Slievenamuck Walking Marathon and Half Marathon, Sunday April 9th, 2017
This very successful walking Marathon and half Marathon, held annually on Palm Sunday since 2009, provides a unique opportunity to traverse the whole of this ancient Ridge over a distance of 42km. The figure of eight route is largely forest track, forming two loops, east and west, and taking in both the north and south sides of the ridge, with some gentle ascents of no more than 360m at the highest. Over recent years a number of runners have also taken part and anyone who wishes to run the route will be facilitated.
Preparation and training is essential in advance. It is also important that participants come with appropriate clothing and footwear for all weathers and have some nourishing snacks to sustain them.
The trail is well marked by black arrows on white discs.
There are three checkpoints which are:
1. Rock an Thorabh car park which is the start and finish point and also the half-way point for the full Marathon.
2. Bansha Woods at the most easterly end of the route.
3. Moor Abbey at the most westerly end of the route.
A medal and certificate will be presented to all who complete the event.
Full Marathon participants must check through the halfway point no later than 1:00 pm.
Sign-in begins at 8:00am and the Marathon gets under way at 9:00am.
The cost to participate is 20 euro.
View map of route. ( Route may be subject to minor changes. Always follow the direction arrows.)
Download GPX file of marathon route
Enquiries to Rody Tierney, 087 2893505.
RegistrationFee: 20 euro.
Online registration is now closed but you can still register at the event on Sunday morning. If you wish you can print and fill in the paper Registration Form and bring it wit you in the morning to speed up the registration process.
How to get thereThe walk starts at Rock an Tarbh Car Park which is across the road from the upper entrance to Aherlow House Hotel. This is on the R664 which is the road from Tipperary Town to the Glen of Aherlow. The Irish Grid reference is R 879 313 and the GPS coordinates are 52.433° N, 8.178° W. See map
People coming from the west should take the R664 from the traffic lights in the centre of Tipperary town and follow the road to the top of the Slievenamuck Ridge.
If coming from the south of the country take the road from Mitchelstown to Galbally and from there take the R663 to the Glen of Aherlow. Turn left on to the R664 at the Tourist office following the sign for the Nature Park. Rock an Tarbh Car Park is about 1km beyond the statue on the hairpin bend.
Anyone coming from the east of the country should take the N24 from Cahir and at Bansha Village turn left on to the Galbally road, the R663. Turn right on to the R664 at the Tourist office in the Glen of Aherlow following the sign for the Nature Park. Rock an Tarbh Car Park is about 1km beyond the statue on the hairpin bend.
Where to StayFor excellent value accommodation in the area, contact Helen Morrisey at the Aherlow Tourist Office in the Glen of Aherlow on 086 8314443 or go to the Accommodation Page on the Aherlow Failte website.
Background InformationGeologically a fragment of the Galtee mountains, Slievenamuck or Hill of the Pig, derives its name from the feats of Finn MacCumhall who, in days of yore, speared the vicious sow, Beo, thus liberating the good people of the Glen of Aherlow.
More than just a challenging walk, the route provides a unique opportunity to follow in the footsteps of our ancient forebears whose 2,000 year history is scattered around the fields and paths in the form of megalithic tombs, bullaun stones, ruined castles and abbeys as well as a famous mass rock from penal days, a ring fort and an impressive ogham stone. The route is also home to a herd of wild goats whose scent is especially pungent around the rock area!
Walkers will also be interested to know that part of their route will take in some of the Ballyhoura Way and the historic 17th century O’Suilleabhain Beara Way, which crosses over the ridge. The famous 19th century Bianconi also took the first mail coaches up over these hills on route to Tipperary.
Most spectacular are the views afforded on the way, where all three mountain ranges are visible, from our own beloved Galtees to the south, through southeast to the Knockmealdowns and Comeraghs, to the magical Slievenamon in the north east. Looking north/northwest across the plains of Tipperary, the Slievefelims and Keeper Hill are visible, while Sliabh Riadh guards the western entrance.