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Bluestack Way Ultra

This is a Race Ireland Bluestack Way 50km & 25km Ultra running event. 

The event route is linear and follows the famous Bluestack Way from Donegal Castle to Ardara town square. The course is renowned for its variability in terrain of Stoney trails, Mountain Bog and tarred side roads, with specular views and amazing beauty.
The event is for individuals, women and men, there are no teams or age related categories.

Athlete’s are self sufficient with support crews allowed to assist with food and fluid resupply at the designated fuel zones.
Race Services include, Remote medical first responder, Fully marked course, GPS Tracking, Race Timing, Social media team, Finishers medal.



  • 50km
    Distance from start line to #1 crew stop is 16k
    Distance from #1 to #2 crew stop is 22km (38km)

  • 25km
    Start line to #1 crew stop is 13.5km

25k ultra way

Price €59


August 5th 2023

Start time - 9.00 am


25km Trail Run


50k ultra way

Price €79


August 5th 2023

Start time - 8.00 am


50km Trail Run




Ardara finish line to your startline - €10

25km Course

50km Course

Winners 2023

25km Female


25km Male


50Km Female


50km male



Early bird – €49 per solo athlete.
Late entry – €59 per solo athlete 

Early bird – €69 per Solo athlete. 
Late entry – €79 per Solo athlete. 

Return bus from finish line to start line €10 

Entry Fee Includes

Full Race Services, Remote medical first responder, Fully marked course, GPS Tracking, Race Timing, Social media team, Finishers medal.

Please note: No refunds or deferrals accepted.

There will be no refund on a transferred entry.

Supported rules are simple and short but important to adhere to for your safety with no exceptions.

  • Everyone follows the event specific fixed GPX course.  Anybody departing from the official route must return to the point of departure on foot with no outside assistance before continuing.
  • Official Athlete race number must be worn on the athlete body front and visible at all times.
  • Athletes must only except food and hydration aid or assistance from their crews at the designated crew stops on the official maps provided here on the website. 
  • The race organisers will not provide food but will provide water/ hydration at the crew stops during the event.  
  • Athletes must finish within the 25/50k cut-off times to be included as a finisher, cut-off times will be strictly enforced.
  • Everyone (Athletes and Crew) will respect all competitors. 
  • Athletes must complete the entire route under their own power.
  • This is a linear race so the start line and finish lines are in very different areas of Donegal. Please ensure you have arranged appropriate transport to and from both locations, this is not the organisers responsibility, please build this thinking into your pre post race planning. The event organisers have provided a trail finishers bus from Ardara back to Donegal town which will depart each time when filled, please book your place Here
  • Everyone is responsible for his/her actions, and think safety first when making decisions.
  • Common sense always applies. 
  • Athletes wishing to drop out must return their tracker to the nearest crew stop/checkpoint. This will be deemed an official withdrawal. It will be then your responsibility to arrange your support crew to pick you up from your retirement  checkpoint, indicated on the GPS race map, (we off course will however do all we can to assist you). 
  • Finally we leave no trace, all rubbish must be carried and taken home, we collectively have a responsibility to protect the BlueStack way.

Race Contacts

While the race is in progress, you can get in touch with the team via

SMS / Helpline:

Jason Black (First poc) 0035387 9814461
Laura Black (Second poc) 0035387 4455111
Sharon Black (final poc) 0035386 0753084

Bring your finish line bag drop (spare clean clothes) to registration with a name tag on it. We will have at finish line for your arrival. 

Race Mass Start 

50km START 8:00am August 5th 2023
Start line : Donegal Castle Donegal town
Finish line: Ardara Town park.

25km START 9:00am August 5th 2023
Start line : Letterbarrow football pitch
Finish line: Ardara Town park

All finishers will receive a Bluestack ultra runner Finishers medal.

Return bus from finish line to start line €10 

Social Media 

Instagram: @race_ireland


In addition to following Athletes on our website and social media sites, will be sending out updates, images and commentary on everyones progress.

Primal tracking is supplying the tracking services and GPS units to each athlete allowing family friends sponsors and charities follow the event on the route maps
The official hashtag for the event is #BluestackWayUltra

Registration is at the Abbey Hotel Donegal town 

50km Route sign-on opens Abbey hotel Donegal town at 6am on August 5th, 2023 

25km Route sign-on opens at Abbey hotel Donegal town at 7am on August 5th, 2023

Please bring your rucksack and Mandatory kit to Registration.
Bring your finish line bag drop (spare clean clothes) to registration with a name tag on it. We will have at finish line for your arrival. 

GPS tracking 

The trackers weigh just a little under 100 grams! They will be switched on for you on arrival and will stay going for the duration of the event. The interval is set to 5 minutes. The device is waterproof but it is best to protect it and keep it somewhere dry, especially during heavy rain. The device should run for a week when fully charged. 

The unit uses GPS satellites and cellular networks to transmit the location data. It is sensitive enough that you can keep it in a bag or pocket. Make sure it is not directly near your smartphone or other GPS devices for best performance. 

Your GPS live tracker will be turned on and tested at registration.

Your name and number will show up live on the race map on the race Ireland website for friends family, your charity and sponsors to follow in support.

Tracker is your responsibility – A lost tracker will cost you €180 to replace.




In Donegal Town – paid parking in most of the town centre car parks as well as for on street parking (50 cent per hour on street and 50 cent per hour in car parks in August / September 2023)

In Glenties Crew stop – free street parking 
In Ardara – free street parking and also free parking in the town’s public car park (behind the main street)
Parking available within the football grounds. Follow marshals instructions. 

In Donegal Town – All services are available
In Glenties All services are available
In Ardara – All services are available

Return Trail bus from finish line to start line €10 BOOK HERE

Emergency numbers 

The national emergency number (toll free from any phone) is 999 or 112

  • Fully charged mobile phone with emergency race number stored.
    Jason Black 
    087 9814461 

  • Foil blanket
  • Whistle
  • Small First Aid Kit (plasters, bandages, sterile dressing, blister pack etc.)
  • Gloves, Hat
  • Water proof Jacket 
  • Water & food
  • GPS tracker (provided)

Mandatory gear must be on you at all times and will be checked at the morning registration and spot checks will happen at each checkpoint along the route. 

Crews role is to serve their athlete to allow them succeed finish or give their best race performance.
It’s a great responsibility and position of trust.

An ultra runner has a desire to find their limit. Your task is to help them approach but not exceed that limit. An agreement to crew must contain expectations of both the runner and the crew.

If you’re new new to crewing you might be surprised to learn that their runner will want to continue even while hurting.

Your athlete may have blisters, chaffing, nettle burns ticks and gorse rash not to mention scrapes and bruises from falls. This is all ok, they can run hurting. What is not ok is for your athlete to run injured or their health is in danger.  You, as their crew, have a responsibility to safeguard your athlete fullstop.  

Crewing comes down to serving four needs, food and water, a well maintained body and morale. If the first three are properly addressed then a positive morale is possible.
Your athlete can become so mentally and physically taxed that their decision making ability will be compromised. If a crew witnesses a progressive deterioration of their runner, despite interventions, then that signals the end of your runners race.


Crew will provide food, drink and encouragement to their runner. Athletes carring food and drink should be refreshed at every designated aid station so crew can be aware of what was eaten and drunk between stations.
Send your runner off with enough food and drink to meet their requirements between fuel stations.

A Well Maintained Body
Prevention is the goal here. The cleaner, drier, more lubricated, bug-sprayed and sun-screened the better.  

Start from the bottom up. Your runner’s feet will make or break them. Fresh socks, shoes and a wipe down of the feet can prevent debilitating blisters. Get in front of problems by performing foot maintenance at every Crew Stop, this can happen as they are sitting eating as time is of the essence. (have an athlete chair)
Clean and dress wounds
Change out all the kit that your runner had planned on changing. Get the wet and dirty gear off, your runner wiped down, towel dried and into the fresh kit as soon as possible.

Get your runner up and moving out of aid stations as soon as possible. Lingering can make legs very heavy and the mind weak.  


Please abide by the rules of the race and the directions of the marshals. The only enforcement tool available to us is a runner disqualification and no one associated with the race wants to be forced to use this, let’s work together to achieve this. 

Check your athletes mandatory kit, phone charge. Please keep your crew phone charged.

If you witness a breach of rules please communicate to the Bluestack Way Ultra Staff directly by the POC phone numbers provided.

The best results come from a team effort, do not under estimate your role in your athletes success or failure. 

All the very best crew. 


Fastest Time Known

25km female


The Record holder is ..TBC.. 

25km male


The Record holder is ..TBC… 

50km female


The Record holder is ..TBC.. 

50km male


The Record holder is ..TBC… 

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