The trip begins with a welcome brunch in the heart of Dublin, giving everyone the opportunity to meet each other and discuss everything that we’ve got in store for the coming week. Once well fed we will head northwest across the country to the Atlantic coast and County Sligo, our base for the first two nights. You’ll arrive to sea views, the smell of salt on the air and beautiful views of the mountains around the bay. No scheduled running today, but instead more eating with a hearty Irish dinner to prepare for run one tomorrow!
Running: No scheduled run Meals: LD included
DAY 2: A CELTIC QUEEN & ACTIVE RECOVERY
After a light pre-run breakfast we will head off on our first run on Knocknarea, a beautiful hill that stands sentry over the Sligo coastline with views for miles around. We will tell you all about the legend of Queen Meadhbh (and tell you how to pronounce her name!) whose shrine tops of the hill. A great mixture of trail and country roads on this run that will finish with lunch by the beach! Weather permitting (you’ll hear this phrase a few times whilst in Ireland) we will cure any post-run aches with a dip in the Atlantic for some surfing lessons! This area has some of the best surfing in Ireland and indeed Europe - don’t worry wetsuit provided!
Running: 6.5 miles, trail & pavement Meals: BLD included
DAY 3: A HORSESHOE, A BEACH, A FEAST!
After breakfast we will head out for a short drive to our second run in the heart of the local Dartry Mountains at the Gleniff Horseshoe. Another route steeped in folklore with stunning views of the glacially formed valleys and cliffs along the way. Our finish line is by another beach – this time Mullaghmore, a stunning beach and headland. After the run we will drive to County Cavan/Fermanagh, right on the border with Northern Ireland, for our accommodation and dinner for the night at the restaurant of one of Ireland’s most famous chefs. Make sure you’re hungry – there are 8 sublime courses coming your way!
Running: Up to 12 miles, pavement Meals: BLD included
DAY 4: GEOLOGY ROCKS & A SUBTERRANEAN BOAT TRIP
After breakfast we will drive a short distance across the border into Northern Ireland to the Marble Arch Caves Geopark in County Fermangh. A protected area of outstanding geological and natural importance featuring limestone rock formations carved by glaciers and rivers over millennia and pristine blanket bog ecosystems. We will run a great section of trail taking in quiet farmland, the beautiful grounds of an old stately home, and great views of the surrounding landscape. We finish at the Marble Arch Caves themselves for lunch and a boat tour through the limestone caves. There are miles to explore and we will learn our stalactites from our stalagmites during the tour before driving onwards to Donegal in the evening to the village of Carrick – our base for the next two nights.
Running: Up to 9 miles, trail Meals: BLD included
DAY 5: THOSE "OTHER" CLIFFS OF IRELAND
The Cliffs of Moher may be Ireland’s most famous cliffs but they aren’t the biggest. Sliabh Liag tower over 3 times higher than the Cliffs of Moher and – on a clear day! – the cliffs command views of a vast section of beautiful coastline. After breakfast we will head off on an epic run following the cliffs with some great single track, some interpretive bog sections (!), and endless views of windswept terrain all the way to our finish line at the postcard perfect Malin Beag beach: a run that will last long in the memory. Lunch awaits at the run finish and then the afternoon is free to rest up and explore the village, and perhaps learn a bit of Gaeilge in nearby Teelin Gaeltacht (Irish speaking area) before another hearty dinner at a local pub.
Running: 10 miles, 2000ft elevation gain, trail Meals: BLD included
DAY 6: GLENCOLMKILLE
Leaving Carrick after breakfast a short drive takes us to beautiful Glencolmkille, an area steeped in thousands of years of history. Our run today really has a bit of everything, quiet country roads, grassy tracks, farm lanes, ups and downs, and, perhaps the highlight, views of the stunning Sturrall Ridge jutting out into the Atlantic and only accessible by foot! We will learn some history and lore along the way and finish with a pub lunch before our drive further north the to village of Gweedore. Reserve some energy for another bit of active recovery with an optional evening kayak to explore some of the stunning local coastline.
Running: 8 miles, 1000ft elevation, trail & some pavement Meals: BLD included
DAY 7: A CASTLE TO VISIT, A CASTLE TO STAY IN
After breakfast a short drive takes us to the stunning Glenveagh National Park in the heart of Donegal. Over 40,000 acres of pristine lakes, rugged mountains and beautiful forests centred around a 19th century castle. Our run takes us right through the centre of the park along the shores of Lough Veagh, past the castle (you’ll have time to stop and explore!), and through some beautiful native woodland and – if you’re lucky! – maybe spot some Irish Red Deer or a Golden Eagle. A fairly cruise-y run with not much elevation to round off a big week! A picnic lunch awaits at the finish line before a drive to a special accommodation to finish off the trip on the shores of Drongawn Lough on the north coast of Donegal. We will have a manor house all to ourselves for a special evening banquet dinner and even some time explore nearby Letterkenny for a post-dinner pub crawl if legs still have energy!
Running: 7 miles, trail/pavement Meals: BLD included
DAY 8: DEPARTURE
After breakfast our transport will take us back to Dublin airport aiming to arrive at the airport by 1pm for afternoon and evening flights onwards, or transport options into Dublin.