WEST Cork’s seven inhabited islands will each host a run this summer.
A 5k will take place on Cape Clear (3rd August), Heir Island (10th August) and Whiddy Island (28th September), while the Bantry Bay Adventure Race on 31st August involves an island run as well as kayaking on Bantry Bay and cycling on the Sheep’s Head peninsula.
Bere Island’s Midsummer Run (13th July) and Sherkin’s Do Run Run (24th August) are already firm favourites with Cork runners, and the weekly Bere Island parkrun – named as one of the best parkruns in the world – regularly attracts visitors from across the world to run, jog, or walk an island route.
‘The active islands events are a great way of bringing islanders and visitors together’, says Sherkin Island’s Aisling Moran. ‘Whether people are running, jogging, sailing, or hiking on the islands’ trails, they have the chance to mix with islanders as well as take in the spectacular views.’
Regattas on Sherkin and Heir are annual events popular with the sailing community, but islanders are also seeing a strong rise in the number of visitors coming to stay on the islands to make the most of their walking trails.
Whiddy Island’s Tim O’Leary, who provides guided walks on Whiddy Island every bank holiday weekend throughout the year said: ‘Each island has its own distinct character and terrain and people really enjoy discovering that for themselves.
‘When the Bantry Bay Adventure Race takes place or when people come out to visit for a family walk, people are absolutely in awe of the fantastic views and the peace they find here. The island setting added a whole new dimension to the experience. There’s definitely growing interest in events that give people the chance to explore our bays and islands.’
The ‘active islands’ concept captures the work done to date by the West Cork Islands Community Sports Hub, a Sport Ireland initiative coordinated by Cork Sports Partnership and supported locally by the island communities. All events are part of the Summer on the Islands programme.
To find out more about the programme on offer, see http://westcorkislands.com/active-islands. People who pre-register for the events at https://eventmaster.ie/event/rqmhPmS9y will receive a West Cork Islands Run Series T-shirt.
Bandon Co-Op is delighted to be involved with and supporting many local community groups all over West Cork. This video encapsulates some of the wonderful people that we have the pleasure of dealing with #TogetherStrongerWestCork