After weeks of wading through swamps, lugging logs through forests, and swimming, climbing and sprinting their way to the final, Ireland's Fittest Family has finally been revealed.
In last night's punishing final, the remaining four families faced off across a two-day event on the MOUNTAIN, the last and most challenging obstacle course yet. Featuring a 5 meter wall climb, a barrel run up a mountain and a time trial, it pushed the families to their limits.
Taking this on were Davy Fitzgerald's Mahoneys from Wexford, Donncha O'Callaghan's Allens from Tipperary and Derval O’Rourke's two families: The Mileys from Westmeath and the Cullens from Wexford.
Congrats to Davy & the Mahoneys, the pride of Wexford. Gutted for the Allens, such a class family. Massive thanks to everyone behind the show @animotelevision @KiteEnt @rte love this crew ???? pic.twitter.com/Lo3zD4WeoB— Donncha O'Callaghan (@docallaghan4) February 21, 2021
And while each family excelled in their own way, it was Davy Fitz's Mahoneys from Wexford who were crowned the winners of Ireland's Fittest Family 2021, walking away with the crown, €15,000 and more than a few bruises.
First up was Mountain Madness, which saw each family move two barrels up the side of a mountain. Once up the 300m incline, the winning family will be the one that gets both barrels over the fence and all four of their family members standing on top of a hay bale.
Next was the Speed Wall, a climb of 5 meters and an incline of 60 degrees that had each family scrambling as they raced to get all four members to the top.
It was a nail-biting final, full of tension between both the families and the coaches. But no one could have expected that both of Derval's families would end up in the first Eliminator. In the end, it was the Mileys who were the first to go.
Davy's Mahoney family, Donnacha’s Allen family, and Derval’s Cullen family went through to the second day of challenges, taking on the Mountain Escape course. The time trial included a 350 meter run along a gravel path, around a hair pin to the base of a hill and lugging a log up to the top, ending with a sprint to the finish line.
It was another blow for Derval, however, as her final family the Cullens were eliminated from the competition. Although devastated, they'd put in an incredible effort and was proud to have gotten to the competition at all.
That left just the Grand Final. Starting with a sprint down a gravel road and four obstacles to hurdle over, the families had to climb and traverse between the cargo net containers. Next it was a crawl through the pitch black rat tunnels, followed by a steep climb and a second cargo net obstacle to negotiate.
At the bottom of the hill they had to navigate a cargo net crawl and sprint to a 3 meter wall which all four members must clear. Finally in the shadow of the mountain they finished with a run up the ramp.
With both Donncha and Davy shouting and cheering their every step, both the Mahoneys and the Allens raced their way through it. Davy had just missed the winning spot last year, so his determination to win was ferocious.
This video shows EXACTLY how much the win meant to Davy Fitz. I took it just as the Mahoney's got on their feet to become champions??hope there will be a series 9 ?? #irelandsfittestfamily pic.twitter.com/IfrgexKWG8— Mairead Ronan (@cocomairead) February 21, 2021
And it paid off, as the Mahoneys nabbed the crown after an incredible display of grit, strength and cooperation. Host Mairead Ronan managed to capture the winning moment, as Davy cheered in triumphant celebration.
As always, there was as much cheering from viewers at home as there was on the obstacle course, with fans rejoicing the win as one of the most thrilling shows on RTÉ winds to a close for another year.
Here are some of our favourite tweets:
Motivated by the efforts I've witnessed on #IrelandsFittestFamily , I've decided to give next week my very best shot. So I've booked #davyfitz to be standing at the foot of my bed at 6am roaring 'C'mon up outta of it Creedo, the other crowd are laughing at ya, Willya COME ON!!'— john creedon (@johncreedon) February 21, 2021
The government needs to call an emergency Bank Holiday Monday tomorrow in honour of Ticey Allen #irelandsfittestfamily— Jimmy Dillane (@JimmyDillane) February 21, 2021
Incredible in the year 2020 that Davy Fitz managed to be double booked the day of the final.— Emer Nic Dhiarmada (@EmieMack) February 21, 2021
Do you know how many times I was double booked in 2020? I was barely ever even SINGLE booked in 2020! #IrelandsFittestFamily
Mothers everywhere giving their sons side-eye and tuts watching the O'Mahoney boys look after their mammy like that! #IrelandsFittestFamily— Lauren Guilfoyle (@LaurenGuilfoyle) February 21, 2021
Sorry am I watching 50 Ways to kill your Mammy or #IrelandsFittestFamily?— Órla (@orlacun19) February 21, 2021