Donegal men gearing up for Ireland’s toughest challenge in Gartan

Donegal men gearing up for Ireland’s toughest challenge in Gartan
Five Donegal men are gearing up for Ireland’s toughest challenge when they compete in The Race on Saturday, March 1st.

Five Donegal men are gearing up for Ireland’s toughest challenge when they compete in The Race on Saturday, March 1st.

Sean McFadden, Gavin Harris, Gerard Callaghan and Brendan McBride will be among the 75 competitors who will test themselves to the limit in The Race.

The Race, which will be based at the Gartan Outdoor Centre at Churchill, will begin at 6.30 am and all participants will have 24 hours to complete the challenge. Those not over the finish line by 6.30 am on Sunday will be timed out. The Race begins with a half marathon - Gartan Lake to Ramelton - followed by a 15K kayak from Ramelton to Rathmullan.

They then embark on a 100 K cycle over Knockalla, Atlantic Drive and Fanad Head, finishing at Muckish Grotto before scrambling/crawling/running 5.5K up and down Muckish Mountain. Competitors will mount their bikes again for another 80K trek taking in Falcarragh, Magheraroarty and Gweedore, finishing at the bottom of the famous ‘Cork Screw’ in Doochary. The final leg of the The Race is a full marathon, taking the runners up the back of Glendowan, on to Lough Barragh, through the Bridal Path at Glenveagh Castle, up Lough Inch, around ‘The Quarter’ before making their way through the trails to the finish at Gartan Outdoor Centre.

Looking ahead to the event, Sean McFadden said: “I decided to give The Race a go because it’s for such a good cause. All proceeds raised will go to Self Help Africa. We have organised a One Hour Turkey Shredder this Saturday to raise funds and I am appealing to all sports people to take part in the event at the Aura Leisure Centre. I have competed in half marathons, marathons, triathlons, The Ras and local adventure races. But The Race will be the most gruelling challenge for yet. I’d like to thank my physio and coach, Eunan Quinn from Ballybofey who has kept me fit and focused for the last five months. Thanks also to members of Letterkenny AC, Errigal Cycling Club, Four Masters Cycling Club and 24/7, and Cormac Keeney for organising the training camp in Granada, Spain.”