Last Thursday morning, the 5th of August, over 150 cyclists set out from Cork city on the annual Tour de Munster cycle. The event, which started 20 years ago, has the participants cycling over 600km through the 6 counties of Munster over four days to raise much needed funds for the Munster branches of Down Syndrome Ireland. Since the first cycle 20 years ago, the event has raised over €3.4 million for its beneficiaries.
This year two members of the Blackwater Triathlon Club, Donal Murphy and Eleanor Fennessey joined the fun. On Thursday the crew set off from Cork, heading to Midleton before hitting a few climbs on the way to Tallow and Lismore. From Lismore they had the 13km climb up to the top of the Vee before heading for Limerick. A little spin of only 160km or so to warm them up nicely for the rest of the journey. On Friday the cycle took them through Limerick, Clare and North Kerry to Tralee. Day three was another day with a few big climbs as they cycled over the Conor Pass and Molls Gap as they make their way via Dingle and Killarney toward Kenmare. The final day was from Kenmare back to Cork city, starting with a climb over the Caha pass in the morning and finishing up with a little jaunt up St. Patrick’s Hill. Throughout the four days, the cyclists were spurred on by members of the public and friends and family as they made their way through the highways and by-ways of Munster. As they made their way up Patrick’s Hill they were cheered on by the largest concentration of supporters yet as they forced their tired legs to make it up that famous Cork landmark. A few got a little help along the way from some of the stronger cyclists. Donal Murphy was seen running up the hill pushing one of his fellow cyclists. Apparently cycling up it once himself wasn’t quite enough of a challenge for Donal!! Well done to Donal and Eleanor and everyone else who took part in this amazing event. Once again they raised a lot of money for a very good cause.