With a number of 2nd and 3rd time competitors taking on the event there was a tension and nervous excitement in the air born out of an awareness of just how tough the next 24 hours could be. Yet again the course lived up to all expectations. Brutal at times and relentless in ways only competitors can really describe.
"Nothing compares, those moments in the Race of utter madness when you can only laugh at how ridiculous the situation is - Ger Griffin, 2016 competitor"
For those that continued, they were rewarded with a rare bit of sunshine as they rounded Fanad Head and Atlantic Drive. In three years of running the event this was the first time the sun has made an appearance and after our most difficult start it's presence was an extremely welcome sight.
With competition building throughout the day, so did the number of supporters and locals who continuously cheered the competitors throughout the 24 hours. The introduction of the tracking system allowed supporters to follow their family and friends throughout the course and was responsible for some tense scenes back at base where supporters eagerly watched their loved ones move closer and closer to the finish line.
Mariusz Olejniczak from Poland crossed the line in first place with a new course record of 15:01:45. It was just 30 minutes later when second placed Rob McDonald crossed the line in a time of 15:34:13, closely followed by Martin Lynch with a time of 15:41:01. Christina Mckenzie crossed the line in a time of 20:02:55 win the female category for the second time.
It was in the early hours of Sunday morning when we saw the final competitors exhausted faces coming in just before the 24 hour cut off. A total of 66 competitors managing to complete the course.