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Quadrathon 2023 A brief review

Updated: Sep 6, 2023

Written by Alan Wong Eagle A.C. September 2023



Event Background

The Quadrathon is a multi-day event where you can do up to 4 marathons or 4 half marathons in the scenic countryside of Donegal.


My Motivations

I decided to enter this years quadrathon as I needed a challenge and a goal to work towards getting my fitness back as I had a bad 2022 with several injuries (sprains/fracture) that required a long recovery time.

This was my second time entering of the quadrathon the first being 2018.

I am also working toward the 100 marathon goal and what quicker way to add to the total than by doing 4 in 4 days.


Preparation, Training and Nutrition

My training started in April and involved a mixture of 3-5 days a week running, racing the Eagle Summer series and doing several half and full marathons in between.

The main focus of my training has been time on my feet and not get injured.

Nutrition and fuelling has also been on this event as I have always struggled with taking enough food and electrolytes in during a race. I spent the early part of the year testing and trailing my foods to ensure I could take on board enough food on the course and that I would not have an side effects.

The quadrathon is difficult as it is mostly self supported carrying the majority of your supplies on you with a drop bag for the halfway. After a few tough races earlier on in the year and running out of energy meant I needed to make sure I kept to a schedule.


This year I used

  • Camelbak Ultra Pro backpack

  • Mizuno Wave Rider 25

  • Shokz Open Run Pro

  • Maurten gel 100

  • Maurten gel 100 Caf 100 – Unfortunately I couldn’t use these as I was struggling to stomach them on the day

  • Hi5 electrolyte tablets

  • Precision hydration Electrolyte capsules – taken during and after for recovery

  • Lucozade sport



Daily Recovery

Running multi day events require effective rest, recovery and nutrition to be able to get up the next day and still be able to move. As the days continued small aches and pains that you can normally ignore start to compound to cause a more serious issue.

For the first 2 days the body was recovering well but by day 3 & 4 getting up out of bed was starting to become a struggle with calves and core starting to pain.

To combat this Ice baths (showers) each day where I applied large bags of ice to the affected areas along with the massage gun several times each evening.

Eating everything you can get your hands on each evening also helps, large protein filled roasts with several starters to go with it helps with the fatigue.


Pre Race


Race numbers and packs are collected the day before and include a detailed guide to the next few days. The pack includes T-shirt, race information, hard copy maps of the route and course profile, race number and goodie pack.

Timing is done via manual race chip – This chip is recorded and checks you in at the start, middle and end of the race



The Races

The races take pace in Donegal and cover several areas Kinnego Bay, Malin Head, Mamore and Muff.



Day 1 – Kinnego Bay Marathon


This race travels from Moville to Malin town, taking in some of the lovely coast line and rolling hills. Being Donegal we had some unpredictable weather, the day started out cool but turned into a day where without suncream you would be burnt.

Luckily the event marshalls along the course had bottles of water if needed and the odd snack here or there.



Day 2 – Malin Head Marathon


The Malin head marathon travels around Malin head where you get to enjoy more of the countryside and where you can see one of the most northerly points in Ireland.

Unfortunately on this day we had a change in the weather. We had wind, a head wind pushing against us for nearly the whole race, and when I say wind at one point it felt like I was slowing down when running down a hill.

One of the highlights of the race was running through the hills and seeing fields of Alpacas.



Day 3 – Mamore Marathon


Mamore marathon is a relatively flat marathon travelling between Malin and Buncrana except for 1 minor hump in the road.

Today started out a bit difficult, fatigue has started to creep in and the muscles are feeling a bit stiff. It took a fair few kms before everything started to loosen up. Rain was the weather of the day we had several hours of torrential rain at the start which made everything heavy.


Luckily it cleared up just in time for The Gap of Mamore, this section of the marathon at approximately mile 16 you climb approx. 250m in the space of 2km. The Gap seemed endless but once you got to the top you had to come back down.




Day 4 – Muff Marathon


The final day you travel from Buncrana to Moville completing the loop of Donegal.

The excitement of the final day makes everything a bit easier. As everyone lines up at the start line we’re glad its only 42.2km to go.

Weather on this day was the best day we had, cool, lightly sunny and no wind or rain.

This marathon was the easiest course by far as the overall elevation gain was ~300m spread over the course with no major hills.

Crossing the finish line on this day was the best feeling. Having spent the last 3 days battling the elements and mental fatigue I was glad it was completed.




Medal Presentation

Each day we were presented with a unique colourised medal unique to each area, these hard earned medals are then pieced together on the last day to create a free standing plaque that encompasses the size of the challenge that was just completed.




Overall Results



After race care

After each day there was hot food and sandwiches. On the last day a full hot meal was provided for all competitors. Each day there was a physio on site if you needed a quick massage to work out the race knots.



Competitors

Throughout the races I met some interesting people. The people that enter range from runners to walkers with the event having early start times to accommodate walkers. I met everyone from first timers to people that have done the race several times.



Future plans

My next goal is to build back up my speed and fitness to try get my marathon time down back to my pre injury levels. I would also like to try get back into ultra marathon running 50-100km distances with maybe a triathlon in the next few years.


Final Thoughts

Special thanks goes to the organisers of the race Harold and all of the martials who were on the course some of which were out on the course for 7+hrs. Without them the event would not be able to be ran.

For anyone who is interested in the race I would highly recommend it as it provides a great challenge and the chance to see a wonderful area and meet some interesting people.

If you don’t feel up to the full you can do the halves which encompass the best/hardest parts of the full marathon courses or even come up and do just 1 (Mamore)




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