The Race 2017 is incorporating a team challenge element to The Race for the first time. Teams will consist of 3 people taking on the same 250km race course.
The experience of being part of The Race community is, in our mind, the single strongest advertisement for the event. To this end, we have been exploring ways in which we can expand the reach of the event without compromising the core principals of competitor focus and limited entry.
To date we have 3 teams competing in The Race and have 2 team places still available.
Click here to register.
Below are the three teams currently set to take on the event this March.
Competitors: Martin Kerr, Martin Gallagher, Shaun Boyce
All three team members are Donegal locals who describe the event as one on their bucket list.
Competitors: Shay Downey, Ray Jordan, Paul Kelly
Ray is the CEO of our charity partner Gorta-Self Help Africa who takes on the event along with colleague Shay and friend Paul.
Competitors: Jim Jackman, Michael McNamara, Robert Warman
At 5am on the 5th of March, 87 competitors set off for The Race 2016. With a number of 2nd and 3rd time competitors taking on the event there was a tension and nervous excitement in the air born out of an awareness of just how tough the next 24 hours could be. Yet again the course lived up to all expectations. Brutal at times and relentless in ways only competitors can really describe.
"Nothing compares, those moments in the Race of utter madness when you can only laugh at how ridiculous the situation is - Ger Griffin, 2016 competitor"
For the first time our 15 km kayak was voted as the events toughest stage by competitors. A strong northerly wind coming over the tide made conditions incredibly difficult with over 10 competitors having to drop out before the end of this stage.
For those that continued, they were rewarded with a rare bit of sunshine as they rounded Fanad Head and Atlantic Drive. In three years of running the event this was the first time the sun has made an appearance and after our most difficult start it's presence was an extremely welcome sight.
With competition building throughout the day, so did the number of supporters and locals who continuously cheered the competitors throughout the 24 hours. The introduction of the tracking system allowed supporters to follow their family and friends throughout the course and was responsible for some tense scenes back at base where supporters eagerly watched their loved ones move closer and closer to the finish line.
Mariusz Olejniczak from Poland crossed the line in first place with a new course record of 15:01:45. It was just 30 minutes later when second placed Rob McDonald crossed the line in a time of 15:34:13, closely followed by Martin Lynch with a time of 15:41:01. Christina Mckenzie crossed the line in a time of 20:02:55 win the female category for the second time.
It was in the early hours of Sunday morning when we saw the final competitors exhausted faces coming in just before the 24 hour cut off. A total of 66 competitors managing to complete the course.
Mark Beaumont is a Scottish record-breaking endurance cyclist, adventurer, broadcaster and author. He has made a number of documentaries of his achievements with the BBC and we are thrilled to announce him as an ambassador for The Race 2016. We caught up with Mark to chat about his past experience, training for The Race and the difference between physical and mental preparation for an endurance event.
For a long time I have wanted to explore Donegal, and what better way than The Race! It will be a very different sort of challenge for me, as I am more used to expeditions that last weeks or months, so I am excited and rightfully nervous about the prospect. The Race will certainly be a good motivator to keep the training steady over the winter months.