Pictured at the WAAR launch
“It’s about people walking in their own shoes and being confident in themselves and not to try to be someone else.”
That was the powerful message from endurance athlete and the only Donegal man to climb Everest, Jason Black, at the official launch of the endurance race WAAR, at Banks, Mullaghderg, in the club rooms of the Naomh Muire GAA,organisers of WAAR.
Jason Black was at the Banks to launch the third running of the WAAR event which has grown to be huge and has attracted elite athletes from all over Ireland and beyond.
WAAR is made up of four disciplines of a run, cycle run, hill climb and kayak row over a 55 kilometre course around the Rosses.
“It is a great event, it is reaching into the community in Donegal to allow people to be competitive if they wish or just to be a finisher and it just opens up fantastic new doors in people’s lives,” said Jason Black.
Brian O’Donnell, one of the organisers of WAAR, outlined changes to the third running of WAAR, which is on May 13th.
The changes include a Sprint event this year and an extension of two and half kilometres to the run. Brian O’Donnell told the launch that the changes were made due to feedback from competitors over the last two years.
“Last year we added a duathlon and this year we have added a Spring event which is a slightly shorter version of the longer course,” said Brian O’Donnell.
“It is for people who feel that the main course might be slightly outside their capabilities at the minute.
“We are now giving them the Sprint as a stepping stone to do bigger and better things in the future.
The Sprint event is a 5k run, 30k cycle and1k kayak row.
The main WAAR event is a 10k run, a 40k cycle, 2k hillclimb and a 1k kayak row.
Both events are open to individual, four and two person teams.
“We are very excited about the additional length to the 10k to bring it in line with other duathlons around the country,” added O’Donnell.
“The extra two and a half kilometres is being run on the runway of the Donegal Airport in Carrickfinn, which makes it unique and probably the only duathlon that part of is being run on an airport runway.”
WAAR is once again being sponsored by Randox Laboratories in Dungloe.
Randox managing director, Dr Ciaran Richardson, last year’s WAAR winner Sean McFadden, Donegal Health and Wellbeing Officer Kevin Mills, Paul Sweeney, of Donegal International Airport, and nutritionist Tom Coleman all addressed the gathering.
In a powerful and at times emotional questions and answers session with Michelle Nic Grianna of RTE Raidió Na Gaeltachta, Jason Black outlined his journey, from being bullied as a schoolboy in St Eunan’s College to the top of Mount Everest.
WAAR is already attracting great interest and Brian O’Donnell reported entries had already reached 250. Entries are being taken on www.waar.ie.