Quest Kenmare Adventure race

By | March 7, 2019

On Saturday the 2nd of March three Blackwater Triathlon Club athletes travelled to Kerry to take part in the Quest Kenmare Adventure Race. There were three distances available to competitors on the day: the 29km ‘Challenge’ event, the 44km ‘Sport’ distance, and for the more extreme athletes, the 72km ‘Expert’ race. Over 1200 athletes braved the roads and mountains of Kerry on the day, despite the less than favourable conditions. The BTC crew, Justin Ryan, Peter O’Brien and Adrian Collins all opted to take on the ‘Expert’ race. Quest Kenmare describes itself as “An epic adventure along the Wild Atlantic Way featuring the amazing mountains of the Beara Peninsula and boutique charm of Kenmare Town.” They didn’t mention the wind and the rain and the cold for some reason. Usually the race consists of three elements; cycling, running and kayaking. Unfortunately on Saturday the winds were so high that the organisers had to cancel the kayaking element die to safety considerations.  The day started with a short procession out of the town followed by a 25km cycle with some extremely difficult climbs, including the infamous Moll’s gap. This was followed by a challenging 8km trail run with plenty of treacherous footing and some very cold streams to overcome. Next it was back on the bike and 21km of extremely dangerous descents and a lovely climb up to T2 at the bottom of Esk mountain. On Esk mountain the athletes were faced with another 8km trail run. This section would probably have been better described as a trail/bog run as half of the run took place on trails while the other half had the competitors wading through bogs. Some of the terrain was extremely steep and everyone had to slow down to a walk to find footing. Even then there were more than a few falls although the organisers had plenty of people posted along the route to guide and assist the athletes on the day. Having survived the bogs and trails of Esk mountain the competitors got back to T2 for a  for a relatively uneventful 13km back to Kenmare on the bike and then a 1.5km run to the finish line. Conditions on the day were absolutely terrible; hail, rain and gales of wind. Despite this all three of the BTC crew managed to finish the race. Justin was the first of the Blackwater contingent home, finishing in 10th place overall in a remarkable time of 3:50.  Peter and Adrian, who were also joined by Adrian’s brother Brendan, finished together in 5 hours and 11 minutes. All three athletes enjoyed the event, even though they were all borderline hypothermic by the end! It was a well run and well organised event even if the conditions meant that it became more like an ultra-Duathlon on the day. Well done to the organisers and especially those brave enough to take part.