Host Mairead Ronan returns to Ireland's Fittest Family alongside coaches Anna Geary, Davy Fitzgerald, Donncha O'Callaghan and Derval O’Rourke as they put some of Ireland's fittest family teams through their paces.

The competition begins with 15 families, all of whom will be put through extreme endurance challenges in new locations around the country, from steep sand dunes to airports to Irish bogs and the sheer gradient of Kilternan's 180-metre ski slope.

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Once again, all roads lead to Croker where the final will take place and where the four surviving families will battle it out to take the crown. On Sunday, having watched the families take on the challenges, the four coaches selected their top three from the 12 who have made it through the first round.

The coaches will be feeling especially competitive this year as Anna Geary is working towards a third title while Davy Fitzgerald has only won once across six series of the show. Game on!

The Mahers from Laois

  • At 52, Nick is farming-fit and often takes part in local 5k and 10k races.
  • His son, 21-year old Fionn, plays GAA and athletics but has only recently recovered from a bad accident while on holiday in Croatia last year.
  • 19-year-old Maebh is currently attending college and has won medals for athletics.
  • 17-year-old Cara is in 5th year and loves both football and running.

The McArdles from Down

  • 59-year-old Catherine is entirely responsible for her family being so fit. This nurse has been cycling and climbing mountains since the 1980s. 
  • 33-year-old Gary eats, drinks, and sleeps football. He's played for the Down senior team for several years but is a club man at heart.
  • 31-year-old Anna is a social worker by day, runner by evening. She loves a challenge, brings a lot of positivity to any situation and is always up for the craic.
  • 31-year-old Carla (Anna's twin) is a Podiatry lecturer by day, cyclist by evening. She keeps the family in check and is always on time. The twins have a 'healthy' competitiveness towards each other...  

Ui Bhraonains from Carlow

  • 54-year-old Richard has always been a fitness fanatic. Having played basketball in university and played inter-county football, he now runs marathons – about 15 so far.
  • Much like her father, 23-year-old Michelle loves to be active and is currently training for a triathlon. She has played basketball and football for UCD, basketball for her local club, in the Dublin and National League and football for Old Leighlin and the county minor and senior teams. 
  • 22-year-old Seán also takes part in triathlons and plays basketball as well as hurling and football. He now plays football in university and for his local club Leighlinbridge, and was on the county U21 football team. 
  • Youngest of the bunch, 19-year-old Liam also played soccer, basketball, football and hurling. He plays football in university and also for Leighlinbridge. He was also a member of the county U21 team. Unsurprisingly, he also takes part in triathlons!

The Cookes from Antrim

  • 65-year-old Jim works as a builder. He competes in triathlons and would be always highly placed even against younger athletes. He has also won many sprint triathlons including his most recent were he beat a former British Champion!
  • His 38-year-old son Sean-Paul is an electrician and has two kids of his own. As a child, doctors believed that Sean would never walk - he proved them wrong and went on to play football for O’Donnells GAA in Belfast.
  • 29-year-old Caoimhe is part-qualified accountant and has her own child too. Swimming from age five, competitive swimming age 12, Caoimhe won a few titles in her time and has competed nationally with water polo.
  • 28-year old Dearbhaile is a midwife and a mother of one. She was introduced to competitive swimming at the age of 11 and won numerous titles in NI in front crawl and butterfly. She then went on to play water polo with her sister and has competed at a national level representing Ireland.

The Hogans from Wexford

  • Dena is 37 years of age and is an international mountain runner, Irish triathlete, and four-time Ironman
  • Her husband Tom, also 37, is also an international Mountain Runner, Wicklow Way 50-mile record holder, and two-time Ironman.
  • Their son, 17-year-old Josh is equally fit. He is currently gym obsessed but continues to play soccer and previously boxed to a high level.
  • His 14-year-old brother Jay is all about soccer and is a member of the FAI Centre of Excellence. He also dabbles a bit with the running posting a time of 18.20 for 5km when he was 13.

McComiskeys from Down

  • 47-year-old Bernard is a retired pro boxer. He runs daily and has also been involved in Tullylish and soccer team Gilford crusaders before retiring. Bernard has run in 3 marathons so far.
  • His daughter Clodagh has followed in her father's footsteps. The 21-year-old boxes and has won seven Ulster titles and six Irish titles. She has also represented Ireland.
  • 18-year-old Sorcha plays GAA for local club Tullylish ladies. She is currently taking her GCSEs.
  • The youngest of the family, 14-year-old Brogan, is also a boxer but enjoys all sports. He runs for his school and got to the All Ireland cross country championships last year. He also plays for his local GAA club.

The Dinans from Cork

  • 61-year-old Paul used to play rugby with Cork Con in the late 70s and early 80s. Athletics and triathlons post-rugby. All-Ireland club national marathon winner with St. Finbarrs A.C. Completed Austrian Ironman as well as London, Boston, Belfast, Cork and Dublin marathons.
  • His 30-year-old son also played rugby with Cork Con., Highfield and U.C.C. and currently playing AIL with Wanderers RFC in Dublin. He played rugby overseas in New Zealand and is currently in training for this event and for triathlon events.
  • 25-year-old Steven is a keen golfer now that he's given up rugby. He played with Pres P.B.C. and U.C.C./Dolphin. Current member of St Finbarrs A.C. and Riverstown F.C. These days, he enjoys keeping fit and facing the challenge. 
  • 19-year-old Sandra is a member of the Glanmire ladies football club. Captain of U21 team who won County "A" Championship this year and member of County, Munster and All-Ireland junior club-winning side last year. Various underage East-Cork and County medals. She is currently member of Cork U21 ladies football team.

The Mandiangus from Dublin

  • Nathalie is 53 years of age and keeps active by walking and running.
  • Her daughter, Lariche, is 32 and a mother of three. She is very active and has competed in Athletics competitions over the years.
  • 27-year-old Gilmar plays football for Bluebell United and enjoys going the gym.
  • The youngest of the family, 24-year-old Blair, plays for Crumlin United and is an avid gym goer.

The Murphys from Wexford

  • Willie is 51 and likes to keep active by running and walking. Back in the day, he would have played a lot of football.
  • His wife, 43-year-old Dolly, still plays GAA. Described as seriously competitive and driven, her own kids won’t even be able to stand in her way
  • 22- year-old Andrew is currently completing a Sports course in Bray IT but wants to be a pro-gamer.
  • 17-year-old Robert has just finished 5th year and plays GAA like his mum.

The McSharrys from Sligo

  • Aidan, 51, runs his own plumbing business in Sligo. He's an adventurous type who loves to hike and spend his time outdoors.
  • Viola, 49, loves to swim and has always encouraged her children to take it up. She's very outdoorsy and spends much of her time hiking.
  • Thanks to her mum's influence, 18-year-old Mona loves swimming and has represented Ireland at an international level and won numerous medals and championships. She hopes to represent Ireland at the Olympics.
  • Like his sister, 16-year-old Mouric swims for Ballyshannon Marlins Swim Club has also won gold at a national and international level.

The O’Driscolls from Dublin

  • Patricia, 53, is separated from her partner and is the mum to four boys. An avid gym-goer (she's been going for over 30 years), she believes that exercise is the best thing for mental health.
  • 23-year-old Seán loves to go to the gym and has always kept active. He is currently a teacher in his brother’s school. They have nicknamed him ‘Sir’. 
  • Cal, 16, has over 40k subscribers on YouTube and has 10k followers on Instagram. He is an actor and is currently starring in a BBC drama series. He likes to skateboard and takes part in school sports.
  • Richie, 14, is considered to be the family’s secret weapon - he is the fastest on the team and plays soccer, GAA and athletics.

The Prendergasts from Limerick

  • 53-year-old Josephine grew up on a farm, and her family describes her as being naturally strong. She runs 10k races with her boys.
  • David, 23, is a Sports Management graduate and 10K runner. He has experience with long-distance and cross country running.
  • Mark, 20, is studying in LIT in the same course that David did. He is the coach for the local girls’ soccer team.
  • Dara,16, is a TY student who is soccer mad and plays for Mungret FC.

Watch Ireland's Fittest Family every Sunday at 6.30pm on RTÉ One. Catch up on RTÉ Player now.