independent

Thursday 17 April 2014

Not long to go to 'Bog 2 Beach' challenge

Gordon Flannery pictured with Julie Byrne at the launch of the Bog 2 Beach Adventure Challenge in Dirha Bog in Listowel. Photo: John Reidy

IN less than a fortnight, north west Kerry will come alive to one of the most ambitious sporting events ever seen in the area as hundreds of athletes battle it out in the Bog 2 Beach Adventure Challenge.

It's an event that promises to put the region on the Irish adventure map. Though in their first year in 2013, Bog 2 Beach organisers are hopeful of establishing the challenge as a firm fixture on the Irish calendar for the future.

The main 69km route will take athletes from cross-country quagmire racing over the Dirrha Bog up to the heights of Scrollum on bike and down onto Ballybunion's golden beaches for a run in the salty atmosphere. It sounds testing to say the least, but Bog 2 Beach is not all just about testing the limits of human endurance.

"There's something for a surprising level of abilities," organiser Gordon Flannery said. "There's the shorter 55km route and you can team up with people as well so that you don't have to do the full course. It might be that someone doesn't like running or cycling, in which case they can partner up with somebody who does to take it on as well!"

A walk will also be included - to take in the Dirrha Bog, but without the swampy bits. "It looks like it's going to be a great spectator event as well as a lot of people are telling me they are heading out to the bog to watch the action!.

Journalist and publican Billy Keane says Bog 2 Beach is going to be a major boost for north Kerry. "It's a unique opportunity to become a bogman and a beachman on the same day," Billy joked.

"It's going to be a great boost for north Kerry tourism, especially at this time of year and under the leadership of someone like Gordon Flannery should grow and grow into the future. It's obviously for fit people but the great thing about it is that it should also be a great day for spectators, to see people throwing themselves at the limits of human endurance."

Bog 2 Beach is not-for-profit with proceeds going to the Listowel Community Centre. "With less than a fortnight to go we're asking people to come on board, take part in all of it or whatever route they think they can. It's in aid of a great cause and if we get the weather right it should be one of the best ways of showing off the beauty of fabulous north Kerry," Gordon said.

Simply log onto www.eventmaster.ie this week and enter code kerryman10 to avail of a 10 per cent discount on the admission over Wednesday and Thursday, April 17 and 18.

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