Lonely Planet Writer

Runners rejoice: a fitness festival in one of the most beautiful locations in the world

If you want to get active in one of the most beautiful parts of the world – and you’re prepared to put up with the inevitability of April showers – the Dingle Running and Fitness Festival, 2017, in County Kerry, Ireland is one for the calendar.

Dunquin Pier on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland.
Dunquin Pier on the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland. Image by ©Lukasz Pajor/Shutterstock

Kicking off on 22 April, this is a family fun-filled weekend of races (some 5k, some 10k), seminars with sports stars, workshops and plenty more. The best thing about it? It’s set against one of the best backdrops that Ireland has to offer; the Dingle Peninsula. Most events will take place in the bustling town – and when you’ve crossed the finish line you have over 56 pubs to choose from for your celebratory pint – while the races themselves will take you out around the peninsula.

Image by: Tourism Ireland
The town is home to over 56 pubs.  Image by: Tourism Ireland

The ten-mile race starts and ends in Dingle town, offering a scenic route out towards the crescent-shaped Ventry Beach. The 10k race goes in another direction, through a valley and over a hill where the views will take your breath away (if the running hasn’t already done that for you).

Ventry Beach
The race runs past the scenic Ventry Beach.  Image by Tourism Ireland

This is the festival’s second year running; we spoke to the chief organiser Shane Finn who says it’s a big draw for fitness enthusiasts and families with young kids in particular. “It’s a massive draw for tourists too; last year – it was our first year – we had over 450 tourists sign up and take part.” This year, it’s expected to be even bigger. There will be talks on nutrition for performance, nutrition for weight loss, strength training for athletes and sports and keynote speakers who will share their stories of how running changed their life. Tickets start from €16 for the 5k race and go up to €29.40 for the ten mile race. Sign-up is still open. The perfect way to get active in unforgettable surroundings.

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