Both the half marathon and full marathons start together from the scenic Marina in Dingle Town with all participants heading off together in the direction of Ventry and onto Slea Head. The scenery is truly breathtaking with magnificent views of the Blasket Islands.
On leaving Dingle, participants pass over Milltown Bridge, past the woodlands at Burnham to the seaside village of Ventry where they get panoramic views of the long, curved strand of the stunning blue flag beach. On leaving Ventry the course continues westward, past Dunbeg Fort, and continuing with a sheer cliff on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other. At Fahan the road crosses a ford where a water stream is magically redirected from the road to avoid runners wetting their feet! This is the only day in the year that water does not pass over the road ford. The course then reaches Slea Head itself, marked by a stone crucifixion scene, with dramatic views to South Kerry and the Blasket Islands. The course then follows the coast north, past the iconic Coumenoole Strand, where some of the filming of Ryan’s Daughter took place and on to Dunquin village.
The Full Marathon continues north and east from Dunquin through to wild open countryside, moving inland to the village of Ballyferriter. The spectacular scenery continues to keep the spirits alive and once you are through the beautiful village of Ballyferriter, your journey continues on with some very special views of Murreagh. A challenging part of the course lies ahead, with a tough uphill climb around mile 22 so be prepared to keep some fuel in the tank. Once you have conquered this section, you will be at a point where you can see over the entire landscape, covering a long straight stretch before returning to the finish line at the Dingle Marina. The Full Marathon has a number of challenging sections but it is however a hugely rewarding achievement.