Elaine's Adventure In Kilarney
Killarney adventure race report
My husband (Ian McHardy) and I did the Killarney adventure race last Saturday (Oct. 3rd). We did the 60km 'pro' option, there were 72k 'expert' and 27k 'sporty' options too. Despite the horrible weather the day before we woke to lovely sunshine, and could enjoy a big hotel breakfast before our start as we were on the 10am bus to Kate Kearney's cottage.
We started at 10.42 with a run up Strickeen Mountain and back (7k). The crush at the start gave us a good excuse not to run but the crowd soon thinned and the views were lovely at the top. The downhill was good fun, run-able all the way back down the bike racks at Kate Kearney's cottage. The cycle (35k) was gorgeous: up through the Gap of Dunloe, down into the Black Valley, slaloming along windy, car-free, country roads, mountains all around, the up through Molls Gap to the Kenmare Rd. for the long descent, past Lady’s View, down to the lower lake. The sun was out, the scenery was wonderful and the legs were pumping along on scrambled egg.
A sudden sharp turn on to an off-road track (the route to the next 'transition') caught me off guard but the bike coped with the mud & stones. We racked up and ran the 1k to the kayak put-in, lashed out to the turn-around point, surfed back in (1.5k in all), then ran 1k back passed the bikes and straight on, under the road tunnel, to the second run: 7k up Torc Mountain. The scrambled egg- effect was starting to wear off at this stage and the run up felt like it would never end. Knowing there was only a short cycle back to the finish afterwards kept the pace up. More off-road cycling brought us back to the main road for the last 6k back to the INEC. Our timing was impeccable: the heavens opened as soon as we crossed the finish line into the drinks & medals tent! The weather stayed yuk after that but we got our free post-race dinner and soak in the hot barrels. We finished a very respectable 92nd out of 327 finishers, in 3hrs 46mins (I was 6th female).
Overall, a great race, very well organised and marshalled, I’d highly recommend it. Can’t walk down stairs today though!!