Interview with Arthur McMahon

With no background in endurance events of this duration Arthur completed the The Race 2014 in a time of 22 hours and 36 minutes.

We caught up with him this week to chat about The Race and his advise for others taking on the challenge in 2015.

Arthur McMahon

The Race 2014 Time: 22 Hours 36 Minutes


How did your training go for The Race 2014?

Arthur's supportersI played rugby for 25 years and retired from playing when I was 36. I did virtually no training for 8 years after that, mostly because I thought that a 17 stone bloke on a bike would look stupid and I had no training focus.

Unfortunately my Mum was diagnosed with cancer in Spring 2012 and so I decided I would train for a local adventure race, The Coastal Cancer Challenge, to help raise some funds for local cancer charities. I only had 10 weeks to train but found that I really enjoyed cycling and kayaking. I still hated running but found it got a bit easier the more I did. I got through the event in a little over 5 hours but thought I could go faster.

On the start line of the 2013 Gaelforce North there was chat about a really long event “The Race” and, over the course of a few months, I began to realise that I couldn’t go fast so I decided to see if I could go long instead.

I still thought that the jump from 5-6 hour events to a 24 hour event was too great and decided to do a 130km (half The Race) distance training day in October. Happily I got round it in a bit over 10.5 hours so I knew that, with a decent winters training, I would have a decent stab at getting round the 250km distance.

Read more: Interview with Arthur McMahon

Interview with Christina Mackenzie

Christina was the first placed female and sixth overall finisher at The Race 2014. This September she is representing the Irish age group team at the European Ironman championships in Almere before starting to focus on preparation for The Race 2015.

We caught up with her this week to chat about The Race and her training schedule for the rest of the year.



Name: Christina Mackenzie

The Race 2014 Time: 18 Hours 13 Minutes


How did your training go for The Race 2014. What races had you done in the lead up to the event?

I got into triathlons in 2012 and adventure racing in 2013. I love the challenge of trying something new and pushing the boundaries.

I had done an Ironman in Bolton in August followed by the Hardman in Kerry. I felt comfortable with these distances but worried about the mountain run and kayak section of The Race. These were elements I hadn’t attempted before

I also knew that I would be out for a lot longer during The Race in potentially bad weather. One event that really prepared me for this was the Art O’Neill race in January. The weather was shocking and we got lost in the mountains. It was the first time I have had the feeling of survival during an event. It was horrendous at the time but ultimately gave me confidence that I could keep calm in these conditions.

It also taught me the importance of planning my clothing properly. A critical lesson to learn before attempting The Race.


Read more: Interview with Christina Mackenzie

Launching The Race 2015

racefpI have been fortunate to have taken part in a number of man powered expeditions and endurance races over the last number of years. One the most rewarding parts of these expeditions has been the memories earned through undergoing hardship. Those handful of occasions when you felt like you had nothing else to give. When the heat, the cold or the wind seemed to have won. When your body cried out to stop but you continued on. These are the moments that you end up remembering years after they are done.  

After completing my last expedition I returned home with the view to setting up an endurance race that would mirror the mental and physical struggle experienced during an expedition. Along with Maghnus Collins and Gartan Adventure Centre we set out to create an event that would challenge competitors to the point where they felt that they had nothing left to give.

Read more: Launching The Race 2015

The Race 2014

Canadian athlete Bill Wells at the finishing line. He completed the course in an astonishing 15 hours and 22 minutes. Ireland's Sean Mcfadden and Michael McCarron were only minutes behind. Christina Mackenzie was the first placed female,completing the course in 18 hours and 37 minutes. In total 54 competitors began The Race 2014 with 38 finishing. Congratulations to all who took part.