Kerry training weekend

In 2006, Barry Minnock began an informal tradition within the Irish Mountain Running Association that was to gain in popularity quickly: an early Spring “Kerry training weekend”. Starting out with a weekend of running in close to mighty Brandon mountain, the event moved to Killarney in the heart of MacGillycuddy’s Reeks and began to feature a regular run up Ireland’s highest mountain Carrauntoohil.

Flash-forward to 2011 and Aoife, Jason and René decided to bring back the event which had been on a hiatus since Barry Minnock decided to take a break from organising it. To ring some small changes, we picked the sea-side village of Kenmare for the training weekend which in the end was attended by more than thirty mountain runners and multi-sport athletes.

We had an extensive programme (all optional) lined up and while a few hardcore souls did everything most cherry-picked their way through four sunny days or setup alternative activities such as rock-climbing, biking and kayaking (as well as the odd sea-side dip) to supplement the main running events. Kenmare and Kerry has a tremendous amount to offer for any outdoor athlete and the joy is further emphasized when doing it as part of a group.

To help inspire you to put together your own holiday, or wet your appetite for “2012 Kerry training weekend”, we will feature a series of blog entries looking back at each of our events. Our basic itinerary looked like this:

  • Friday: Good Friday 5 mile race in Killarney
  • Saturday: morning jog and “speed workshop” (am) and Carrauntoohil race route mountain run (pm)
  • Sunday: morning jog and yoga (am) and Kerry Way long run (Torc Waterfall to Kenmare with detour of Lord Brandon’s Cottage – coffee shop!)
  • Monday: Glanageenty Trail run with former mountain running world champion John Lenihan
We capped off each evening with a group trip to the local restaurants (we dined at O’Donnabhain’s Restaurant and The Lime Tree) and, of course, some fun and frolics. The group stayed in self-catering cottages (really houses) in the Kenmare Holiday Village on Sneem Road with 4-5 people sharing a house. This worked well, allowing us to stay in a small contained area close to the natural surroundings with good facilities for everyone and plenty of opportunity to socialise and conduct warm-up sessions on the grassy lawns in front and the small gardens behind the cottages.
If this sounds like your idea of a holiday keep an eye out in our blog section over the next  where we’ll talk in detail about how we organised each day, what we did and how it turned out in the end.
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Director and coach at Borg Coaching Services
Rene Borg is the head coach of Glendalough AC and a passionate runner competing over all distances and terrains.

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