www.shannonheritage.com/BunrattyCastleAndFolkPark/

Aillwee Caves
Don’t judge an attraction by its name – this features more than a lesson in geology. With events such as Raptor Conservation Day, a Wood Craft Village and family themed workshops, you will have loads to keep you busy before you even reach the caves – which are also stunning. More info at http://www.aillweecave.ie

The Burren
The Burren is a karst landscape, which means its surface is a lunar-like landscape of rock and cliffs. It has seven walking trails, woodland, and otters, mink and lizards cohabitate on the unusual ‘fertile-rock’ surface. More info at http://www.burrennationalpark.ie/

Where To Stay

Near Loop Head

Nolan’s B&B
This beautiful B&B is the perfect place for those that simply need a place to recline and relax after a long day of exercise. Rates are reasonable too at €35 per person sharing and €45 for a single room. Not entirely suitable for group bookings. More info at http://www.nolanskilkee.westclare.net/index.html

Glencarrig Farmhouse B&B
Although the B&B has just four rooms, they are well-decorated, homely and in a prime location. If you decide to stay here, expect a warm welcome, beautiful views of the Shannon Estuary and freshly baked food upon arrival. More info at http://www.glencarrig.ie/

Stella Maris Hotel
With fabulous coastal views and a restaurant menu packed with locally sourced food, this family-owned hotel is the closest luxury you will find near Loop Head. It is located in the heart of Kilkee and free WiFi is available. More info at http://stellamarishotel.com/

The Strand Bistro & Guesthouse
These beautiful rooms offer prime views of the Kilkee Strand Line wall and of the Loop Head peninsula. The spacious accommodation, great food, and regular events make this guesthouse unique. More info at http://www.thestrandkilkee.com/

Green Acres Caravan & Camping Park
Located at the mouth of the Shannon Estuary, this caravan park is right on the path of the Wild Atlantic Way, and serves as a perfect pit stop. If you don’t mind braving the wild west coast’s elements in exchange for amazing views and saving a few euros, then the camping option is definitely worth a look. More info at http://www.camping-ireland.ie/parks/clare/41

Kilkee Thalassotherapy Centre
Kilkee Thalassotherapy Centre is a family run health spa situated in one of Ireland’s oldest holiday resorts, Kilkee, Co. Clare. The centre has been recognised over the years for its very high standards and in 2004 was awarded ‘Best Day Spa’ in Ireland by the Irish Beauty Professional Association.
More info at Kilkeethalasso.com/welcome.html
Tel: + 353 (0) 65 9056742
[email protected]

 

Other Places in Clare

Ardsollus Farm
Stay with the owners of this cattle and horse farm for a taster of the flourishing Irish agriculture industry – their website isn’t great but the property is superb. More info at http://www.ardsollusfarm.com/

Auburn Lodge Hotel
This stunning hotel has won many awards for it’s unique look and feel, and is located in the busy town of Ennis – a good base camp for your stay in Clare because of its public transport links. Keep an eye on their website which offers great deals for midweek stays. More info at http://www.auburnlodge.com/

Ballinalacken Castle Country House Hotel
Featuring log fires and an eclectic mix of antiques that emanate a cosy warm atmosphere, this hotel emits a calm atmosphere that will delight and surprise you. The hotel also has stunning views of the surrounding area, and sells a small number of works from local artists, for those who wish to bring a more meaningful souvenir back with them. More info at http://www.ballinalackencastle.com/

The Atlantic Hotel
This hotel is located in the north of Clare in the popular seaside village of Lahinch. The friendliness of the staff, the proximity to golf courses and attractions of Clare make it convenient, and affordable. More info at http://www.atlantichotel.ie/

Armada Hotel
Although twice the price of other accommodation, and located a fir bit away from Loop Head, the Armada Hotel has so many wonderful features it’s worth considering. Right on the doorstep of Spanish Point beach, stylish and luxurious rooms that you won’t forget, and local, luxury foods. The Tranquillity Suites would be perfect for recovery after the race! More info at www.armadahotel.com

FAQs

Entry Fee: Half Marathon & 10K

Until January 1, 2016, the entry fee for the half-marathon is €50 (excluding online-booking fee) after which it will be €57, excluding online booking fee. A ‘buddy rate’ of €75 will be available until March 1 2016 date, for two runners, after which it will be €90 (buddy rates quoted also exclude the online booking fee), and a Three’s A Crowd Ticket available at €109, including all ticket fees.

The 10K run fee Early Bird price is €22 until February 19th 2016, and from then on €27 excluding booking fees.

There is a Event Series Ticket 2016 available for all three Wild Atlantic Run Half-Marathons for €125 including booking fees.

The entry fee covers;

  • The Race Organisation, including Race Logistics along the route.
  • Water Stations
  • Portaloos at the start and finish
  • Medical Personnel, Race Doctor, and Assistance on route
  • Finisher’s medal
  • Finisher’s tee shirt
  • Refreshment at the finish
  • Bus transfer directly to race start
  • Shuttle bus service

 

Additional Info

The start and finish areas will be closed, and the remainder of the course will be subject to some traffic. Gardaí will be present to make sure that road conditions are safe and there will be plenty of Marshals to assist. Runners are asked to keep to the LEFT side of the road at all times. The course is run mainly on local roads, and there will be plenty of warning signs directing traffic to proceed with caution.

Shuttle Bus

On the morning of the race, there will be shuttle buses at 9:00am and 9:30am from the GAA club in Kilkee to the half-marathon race start and then on to the 10km race start. After the race is finished, shuttle buses will run from the Lighthouse back to the GAA club in Kilkee.

Age Requirement

Runners must be at least 18 on the day of the race (19th March 2016) to enter the half-marathon & 10K.

Children over 7 may participate in the supervised Kid’s Wild Mile event on the Friday preceding the main events.

Refund Policy

Once you have entered the Wild Atlantic Run we are unable to offer you a refund. However, you may defer your entry to another Wild Atlantic Run event in 2016 or 2017. Entries are non-transferable.

Race Start Time

The race starts at 10AM
You must be at the start line for 9.30 AM for the race briefing.

Registration & Race Numbers

You will receive your registration via the Eventbrite website when you conclude your registration. You should print this ticket and bring with you to race registration where your ticket will be exchanged for Race Number & Timing Chip.

Registration will be open from 6pm to 9pm, on Friday the 18th of March at the Stella Maris Hotel in Kilkee. On race-day, there will be registration at the GAA club in KIlkee prior to the departure of the shuttle buses to the starting areas.

Walker or Runner?

If you will complete the Wild Atlantic Run half-marathon in less than 3 hours then you are a runner. The walkers section is for people who will walk at their normal walking pace for the whole distance.

Can I give my race number to somebody else?

Up to March 12th, entries can be transferred using the Eventbrite website, which allows for assigning an entry to another person. From that date on entries and race numbers cannot be transferred.

Water Stations

There will be water stations located along the route and at the finish line.

Leave No Trace

We operate a Leave No Trace Policy so there will bins located after the water stations for you to throw empty water bottles into. Please dispose of all rubbish (water bottles / gel wrappers, etc.) in these areas only. Please do not litter the roads.

Toilets

There will be portaloo’s on-site.

Prizes

The following categories will receive prizes:

  • first 3 men to complete the 10k
  • first 3 women to complete the 10k
  • first 3 men to cross the finish line of the Half Marathon
  • first 3 women to cross the finish line of the Half Marathon

Headphones

All personal music devices are banned for safety reasons. Marshalls must be able to communicate with runners and impart safety messages when necessary

Will the roads be closed to traffic? 

The start and finish areas will be closed, and the remainder of the course will be subject to some traffic. Gardaí will be present to make sure that road conditions are safe and there will be plenty of Marshals to assist. Runners are asked to keep to the LEFT side of the road at all times. The course is run mainly on local roads, and there will be plenty of warning signs directing traffic to proceed with caution.

First Aid Precautions

Civil Defence and the Order of Malta will be covering the event, and there are extra medical staff to assist. There is First Aid Station at the start / finish area and first aid personnel at each water station. There are ambulances on stand-by and a number of extra vehicles around the course, should they be needed.

Full Race Terms & Conditions

Click here to view the  full race Terms & Conditions.

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