Sunday 27th January saw 7 Tippwheelers take on the toughest 10km run in the country and complete the Hell and Back Trogan Obstacle course that took place in Kilruddery Estate, Co Wicklow.
Specifically designed by an ex-member of the elite Army Range Wing it consisted of numerous punishing tests to test you both mentally and phisically.
In case the Sugar Loaf mountain, ponds, swamps, rivers and forest were not difficult enough, they also had to cope with running through 100ft maze of electric shocks, crawl under barbed wire, negotiate pit filled with tyers, surmount 10ft walls and slide their way through an avalanche of mud to name but a few. Working together as a team they fought their way through this gruelling course and all made it over the finish line. In this of all races though, finishing positions scarcely mattered, completing this crazy course was the sole objective of the majority of the field.
Word has it that they are already planning their next bashing with Hell and Back in June, some might say there is medication available for this kind of lunacy!
Well done to Martina Byrnes, Phyllis Richardson,James Beston, Maurice Crowe, Nora Cunningham, Claire Devitt and James Cunningham. They were also joined by local friends Bridget Coughlan, Sandra O'Brien and Jimmy Butler.
The helly hanson adventure race took place in Killarney on Saturday October 6th. This fantastic event is broken down into three disciplines and into three distances to cater for all levels of ability, 25km, 57km,and 67km, the three disciplines been mountain running, cycling, and kayaking. The race is well designed to test one’s ability both physically and mentally with rugged landscape and breathe taking scenery.
Stage 1: The First 8k run for competitor’s starts at Kate Kearney’s cottage at the base of the Mc Ggillycuddy Reeks taking in the steep tracks and trials of the wonderful stricken mountain.
Stage 2: Returning back to Kate Karneys to the bike transition, competitors head through the hilly Gap of Dunloe, encountering steep fast sharp corners as you negotiate your way through this challenging and very hilly 35km section.
Stage 3: 1.5km kayak circular route was unfortunately shortened to 800 meters due to misty conditions earlier that morning.
Stage 4: for the 57k competitors was to ascend up Torc waterfall and the old Kenmare road to the base of Torch mountain. From here a mountain track and railway sleepers lead you to the summit of Torc mountain where you could over look the stunning views of what Killarney is all about. For the competitors doing the long and gruelling 67km distance the extra 10k run leads them to the Devils Punchbowl 50 metres from the top of Mangerton Mountain.
The final stage of the day returning to the bike transition, takes you through the tranquil oakwood surrounds of the muckross House finish line.
A number of athletes from the Tipperary Wheelers participated in both the 57 and 67k distances. Huge congratulations must be
given to Phyllis Richardson, Nora and James Cunningham, Maurice Crowe, Jimmy Beston, and Martina Byrnes, who have never done such an event before, and all finished it. Well done to Paddy O Callahan, Richie English, and Tony Delaney “the tuff guys” of the club who took on the long challenging 67k distance.
First home for the club in a fantastic 7th place was Tommy Byrnes in a time of 3hr 52mins, shortly followed in 18th by Jimmy Beston in 4hr 12mins. Next up Martina Byrnes in 109 position in 4hrs 54mins, Dave Dineen160th 5hrs 10mins, Maurice Crowe 5hr 18mins 186th, James Cunningham 234th 5hrs 42mins, Nora Cunningham 303th 6hrs 20mins, and Phyllis Richardson
321th 7hrs 13mins.
First home in the longer 67k route was the ever green Tony Delaney in 164th with a time of 5hrs 44 mins which is 20 minutes better than his last years performance. (Who says you slow down with age!). On his second adventure race Richie English crossed the finish line in 274th position with a time of 7hrs 2 mins. Last but not least Paddy O Callahan who on the last 2k literally from the finish line, had to withdraw from the event to an injury he sustained earlier in the day. Great credit must be given to the three lads as they came off the back of the gaelforce six week previous.
It’s fantastic to see how well the club has done in 2012 and how diverse it has become since it has started 3 years ago. Well done to everyone and roll on Killarney 2013.
When I climbed out of bed in Newport, County Mayo at 0530hrs on the 18th August 2012 I asked myself “what in the name of God am I doing, have I enough training done, what will I eat for breakfast, I hope the bike is ok, I hope my gear is adequate, have I enough energy bars, gels, food etc….”apparently these are all the normal questions asked of oneself prior to partaking in the unknown. For my good buddie, Ritchie (aka Maverick, kindly named by Michael Looby, which makes me ‘Goose’I presume) and I that’s exactly what it was “the unknown” more commonly known as Gaelforce West 2012.
After breakfast we drove to Westport where we were collected by bus and driven for over an hour to our starting location. A few heroes on the bus spoke of their previous experiences and gave advice on how best to tackle the various parts of the race making special reference to the feared Croagh Patrick, if we got that far (I put most of their banter down to mind games). On the way to the start line we met an earlier wave finishing their 14km run; when I say they were covered in head to toe with muck and dirt I am not exaggerating. The sight of them was met with absolute silence on the bus bar the odd gasp. The severity of the
challenge coupled with nerves was finally hitting home. In fairness, it was a bit late for second thoughts at that stage.
After queuing for toilet facilities with the other hundred or so participants on our wave and after the pre-race announcements were finished, the horn sounded and we were on our way, jogging off the beach onto the road. The run commenced with a
1 mile up hill run followed by a steep downhill run, lots of winding roads and then off road for a hilly, rocky, muddy, slippy, dangerous run that eventually brought us to a road that led us to the kayak section. With a 13.5km run in the bag, we grabbed an energy bar, drank some water, put on a life jacket and Ritchie and I proceeded to be allocated a kayak. We commenced speedily from the shore line and made some good headway, then (as everyone knows at this stage thanks to Tommy Byrnes) we turned the kayak stage into a swim. The kayak turned upside down assisted by the poor balancing skills of both occupants. We were eventually plucked from the water as we laughed uncontrollably like two little school boys. We decided to have another
go, got back into the kayak again and almost made it to the far shoreline before we again decided to go for a dip. Eventually we made it to the other side, drowned wet, spirits dampened but determined to keep going. We completed the bog run stopping every so often to retrieve our runners from the 2 to 3 feet of bog, oh and a fall head over heels by Ritchie into a stream (ha
ha). We then jogged along a road way to the transition area to collect our bikes.
After a quick change of footwear (bad advice) we moved off on the bikes, what was described as a handy bike run with a few hills turned out to be tough enough, a strong headwind proved to be problematic for some of the participants. The hills especially one of them was quite tough and long. 34 kms later we eventually we arrived at Croagh Patrick.
We took advice from Barry Hartnett prior to the race in relation to how to manage the mountain which was “pick a pace, a handy, steady pace and stick with it” and that’s exactly what we did. It was tough and long but when completed it was a magnificent
feeling. Something funny that sticks out in my mind – As we started the climb up Croagh Patrick I turned to Ritchie and pointed at a bird (feathered type) that was making an unusual sound and was standing unperturbed only about 20 feet from us, I asked “hey Ritchie, what kinda bird is that” he (Ritchie) kept his head facing down and replied in the grumpiest voice I ever heard “I don’t give a F**k what type of bird it is” a few seconds later we both burst out laughing. We were almost broken men. We completed the mountain and returned to our bikes. We now faced a 12 km bike/walk/run back to Westportto the finish line.
On the way Ritchie got a puncture, after it was changed we safely made our way over the line to loud applause by other competitors and onlookers.
Out of the Tipperary Wheelers I believe there were two others who took part, Martin Hickey who did a brilliant time and Barry Hartnett who burned the course up with his speed and endurance. Well done to both of them and everyone else who took part.
For Ritchie and I we absolutely enjoyed the day out, we suffered for a day or two afterwards with pains and aches but that is what we enjoy, pushing ourselves as hard as we can, doing challenges that are out our comfort zones and having a go. The t-shirt that each competitor receives when they complete the Gaelforce simply says “if you’re going to do one thing in life ….. do a Gaelforce” They are right. Brilliant experience, I will definitely do one again, the hardest part of it for me was the planning and preparation and not knowing what to expect. The good part now is that the next time we will.
One would think that we had enough punishment for one year, but no, we are currently training for the Killarney Adventure Race which takes place on the 6th October 2012. There are three races, the 25km, 57km and the 67km. Ritchie, Maurice
Crowe, Tony Delaney and I are taking part in the 67km and would welcome any other members to accompany us; Tommy Byrnes and Martina along with James and Nora Cunningham are competing in the 57km. Bring it on. (I hope I didn’t forget anyone)
On Saturday 15th August Brian Devitt and Tommy Byrnes Travelled to Ballinaboola for a cross country duathlon which is situated at the back of the ballyhoura mountain bike tracks. A small field of 22 athletes participated in the 4k run 9k bike and 4k run. The run course was very hilly taking in tracks and off road terrains of the beautiful ballyhoura countryside. The cycle proved to be tuff and consisted of forest tracks, Fire tracks, boardwalks, and some technical sections. This is the first off three duathlons and the lads who had a great day will definitely return to the other two which will be held in October and November. Details can be found at www.hhar.ie. It was a fantastic day and a very well organised event. A good result by the lads where Tommy finished 3rd and Brian 7th. Both lads had great crac and would recomend the race to club members as something to keep the body ticking over for the winter.
On Saturday 20 Aug, several people from Tipperary Town, including two menbers of the Tipperary Wheelers, travelled to Westport Co. Mayo to compete in the Galeforce West adventure race. The competitors were Tommy Byrnes, Martin Hickey, Tony Delaney, Barry Hartnett, Jonathan Forrester, Val Farrell, Mattie Crow, Tommy Ellard and Adrian Ellard.
Gaelforce West is the largest one day adventure race of its kind in the world. It’s a multisport adventure race involving cycling, running, hiking and kayaking. The course is approx 67K and stretches from Glassilaun beach to Westport. En route there are some significant obstacles to cross, including Killare Harbour and the holy mountain of Croke Patrick.
The race breaks down as follows:
14K run…through trails, hilly and muddy
1.6K kayak…across Killary harbour
4K run….through a bog and a little on the road
32.5 bike…starts on sealed roads but ened up on forest track. Very exposed and tough in parts.
5K hike/run….extremely tough asscent and decent of Croke Patrick.
9.5 bike…..along some very tough stretches of road back to Westport.
1K run…to cross the finish line.
This is a very tough race and one that is hard to prepare for given the conditions involved. For some of the Tipperary contingent it was their second time to compete in this race. The sharing of knowledge taken form the race in 2010 proved vital this year as everyone improved on their completion times and new compeditors to the race completed in very respectable times also.
Completion times were as follows:
Barry Hartnett 04:17:27
Tommy Byrnes 04:38:04
Jonathan Forrester 04:54:41
Adrian Ellard 04:52:39
Martin Hickey 05:10:05
Mattie Crow 05:11:12
Tony Delaney 05:19:12
Val Farrell 05:20:25
Tommy Ellard 05:41:57
On the 21/08/10 a number of athletes took part in the Gaelforce 65k Challenge in the beautiful scenic and majestic Connemara mountains just outside Westport Co Mayo.This is the fourth year that the adventure has taking place and is broken up into 3 disciplines.
6 people from the town-represented Tipperary on the event including two members from the Tipp wheelers cycling club. Tommy Byrnes, Martin Hickey, Tony Delaney, Martin Kirby Jnr, Mattie Crowe, and the brave Karen Ahearne.
Stage 1 It was an early start from a quiet beach just outside Delphi were nearly 2400 competitors set out for a 14k run through tracks, fields, and bogs.
Stage 2 then took us to kilarry harbour where 2 people would share a kayak and paddle across the killary Bay 1.6k to the next stage of the event.
Stage3 Exiting from the kayaks stage, a 4k run across the side of a bog, which proved very tough, brought us to the bike station were the bikes had been dropped off the day before.
Stage4 The bike transition was a welcome factor after all the running. The cycle took us through 32.5k of tough hilly Connemara roads and off road tracks right to the base of the mighty Croagh Patrick Mountain.
Stage 5 The event highlight for all was the huge task that faced every competitor which was the run up and down the holy mountain that proved daunting for everyone involved. The round trip for all up and down was nearly 5k.
Stage6 The final stage was back on the bike, 9.5k cycle/run going around the side of the holy mountain on a very rugged and extreme terrain, where competitors whose choice of bike was a mountain bike, had took full advantage over the competitors with racing bikes. After about 3k of this terrain we then entered back on a sealed road, which took us to down through the quays of Westport to the finish line where thousands of spectators showed up to give support to the competitors.
The finishing times are as follows,
Tommy Byrnes 5hrs 19mins
Tony Delaney 5hrs 39mins
Martin Hickey 5hrs 59mins
Mattie Crowe 6hrs 19mins
Martin Kirby Jnr 7hsr 8 mins
Karen Ahearne 8hrs 28 mins
Well done to all involved.