TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE DONEGAL MARATHON!

first_imgOrganisers are hoping the Donegal marathon will get big numbers.We’re almost there with less than two weeks left to the hugely-awaited Donegal Marathon in Letterkenny on August 24th.But what exactly is the route, where are the hills and where runners can get a drink of water.The good people organising the marathon have completed the route (not sure if by foot or car!) and have written a virtual tour for participants and spectators. The Donegal MarathonRunners will assemble at the Aura Leisure Centre and after registration is completed, we will make our way to the Starting Line.The full marathon will comprise of three loops within the course. There is a core loop that will be run once by the half marathon competitors and twice by the full marathon competitors; a loop in and around Letterkenny town that will be run once by all competitors; and a loop that will be run once by the full marathon competitors out around the Foxhall area to the west of Letterkenny.All will be explained on this virtual tour!Spectators positioned along this course can witness the participants; your family, friends and neighbours; pitting themselves against the limits of their own endurance for up to four hours or more, from one or more locations along this course. Your support on the day could provide just the encouragement needed for the competitors to realise their dream. So let’s get behind the runners and decorate the course in a sea of Donegal colours to provide a wall of encouragement and celebration.We’re at the start line, it’s almost 10.15am, we’re under starter’s orders, facing Letterkenny… and we’re off! From here, we make our way into town to the small roundabout at the bottom of Lower Main Street, turn right over to the small roundabout at Oldtown Bridge but turn left along Pearse Road. We make our way to the junction at the bottom of Rosemount, where we turn right over towards the new Dunne’s Stores’ Roundabout. We follow the Neil T Blaney Road around to the Polestar Roundabout where we circumvent the roundabout to make our way out the Ramelton Road with Mount Errigal Hotel on our left, and through Ballyraine. We continue on this road to the small roundabout at Key’s Garage, close to Arena 7, and turn left up past the Donegal Creameries Co-op, following the road around to take us past the Church of the Irish Martyrs on the left past Gortlee Tool Hire on the right and down Gortlee Hill. At the junction, we turn right and head for the small roundabout at the old Oatfield Sweet Factory site. We continue on in the direction of the Station Roundabout with Letterkenny Shopping Centre in to our left. At the roundabout, we head towards Main Street, up past An Grianan Theatre on our right, to the traffic light junction at Letterkenny Courthouse. We continue onto Main Street and follow this road through Lower Main Street back down to Grier’s roundabout.At this point, we turn left and retrace our steps towards the Oldtown Bridge and this time at the small roundabout, we cross the bridge. At the Ros Suillighe Roundabout on the other side we turn right to take us out Crieve Road, past Crievesmith Park on our left. We are now heading out into the open country. We will follow this road for three miles, passing Rockhill House on our left, until we come to Newmills Flax Mill. Here, we continue on this side of the river through Newmills with the bridge off to our right. We make our way towards Billy’s Junction at Rashedoge.Here we turn right onto the R250, and then we turn right heading back towards Letterkenny. We will follow this road passing Conwal Graveyard and then Ballymacool Park on our left, and O’Donnell Park on our right. At the Ballymacool Roundabout we continue on towards the Aura Leisure Centre, where we will either turn right and in onto the track to complete the Half Marathon; or to complete the Full Marathon, we will continue on the main road until we come to Grier’s roundabout. At Grier’s roundabout we once again turn right and over towards Oldtown to cross the bridge and once again proceed out the Rockhill road towards Newmills. At Rashedoge, we will then turn left to run the third loop which is reserved for the full marathoners. We proceed out the R250 in the Meenaroy/ Fintown direction, past the school on the right, to turn right at “Barracks”. Continue along this narrow road, past the graveyard on the right, and on to the junction at the top of Foxhall. Here we turn left and run for 200m to a’turnaround point’ before heading back down Foxhall towards the Churchill/ Fintown junction. Here we follow the R250 back towards Letterkenny to turn right into the Aura Leisure Centre and onto the Athletics track to complete our full marathon to the cheers and congratulations of our adoring supporters (well maybe not adoring, but you get the picture!!) The bad news is that only one of you will get to break the tape in each event, but together every one of you will have created history for Donegal in establishing the Donegal Marathon in the 21st Century, and will have achieved what most ‘couch potatoes’ would consider a feat of utter madness! So well done, one and all!Whether you complete the half or full marathon, you will have earned the respect and congratulations of your fellow competitors, family, friends, neighbours, and acquaintances. You can then make your way into the centre to collect your medal, Finisher’s Pack, and avail of the free massage therapy that will be on offer. Meanwhile your family and friends will be entertained at the family fun day. Here, there will be face-painting, photo booth, outdoor music and more bouncy castles than you can shake a stick at. To the friends and family we ask you to line this route, compromising of the three loops outlined, to give your support to the runners. To the residents living along this course, we wish to apologise for any inconvenience caused, but wish to emphasise the great community endeavour that goes into such an event, and ask that you support the runners in any way you can, particularly by displaying the Donegal colours from every possible vantage point. You can even leave them there for certain upcoming matches that will take place a week later! Donegal… has it all!For more details and registration check out: www.donegalmarathon.ie where you can access a copy of the map of the course in various formats.TAKE THE VIRTUAL TOUR OF THE DONEGAL MARATHON! was last modified: August 13th, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:DONEGAL MARATHONvirtual tourlast_img read more

Marine reserves get a big boost at U.S. conference

first_imgThe Bahamas will significantly expand its marine protected area (MPA) system from 3% to more than 10% of its waters by the end of this year. They have also committed to expanding the system to 22% by 2020 and plan to use MPAs as a catalyst for the development of a “blue economy.” Chile is putting forward a new national policy to prevent and deter against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. It’s been a good few days for marine conservationists.On Monday, the island nation of Kiribati announced that it will soon end commercial fishing in the Phoenix Islands Protected Area (PIPA), a biologically-rich, California-sized swath of the Central Pacific.Yesterday, President Barack Obama announced that he will take steps to expand the Pacific Remote Islands Marine National Monument in the south-central Pacific. The protected area now covers 225,000 square kilometers, but White House officials suggest it could expand to cover some 1.8 million square kilometers, making it the largest reserve on the planet. And a number of other nations announced that they will create new reserves, expand protections for existing ones, or take other steps to protect marine life.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The bevy of announcements, which came during an “Our Ocean” conference organized by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry in Washington, D.C., are drawing positive reactions from marine scientists and activists.”Even those of us who are jaded by all of the talk over many years that hasn’t been followed up by action are seeing something different here,” says marine biologist David Guggenheim, president of Ocean Doctor, a nonprofit group based in Washington, D.C.Among the actions highlighted at the conference yesterday:Palau is creating the Palau National Marine Sanctuary, which will provide full protection to 80% of Palau’s exclusive economic zone by ending all industrial-scale fishing and exports. The 500,000-square-kilometer sanctuary will be equivalent to the size of Texas. Norway is allocating $1 billion to climate change mitigation and adaptation abroad, including substantial contributions to the Green Climate Fund; $150 million to promote sustainable fisheries abroad; and $1 million for studies on pollution involving plastic trash. The Cook Islands will expand its noncommercial fishing zone from 19 kilometers around each island to 80 kilometers and has pledged to include its northern islands in a marine park.Obama’s plan to expand the Pacific Islands reserve was greeted with relief. “Many of us in the marine community have been anxiously awaiting something from this administration that takes ocean conservation to a new level, and I think we’re seeing it right now,” Guggenheim says.The move “follows on 15 years of presidential attention on the oceans, starting with President [Bill] Clinton in 1998 with the National Oceans Conference,” notes Jason Patlis, president and CEO of the National Marine Sanctuary Foundation in Silver Spring, Maryland. “We saw it with President [George W.] Bush, and now we’re seeing it with President Obama, and it’s really great news to have this kind of leadership from the U.S. on behalf of the ocean.”The Obama administration’s move in the Pacific remote islands aims to build on protections first established in 2009 by President George W. Bush, who created the reserve under the 1906 Antiquities Act, which gives the president the authority to restrict the use of territory owned by the federal government. While the Bush administration gave protection to the 50 nautical miles surrounding the seven U.S. islands in the area, the Obama administration is moving to extend protections out 200 nautical miles from shore, to the edge of the U.S. exclusive economic zone. The action would increase the size of monument 10-fold.“The rationale for expanding these monuments from 50 to 200 nautical miles from the shoreline is not simply that big is better,” said Joshua Reichert, executive vice president of the Pew Charitable Trusts’ global environment program, in a statement. “Looked at as a whole, the expanded area is considered to harbor some of the most biologically diverse populations of marine life and intact ocean habitat in the world.” Pew has been a major force behind the creation of the Pacific reserves, working first with the Bush administration and now Obama to create and expand them.The reserve is home to a rich array of wildlife, including large predatory fishes such as commercially valuable tuna, swordfish, and marlin; five species of sea turtles; 22 species of protected marine mammals; and several million seabirds of 19 species. The reefs surrounding two of the islands—Kingman and Palmyra—are believed to contain the greatest known biomass of fish, and representation of apex predators, of any studied coral reef system on earth, according to Pew. (Palmyra is also home to a prominent marine biology research station operated by a coalition of foundations, museums, and universities.)The region is also home to countless species that scientists have yet to discover and describe. With the expansion of the monument, an estimated 241 seamounts—submerged mountain peaks—are expected to be under protection. Each one typically harbors many new species that are new to science.The reserve expansion wasn’t the only marine-related move the Obama administration announced in recent days. The White House also announced a plan to combat black market fishing by requiring that all seafood in the United States be sustainable and traceable. The initiative, which will include stepped-up labeling and inspection efforts, is aimed at ending illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, which is estimated to account for 20% of the value of world catches. Economists estimate the black market in fish produces between $10 billion and $23.5 billion in economic losses.The administration has also announced that is reopening to the public the process for proposing new U.S. marine sanctuaries. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, which oversees the U.S. sanctuary program, blocked public nominations in 1995, saying it didn’t have the resources to keep up. (Members of Congress and others could still nominate places they’d like to see protected.)In statement released yesterday, the White House also highlighted other initiatives, including a new white paper on the impacts of ocean acidification and a National Strategic Plan for Federal Aquaculture Research to provide a framework for coordination and collaboration across agencies.last_img read more