Tuesday 21 October 2014

Up and Running: Sea2Summit Adventure Race

adventure race brings buzz back to westport

Participants enjoying the Sea2Summit challenge
Bressie after completing the gruelling 56.5k course. Andrew Downes

For the fourth year in a row, Saturday's Westport Sea2Summit adventure race attracted more than 1,500 competitors in ideal conditions.

Entering the sacred space of Mayo's Croagh Patrick, or the reek as it is affectionately known, has brought many a grown man and woman to their knees with the run, cycle, climb, sea dash and obstacle-course combo over some of the most breathtaking but unforgiving terrains that adventure racing has to offer.

The shorter spirit distance stretches to 27.5k, while the supreme pushes participants to their limits with 56.5k of on/off-road challenges.

Michael Flanagan from Tuam was first over the line in the supreme in a record-breaking time of 2:55.46, with brothers Shane and Gary Scully taking joint third prize in a time of 2:59.19, just behind second- placed Con Doherty (2:57.29).

First home for the supreme ladies was Fiona Meade in 3:26.45

LARCC ambassador Niall "Bressie" Breslin completed the supreme distance in an impressive time of 4:36.

"This was my first mass-participation adventure race and I found it a real challenge. The scenery and the Haribo got me through it," he said.

The event, which was set up to attract visitors into the area in the winter season, has exceeded all expectations, filling the town to capacity with competitors, spectators and coveys (Westportese for locals) for the entire weekend.

"It's was like the middle of summer here," commented Ciara Joyce, race organiser with the Westport Plaza.

A second time out for hardy buck Martin Maloney, aka Eddie Durkan, saw him break three hours for the spirit.

Also among the adventure racing elites were David Gillick and Rob Heffernan from the world of athletics and GAA All-Stars Paul Curran and Dessie Dolan.

Patricia Murphy

Irish Independent

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