Sunday, July 5, 2009

Exclusive photos from Achill's 2009 half-marathon!

As promised here are some pics from Achill's 2009 half-marathon. Over 2000 tense entrants lined up at the start this year at Keel village. There was excitement in the air too as bagpipers marched the entrants to the start line.
I watched them set off then shot round to Dugort village to be ready for the leader coming through. First though I slipped into the cafe there and sampled an excellent seafood chowder and was sipping my cappucino when somebody excitedly announced the leader was coming through.
And there he was storming through like a gazelle, nobody else in sight. So, I positioned myself by a nice race marshall (Clare Sweeney from Achill) and cheered and clapped and took photos from every angle possible.
They came through in a myriad outfits, some black, some fluoroscent and some bedraggled. It poured down then the sun came out, and the sky turned blue as they came pounding through in hordes with smiles and waves and ready quips.
It was brilliant. My hands ached with clapping for two hours or more, and my shutter finger was sore; so bad in fact that I had to retire back inside the cafe for fortification with another bowl of seafood chowder brimming with salmon and coley.
I don't know who won. It doesn't matter. As the old cliché goes - It's the taking part that matters. I'm glad I did. And, having recovered, I'll be back next year for more!
I just rememered - Achill Seafood Festival is fast approaching! - 9 - 13th July - then it Ireland's 1st National Powerboat Games that are being held here at Achill and the games are centred around the new island bridge. I can't wait!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Achill Half-Marathon

Achill holds its half-marathon race tomorrow, Saturday, 4th July. It starts at 11am. Though not an entrant I shall be participating in my own way: I shall drive down to the start in keel and take some photos and hopefully be inspired to write some verse about the event. So watch this space for a report and photos on the race!
For now, here's a photo of cyclists, another outdoor activity proving very popular on Achill island, there being a number of loop routes and amenities such as cycle-parking spots and picnic tables and info boards to make the experience very pleasant.
I may even get a cycle myself and freewheel along the Atlantic drive! With my camera packed ready, of course!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Achill 2011 Calendar Digital Photo Comp

The 2nd Achill Calendar Digital Photography Competition is now running. Organised by St Colmans Care Centre, Keel, Achill, it is open to all Amateur Digital Photographers. The winning entries will feature in the Achill 2011 Calendar. There are some great prizes on offer including a beefy top cash prize of 500 Euros! Well worth getting your camera out for I'd say and it's only 10 Euros to enter. The theme this year is 'Onshore and Offshore, Silence and Sounds' so plenty of scope there for interpretation and creativity. Get clicking and pick up a form pretty snappy if you want to be in with a chance. If you're not in you can't win as they say! You have until October 31st to submit your entry. You can pick up an entry form from Achill Tourism, Cashel, Achill or visit them online for details at Good luck!