Photo: Niall Foley Aisling Devitt on her way to victory

A new ultramarathon run held in the Reeks District proved to be a huge success over the weekend with 73 runners heading to Killorglin for the all-new Killorglin 12 to 12 race.

Billed as the ‘longest day in the Irish running calendar’, the Killorglin 12 to 12 took place from noon to midnight with runners taking on a 6.5km loop set in the gorgeous countryside around the town and against the backdrop of Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain with the aim being to complete as many laps as possible in the allowed time.

First place in the men’s race went to Mark O’Mahony who completed 19 laps (123.5km) in 11 hours and 40 minutes, holding off Ed Payne who completed the same amount of laps in the longer time of 11:54. Third place saw Tomas De Faoite clock up 18 laps in 11:30.

Aisling Devitt triumphed in the women’s race completing 15 laps (97.5km) in 11:04, followed by Catherine Gutherie (13 laps in 09:52) and Catherine O’Neill (7 laps in 7:58).
A relay version of the race was won by the Glenageenty Loopers/Kilflynn Runners who completed 22 laps (143km) in 11:41

A parallel six-hour race also took place from 6pm to midnight with runners fighting it out in the shorter format. Aoife Mundowwon the overall race post an astonishing 10 laps (65km) in 5:38, while Mark Quigley took first place in the men’s race after completing 9 laps (58.5km) in 5:35.

The race, organised by the team behind the highly popular Kerry Way Ultra saw a host of supporters in camper vans and cars set up ‘aid stations’ for their runners in the heart of Killorglin creating a fun atmosphere in one of the first major races to take place since Covid-19 regulations were relaxed. Throughout the race appropriate social distancing measures were taken by organisers, runners and crew.

Race Director Eileen Daly of the Kerry Way Ultra said: “We’re pleased to say that the first hosting of the Killorglin 12 to 12 proved to be a great success. Well done to all the runners who took part, pushing themselves to the limit both physically and mentally. Timed races provide particular challenges thanks to the looped course and all participants tested themselves to extreme levels.

“We hope the Killorglin 12 to 12 will become a fixture on the Irish ultrarunning calendar and have plans to potentially extend its reach in 2022.”

Chair of the Reeks District Jens Bachem said: “The Killorglin 12 to 12 saw runners at the top of their game take on this challenging loop format set in beautiful scenery under the watchful eye of Carrauntoohil. We look forward to welcoming the race as an annual event in Killorglin and are excited to see the race grow in future years.”

Full results for the race can be found here.