Total Experience Adventure Race

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Race Report by Noel Brady

While the cyclists went south for the weekend to take part in the Kanturk 3 day, I decided to go east to Wicklow and take part in the Total Experience Adventure Race (TEAR). This is a 24 hour race with 7 stages. Think Achill Roar or Gaelforce, which normally takes four or five hours. Well TEAR has all the elements of Gaelforce plus some, but it goes on much longer. I was on a team with Paul Mahon (Outfront Sports and Roar event organizer), Jenny Macauly, (Olympic mountain biker) and Diarmuid Collins the fourth member.

So how did it go? An 8km kayak around Blessington lake was stage one. We were 20 minutes down at the end of this stage. This was followed by a 30km mountain run and some “special tasks”(involving ropes, poles, heights and a trapeze bar – scary stuff!). At 8pm we started a 30km bike ride to the top of Kippure and back down, then on to mountain biking in Ballinastoe, (in the dark, for extra excitement!). We then had another hill run up Djouce mountain and back down. Back on the bikes then for another 1 1/2 hours and the sleep zone. We got there at ten minutes to one Sunday morning and at this point had clawed back 10 minutes. We slept briefly before beginning again at 4am for a further bout of cycling and hill running. Towards the end of the cycle we got a time check and we had gained another 5 minutes, so we were now about 5 minutes behind with a 20k mountain run to go. We pushed hard and got back to base at 10.15am on Sunday morning and then waited for the next team to arrive. It was after 11 before they checked in so we had the win by forty minutes.

At the time, it all felt like varying degrees of torture, but in retrospect, it was a great event and, quite definitely, a memorable experience.