Have you had enough of lolling around over the summer? Are you up for a challenge that will test you to the limit in some of the most scenic parts of the country? If the answer is a “yes” then get into sign up and get into training for one of the many adrenalin-fuelled adventure races taking place in Ireland this autumn.
Adventure Racing involves more than running, hiking, cycling and kayaking – there is lots of muck, sweat, tears and laughs thrown in too. And with most races taking place in some of our most stunning beauty spots, you can combine a challenge with a great weekend away with friends or family.
There is still plenty of time to sign up and train for one of the many adventure races taking place before the end of the year, and most of the races cater for adventure seekers of all levels of fitness, so you don’t have to be superman or superwoman to take part!
For more adventurous breaks in Ireland, visit www.discoverireland.ie/adventure
The ROAR is back!
Are you game for a mighty challenge combined with a weekend away on one of our stunning islands? Then sign up to the Achill ROAR Adventure Race (September 8th) in Co. Mayo. This year there’s a new event, the Mini Roar, aimed at true beginners. If you are an old hand you will probably opt for the Sport Roar or the more challenging Expert Roar, involving a swim or kayak in Keel Lough, a beach and mountain run taking in the summit of Minaun and a cycle along the Atlantic Drive coastal route. Spend the night and join in a sing song and have the craic in one of Achill’s lively pubs that night and take a stroll on the stunning Dooega beach the next day. Registration deadline is September 4th - www.roar.ie
For more information on what to do while you’re there, visit www.discoverireland.ie/islands
Go To WAR In Wicklow!
This is a spectacular race in the heart of the Garden of Ireland. Family and friends will have a great time exploring the area while you take part in WAR: Wicklow Adventure Race in Powerscourt (September 22nd). This course showcases the best that Wicklow has to offer, all in one day. You will tackle the iconic Sugar Loaf Mountain, kayak on the spectacular Vartry Lakes, cycle over the Sally Gap, and run above the Powerscourt Waterfall, all starting from the famous Powerscourt House and Gardens. Stay the night and visit Glendelough, Kilruddery House and Gardens and the historic Wicklow Gaol while you’re there.
Register online at www.wicklowadventurerace.com
For more information on what to do while you’re there, visit www.discoverireland.ie/dublinsdoorstep
Get your teeth into Mayo!
The Blacksod Point Triathlon in Belmullet, Co. Mayo, (September 22nd) has been described as “an animal with teeth”! Taking in the wild Atlantic coast of north Co. Mayo, your endurance will be tested on a course that is regarded as one of the toughest in the country. Starting at Blacksod Lighthouse, the race combines an open water Atlantic swim in Blacksod Bay, followed by a 40 kilometre bike ride along the Belmullet coast. It finishes with a 10km cross-country run along grass, sand and road taking in spectacular views of surrounding coastal terrain. Give it a go! Why not stay an extra night and try the Black Ditch Walking Loop or take a gentler stroll along Mullaghroe Beach. If your still feeling adventurous, why not sample some adventure activities ‘as gaeilge’ with Uisce Adventure Centre.
Registration deadline is 14th September - www.kilmoretriathlonclub.com
For more information on what to do while you’re there, go to www.discoverireland.ie/mayo
Miles of Pure Madness!
Moooo! There is no doubt but the Mooathon in Co. Donegal (September 30th) milks it for the most fun challenge. All competitors are required to wear black and white and you can pick from two races – the 13.1 mile “Semi Skinned” half marathon (which welcomes walkers) or the “Full Fat” 26 mile marathon! Starting in Kilmacrenan town just outside Letterkenny, the race will take you along the Lough Salt road to Downings and you will pass a number of milking stations en route aimed at keeping you refreshed. Did we mention that apart from black and white running gear other acceptable apparel include horns and bells? Relax and stay the night, you could take a nice relaxing visit to Glebe House and Gallery the next day, or try out the Atlantic Drive, a short, but very spectacular road around the Rosguill Peninsula.
Register online at www.mooathon.com
For more information on what to do while you’re there, go to www.discoverireland.ie/donegal
Keep Fit In Kerry
The McGillycuddy Reeks form the stunning backdrop for The Killarney Adventure Race (October 6th) in Co. Kerry. This is definitely the one to choose if you want to take in some of the most dramatic and breath-taking scenery in Ireland. This epic one day multi-adventure sport race starts with a run at the base of the McGillycuddy Reeks with stunning views of Carrantuohill. You cycle through the Gap of Dunloe along the Ring of Kerry to Torc Waterfall, kayak across the spectacular clear waters of Muckross Lake, and run to the summit of Mangerton Mountain before finishing with a short cycle through the tranquil surrounds of Muckross House and Gardens. After all that, why not stay the weekend and visit Ross Castle on the Lakes of Killarney or do the Ring of Kerry drive.
Places are limited so register online at www.killarneyadventurerace.ie For more information on what to do while you’re there, go to www.discoverireland.ie/killarney
Run Amuck in Co. Kildare!
Now here is a licence to literally run amuck. Serious muckers can get down and dirty and sign up for The Runamuck Autumn Challenge (October 20th) in Co Kildare, a fun, cross country challenge for joggers and runners of all abilities. Taking place in the grounds of Clonkeeran House, near Johnstown Bridge, be prepared for a wet and mucky course with bale "jumps", net scrambles, super slides, and tarzan swings. It is designed to test your mental and physical strength but will leave you with a big grin on your face! Stay the night and take a relaxing stroll around Russborough House or a visit to Straffan Butterfly Farm.
Places are limited so register online at www.runamuckchallenge.com
For more information on what to do while you’re there, go to www.discoverireland.ie/dublinsdoorstep
Reach the Summit!
Combine all the thrills that Westport in Co. Mayo has to offer with the Sea2Summit Adventure Race (November 3rd). You will get a taste of Croagh Patrick, Clew Bay, the Sheaffry Mountains as well as the Great Western Greenway on foot and on a bike. There are two races - The Sea2Summit Supreme for the adventure seeker who wants an extra challenge! The hike up and down the front face of Croagh Patrick (Murrisk) will hurt the legs, while the back- breaking ramps at the Maum climb will definitely test your bike and quad muscles. Or if you want a challenge but have not taken part in adventure racing before the Sea2Summit Spirit is the one for you. Why not stay the night and try some Zorbing at Westport House or take a sailing trip out to one of the Clew Bay Islands.
Places are limited so register online at www.westportsea2summit.ie
For more information on what to do while you’re there, go to www.discoverireland.ie/westport
One for the Tough Guys and Gals!
Don’t be fooled by the short 10km long course in The Gaelforce Turf Guy Challenge, (Nov 3rd) which takes place in Killary Adventure Centre, Leenane, Co Galway. The energy sapping obstacles and steep cliff jumps are designed to test your endurance! This challenge takes place on the beautiful banks of Killary Fjord and while it will be a mental and physical challenge, there will also be lots of fun scrambling over sky frames, trudging through a bog, and taking a dip in the chilly plunge pool! Get into training now! Make a break of it and spend the night. Unwind with a relaxing Connemara Seaweed Bath and replenish with a delicious plate of mussels, harvested daily form Killary Fjord.
Registration deadline is November 2nd - www.gaelforceevents.com/turfguy
For more information on what to do while you’re there, go to www.discoverireland.ie/connemara
For more adventurous breaks in Ireland, visit www.discoverireland.ie/adventure