Letterkenny's Gerard Callaghan pictured with The Race co-ordinator David Burns.
To describe ‘The Race’ as a gruelling event would be doing it a disservice.
This weekend, competitors in the event must run a half marathon, cycle 175km, paddle 15km and climb 800 vertical metres before finishing with a full marathon through the night.
And it all of has to be completed in just 24 hours.
Once again large crowds are expected with many overseas competitors participating in the event which runs this weekend from its headquarters at the Gartan Outdoor Centre.
Now in its fourth year, ‘The Race’ is up there as one of the top ten of its kind in the world and was the brainchild of David Burns, co-ordinator and his friend Maghnus Collins. Both men have been fortunate enough to have cycled, ran and kayaked in many parts of the world having run 250km across the Sahara Desert, kayaked down the Yangtze river and cycled into the Himalayas. They felt there was an opportunity to create an event in Ireland that could rival the toughest races in the world. And so ‘The Race’ was born with Donegal’s terrain and facilities proving to be the ideal location for it to be staged, thus making it one of the top events in the country’s calendar of events.
Every event to date has been unique because of the weather and there is every reason to suggest that this one will be no different in this most gruelling of tests across Ireland’s most rugged, remote and challenging terrain.
It's all about putting competitors against the course rather than against each other and because of this it has developed a camaraderie among the participants and a respect from supporters that makes it really special.
The Race begins in the dark on Saturday morning with competitors completing a half marathon from the Gartan Centre to Ramelton, as the sun begins to rise.
Kayaking from Ramelton to Rathmullan, cycling around Fanad Head, The Atlantic Drive and Lough Salt, climbing Muckish, another cycle to Bloody Foreland and Doochary and then a full marathon back via Glenveigh National Park is sure to see spectators from far and near come along to show their support for this elite band of competitors.
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