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Local mountain runner preparing for 176km French race

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney-based mountain runner Joe O’Leary used last weekend’s Skyline Reeks race as one of his preparation events for next month’s Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc.

Competitive mountain running returned to the McGillcuddy Reeks last Saturday and while the 30km course may sound difficult to the uninitiated, O’Leary has his eye on the 176km French classic which takes place from August 22 to 29.

On Saturday members of the Irish Mountain Runners Association ran, climbed and scrambled from Cronin’s Yard, in blistering heat over Cruach Mhór (933m), The Big Gun, Cnoc na Péiste, (988m), Maolán Buí (973m), Cnoc an Chuillinn (926m), summiting Carrauntoohil (1039m), in blistering heat, and onto Binn Chaorach (1010m) and back to Cronin’s Yard via Croc Broinne (854m).

The event was hosted by Munster Mountain Runners Association and organised by Robbie Williams and his volunteer crew.

O’Leary completed the course in 05hrs 05mins 08secs.

Such was the heat and conditions, his time was considerably slower than his previous efforts in the race.

“I easily lost 20 minutes, maybe 30,” O’Leary told the Killarney Advertiser. “It was horrendous, everyone suffered [in the heat].”

The event was won by Ruairí Long in a time of 03hrs 58mins and 41 seconds.

Rosy Temple was the first lady competitor to finish in an unbelievable time of 05hrs 41mins 33secs.
Kevin Leahy was the best local in a time of 04hrs 51mins 08secs.

O’Leary is one of Ireland’s top mountain runners. He is currently preparing for the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc a 176km mountain race in the French, Italian and Swiss Alps. He will race as high a 10,000 metres during that event and it is his second time competing in it having previously done the 160km version two years ago. On that occasion he ran for 28 hours almost non-stop.

He also tackled a night marathon in the Ballyhoura Forest Complex on Friday night before repeating the same course in daylight on Saturday morning.

“I'm doing the night race and the day race back-to-back as practice,” he added.

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Dan Tim to drive sheep over London bridge

London-based South Kerry man, Dan Tim O’Sullivan, will exercise his rights as a Freeman of the city by herding sheep over a London bridge on Sunday. Mr O’Sullivan from Kells, was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2019, in recognition for his work in the construction industry. He employs over one thousand […]

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London-based South Kerry man, Dan Tim O’Sullivan, will exercise his rights as a Freeman of the city by herding sheep over a London bridge on Sunday.

Mr O’Sullivan from Kells, was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2019, in recognition for his work in the construction industry.

He employs over one thousand people through his labour hire firm ‘Danny Sullivan and Sons’, and has employed countless Kerry people, many of them from his native South Kerry, since its foundation in the mid-1980s.

The Freedom of the City of London allows the bearer to herd one hundred sheep over the landmark Tower Bridge.

However, logistical issues and traffic management plans mean the number of sheep has been reduced to less than 10 and the event will now take place over nearby Southwark Bridge.

London-based news channels, including the BBC, are expected to cover the event while hundreds of his family and friends from South Kerry will be in London to witness the unique event.

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BIG CELEBRATION

Well-known Killarney man, Donncha Crowley, who lives in Woodlawn Park, was joined by his friends and staff from Centra, Muckross Road, to help him celebrate his very special 50th birthday on Saturday. Donncha is a keen cyclist, and well-known for his mastership of Suduko, and expertise on puzzles and general knowledge quizzes, winning many competitions […]

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Well-known Killarney man, Donncha Crowley, who lives in Woodlawn Park, was joined by his friends and staff from Centra, Muckross Road, to help him celebrate his very special 50th birthday on Saturday. Donncha is a keen cyclist, and well-known for his mastership of Suduko, and expertise on puzzles and general knowledge quizzes, winning many competitions down through the years. Photo: Valerie O’Sullivan

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