Registration for ‘The Race’ re-opens on Thursday morning

Alan Foley

Reporter:

Alan Foley

Registration for ‘The Race’ re-opens on Thursday morning
The increasingly popular and unique endurance event ‘The Race’ is holding its second round of registrations tomorrow morning, Thursday.

The increasingly popular and unique endurance event ‘The Race’ is holding its second round of registrations tomorrow morning, Thursday.

Two weeks ago, the first 75 places for next year’s event - the third staging - were snapped up in 48 hours. This morning at 9am a further 75 places will be made available.

Sean McFadden from Letterkeny and Diane Behan from Waterford became the first Irish competitors to win The Race, finishing the 2015 event in 15 hours and five minutes and 18 hours 43 minutes respectively last month.

Several hours later the final competitors crossed the line after 23 hours 59 minutes, with only one minute to spare.

From the 64 who toed the start line at 6am some 24 hours beforehand, 41 completed the course inside of the permitted time-frame.

Competitors run 22km from Gartan Adventure Centre to Lough Swilly, kayak 15km Ramelton to Rathmullan, cycle 100km onto Muckish Mountain, then run, walk or scramble the 5km 500-metre vertical metres up and down.

From there, stage five is a 75km cycle onto Glenveigh National Park before finishing with a 43km to Gartan Adventure Centre - a marathon along the paths and trails of Glenveagh.

“In terms of the course, we feel the 250km inside of 24 hours works well,” said event organiser David Burns, who is a native of Coleraine, Co Derry.

“The standard is difficult and this year’s event couldn’t have been much harder. Although it’s the same course as last year, there’s a variety in that with the way the wind can change and that impacts the nature of the course.

“It’s also nice to have records from one year to the next that competitors can compete again.”

Those who register receive support services from event organisers like training plans, possible fund-raisers, nutrition advice and an online competitors’ forum.

Next year’s event is pencilled in for the weekend of March 4-6.

In its first staging in 2014, some 54 competitors from nine counties ran out of Gartan in the darkness.

Some 15 hours, 22 minutes and 11 seconds later, Bill Wells had completed the course to become the inaugural champion.

The Canadian’s victory propelled the Race, which is Ireland’s first and only 24-hour endurance even, worldwide in terms of recognition when it was named on CTV’s (Canadian Television’s) ‘Top 10 extreme endurance races around the world’.

Registration for The Race 2016 opens from 9am on Thursday, April 9.

There will be a total of 150 spaces available for the event.

Visit www.therace.ie to register if you think you have what it takes to attempt this most punishing of courses.

The Race, is a not for profit event, with all proceeds going to Irish NGO, Gorta - Self Help Africa. It is organised by Sand2Snow Adventures with Gartan OETC on board.