19 Miles

Day 8 – Shannonbridge to Athlone – 19 Miles

I had to see to believe it. Sure enough, many Coghlan’s and Coughlan’s are buried in Temple Coghlan and outside at Clonmacnoise. Just feet away lies the last High King of Ireland in unmarked corners. I had a thousand questions for the staff.

“Beneath one corner lie the remains of Rory O’Connor, the last High King of Ireland, who died in 1198 and whose body was moved there in 1207. His father, Turlough Mor, lies diagonally opposite.”

Other High Kings lie under the Cross of the Scriptures.

“The whole of this early Christian site – including ruins of a cathedral, seven churches (10th–13th century), two round towers, high crosses and the largest collection of early Christian grave slabs in Western Europe – is a vast story in stone that keeps alive the spirit of Ireland as a Land of Saints and Scholars.”


Day 8- Shannonbridge to Athlone – 19 Miles

Looks more dangerous on video. I had no choice for about two miles. Took me 2 hours to go 2 miles near the end. Stop and wait. Assess. Sprint to next waypoint. Repeat.

Switch sides of the road. Listen for the roll of tires on a blind turn. Make a false move and end up in the thorn bushes or canal to the side. I don’t miss this part.

And be patient, and strategic. Patience is a key. In running and in life. I can’t imagine what the GoPro recorded.


The River Shannon never disappoints.

-Noah Coughlan