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Sea2Summit back with a bang in Westport

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RECORD BREAKER Winner of the Spirit Race Caroline McLoughlin, from Keel, Achill, and Westport Leisure Park, smashed the record time by five minutes when crossing the finish line at Westport Sea2Summit. Pic: John Mee Photography

Westport Leisure Park colleagues win Spirit races

It was a like an old friend coming back home again! From 1pm on Friday afternoon, competitors from far and wide started to arrive into Westport town in their droves.After a two-year break due to Covid, the excitement and anticipation could be felt everywhere you went in Westport, from the businesses in town, to the locals, to the competitors themselves. After months of training and hard work the day had finally arrived.
Last Saturday morning, over 2,000 competitors endured the ultimate test of mind, body and spirit in Westport Sea2Summit, the last adventure race of the season and the largest in the country.
The worthy winner of the Supreme Event was previous champion Shaun Stewart who finished in a time of 2:49:32. The Donegal man was back for his sixth year (having previously finished in first place in 2018 and twice in second place on previous occasions). Shaun and fellow Donegal man Declan Ferry had a close battle throughout, with Shaun pulling away on the final run with a comprehensive win at the finish line. Shaun commented: “It’s good to be back here. It was a funny kind of race; it was very hard at the start. I gained time on the way down from the Reek and myself and Declan worked hard together on the bike. It was very windy out there today. I’m absolutely delighted! “First Supreme Lady over the Line was Kerry native Ellen Vitting, who finished in a phenomenal a time of 3:15:04.

Paul gets over the line
The race for first place in the Men’s Spirit was a very tight race between local man Paul Feeney and Galway native Lonan O Farrell, with Paul crossing the finish line in first place. Paul has been on the podium a few times over the years, but this is his first year to gain the top spot. Paul commented: “The last couple of years have been very close so I’m thrilled to win it this year. There was a great group of us out there on the bike and we worked really well together. It was very hard coming down the reek but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.”
The first lady home in the Spirit event was Keel local Caroline McLoughlin who smashed the previous record by five minutes. Caroline had a fantastic year of racing, fresh off the Dublin City Marathon only two weeks ago.
Caroline commented: “That was savage! The first run I went hard and just tried to hold on from there.” Westport Leisure Park will have double celebrations with colleagues Caroline and Paul both winning the top spot in the spirit race.
The charity partner for this year’s race was Focus Ireland. Focus Ireland is a national voluntary organisation that works with people who are homeless or are at risk of losing their homes across Ireland. The charity offers individuals and families advice, support, education, and housing in an effort to help people to have and keep a home.

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Full race results are also available on www.westportsea2summit.ie.