Connemara Adventure Challenge 2015 Race Report


Myself and two work mates, Liam and Miko after race !

It was my 4th year in a row taking on this race and I have to say it was the most enjoyable today! A huge factor in this was of course the weather which was perfect for racing with little or no wind for the majority of the route.

The atmosphere at the start was a little quiet with most people not really knowing what lay ahead, including myself for some of race as the first run was changed. The first 4km was to be on the road before heading off trail and this would mean a really fast start. I wasn’t wrong about this as we headed off downhill from the startline and the first few kilometres were all around the 3.10 to 3.25 min/km. The views along the road were amazing of Killary fjord and apparently a few dolphins even waved as we passed by, however, being focused on running I missed that!

We turned onto the trail and the real race started. Soon I was at the front with two fellow racers and as it would turn out it would be a battle all the way to the line between the three of us. The trail joined the Western Way after some tricky ups and downs and a brief encounter with two sprinting lambs! The Lambs decided it was the best thing that had happened to them, ever, to see these guys running passed and started to race us. Unfortunately for them they forgot the number one rule in racing “look where you are going” They both managed to faceplant straight into a fence and the last I saw they were picking themselves up a little groggy!!

After a slog through some boggy ground, around the 10km mark we dibbed in and turned to climb the short but steep mountain. This was alot easier than previous years, mostly down to the training I have being doing of late, as well as the ground being somewhat dryer. I descended the mountain at a good pace and at the bikes we were all still within 100 metres of eachother. At this point one of the guys made up alot of ground on the off road section. I opted for the racer this year but I’m not sure it is of any great benefit in this race. After 9km of offroad hammering it was onto the main road for another 8km of roadbiking. At bike transition I was in second.


A 1km sprint to the kayaks was next. This was tricky across bog with the legs refusing to change back to running muscles after the bike.


Kayak stage, that’s me in the blue one.

I reached the kayak and set off across Killary Fjord. I was passed by guy behind me at the turning point half way and my body was starting to struggle. I hit the bank and started the last 1.5km back to the finish. At this point I encountered the guy who had been in the lead throughout and he was suffering from severe cramp. I really felt for him as he had a great race. I knew I had a chance to catch the guy ahead but in just over a kilometre I ran out of ground and crossed the line in second place. I was greeted by my parents who had so nicely come out to support and it was amazing to see them cheering me across the line. All in all 2.02 hours and 32km, so happy out.


Almost there !


Number one fans !!

Provisional results below and a few photos to follow.

Kinvara 10km Race Report

We had a great gang of 5 for the short spin to Kinvara on saturday. We arrived nice and early to soak up the atmosphere. There were all sorts chats as to finishing, just finishing, whether to use the bathroom or not, t ofuel up or go for a quick warm up run. All so different individually of course. A great comradary amoungst both beginners and more experienced runners all of whom looked forward to beating themselves out on the course.

I decided I would do a quick kilometre warm up, which I cut short as I bumped into a few old friends but I was on the start line just in time for the gun. I set off fast with the lead bunch. We tore down the main street and out towards the countryside and on 1km I checked my watch which was at 3.19. Yikes these dudes were fast. I knew the 2 guys in first and second would soon be distant figures but I was happy with how I was going and I would do my level best to stay under 3.45min/km for the duration.

After 2 km I was sitting in 4th position and feeling good, My breathing and heart rate were still on the up but all in all my legs were doing what they were meant to do and that kept me happy! We turned left onto a side road which for the next 5 km would take us up and down a few little hills and down some nice country roads before tipping over the last hill to run the final 3km. Amazingly I was still in fourth and I had beaten my 5km time already. This, however, didnt last long as within a minute 2 runners had passed me. This didnt mean anything as I was still clocking my 3.40s and would even finish on a 3.28 . The last kilometre was torture as I pushed to beat my Pb. I could see my 2 competitors all the way to the line and was greeted as I turned for home by my two nieces, my sister and my brother in law with a big high five. This drove me up the home straight and I crossed the line in 36.40. An identical time to Athenry race on Stephens day.

All in all I was very happy as the course is harder than Athenry. My feeling is even though I am not training for the 10km race in particular, my speed over longer distance is improving. Lots of bigger challenges lie ahead.

A huge congrats to my girlfriend and my other friends who all had pb’s in the race and have shown how hard work pays off every time!


The finish line!