All set for take off on Saturday morning organisers, competitors at Donegal Airport. INDD 100518WAAR 3 FL
One of only three fighters ever to defeat Conor McGregor in a professional bout, Burtonport's MMA fighter Joe Duffy is all set to take on over 600 competitors at the Wild Atlantic Adventure Race (WAAR) on Saturday morning.
Duffy, who was born in Meenbanad, emigrated to Wales as a young lad but travelled back and forward to Donegal on a regular basis.
Duffy said, “I was always proud of being Irish and being a big rugby fan, that had its own difficulties in Wales.
“If Ireland were beaten by Wales in a match I would always try and dodge school the next day to avoid the hassle.”
The brainchild of Naomh Muire CLG in the Rosses the WAAR event is very much for seasoned and experienced athletes who will not only be competing against others but also against their own times.
An event very much not for the faint-hearted, WAAR consists of four disciplines - running, biking, hiking and kayaking making up a total distance of 55.5kms.
This year the first part of the event, the run, is on the runway of the world's most beautiful airport - Donegal Airport at Carrickfin.
Gavin O Dónaill of Naomh Muire told the Democrat, “This has grown into a huge success and challenges every part of the mind and body.
“While it is a fundraiser for the club the whole concept behind it is to raise awareness of mental health and it's very much designed to promote well-being by getting active.
“It is now very much accepted that exercise such as these events and indeed the lead up to it has a very positive impact on one's mental health.
“WAAR has had a very positive effect in a lot of different ways. It has encouraged an untold number of people to get up, get out and get active - proof of which can be seen on the beaches, sand dunes and roads of our three parishes and throughout the county.”
He added, “With mental health problems almost at epidemic levels anything that helps lessen them must be considered very worthwhile.
“It also attracts large numbers from outside the locality which is a great boost for the local economy.
“We have 600 competitors all set to start at the Naomh Muire pitch at Mullaghdearg on Saturday morning at 8.15am in an event where the competitors will be blown away by the diversity of the scenery.
“Later when all the hard work is complete, we will be having a great after party in Caislean an Oir Hotel along with the prize giving.
“This indeed could be another challenge on the stamina!”