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THE RACE: 250 KILOMETERS 24 HOURS.

The Race is a 250 km unsupported endurance event across the rugged landscape of North West Donegal. To finish competitors have to complete 15km of kayaking, 166km of cycling, 5km of mountain running and 64km of road and trail running. It is the ultimate 24 hour test of endurance.

North West Donegal has been chosen for The Race 2017 as it provides the perfect blend of beauty and more importantly, difficulty. The Race is held in early March to increase the chances of challenging weather conditions during the event. It is the toughest of courses at the toughest of times. In many cases it is how an athlete deals with the wind, rain or snow that will determine if they have what it takes to finish.

There is no typical competitor. Competitors come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. You do not need to be an elite runner, cyclist or kayaker. Those who compete in and complete The Race will be those who refuse to give up.

The focus of the The Race will be on the quality of experience rather than quantity of participants. The field will be limited to 150 participants to protect the local environment which includes Glenveagh National Park. The intention is not to exclude but rather to create an experience that will be one of the toughest but also most memorable of a competitor’s life.

The Race is a not for profit event will all proceeds going towards the work of Self Help Africa. It is organised by Sand2Snow Adventures and Gartan Outdoor Education Center.

The Race is more than just an endurance event. It get’s inside your skin and becomes a part of who you are. It forces you to apply yourself in preparation for the race in ways that you never thought possible. And during the race you overcome obstacles that would have you turning for home on any other day. You come out of it a more confident and resilient person to whom anything is possible. And of course you become part of a community of fellow competitors. People who are always happy to hear from you if you have any crazy ideas!! – Paul Tierney, Competitor 2016

Awesome event, put on by an amazing team, in an incredibly beautiful county. Definitely one for the bucket list. – Rose Leith, Competitor 2015

The Race DonegalStage 1: Run (22km) Gartan Adventure Center to Ramelton

The Race begins in the dark with competitors completing a half marathon as the sun begins to rise. This stage is all on roads with a gradual decline in elevation.

Stage 2: Kayak (15Km) Ramelton to Rathmullan

Competitors will reach the beginning of stage 2 as the sun begins to rise. This kayaking stage takes place on Lough Swilly. Competitors use single sit on top kayaks to paddle the 15km distance between Ramelton to Rathmullan.

Stage 3: Cycle (96km) Rathmullen to Muckish Mountain

Constant hills and a prevailing south westerly wind make it hard to find a rhythm during a stage that has been voted the toughest stage in the event by the majority of race finishers.

Stage 4: Run (5km) Run/Walk/Scramble up and down Muckish Mountain

A 2.5km climb takes competitors to the top of Muckish Mountain. Conditions under foot are marshy from the outset but the ground hardens as you climb.

Stage 5: Cycle (68km) Muckish Mountain to Glenveigh National Park

On paper the easier of our two cycles takes competitors around the wind swept and ruggedly beautiful Bloody Foreland. Many competitors will be attempting this cycle in the dark which along with the wind can turn it into one of the toughest stages depending on when you hit it.

Stage 6: Run (42km) Towards Gartan Adventure Centre along the paths and trails of Glenveagh National Park

The final stage is for many the toughest with the majority of competitors completing all of the 42km’s in darkness.

Race Schedule

10 March – 12 March 2017

Gartan Adventure Centre, located on the banks of Gartan Lake, will play host to The Race 2017.

N.B. A detailed schedule will be sent onto all competitors prior to the race weekend.

Date Activity Location
Thursday
Race officials arrive Gartan Reception
Officials welcome + briefing Boat House
Friday
Officials breakfast Dining room
Officials on location final training
Competitors welcome briefing + meal Gartan Boat House
Saturday
Competitors breakfast Dining room
The Race Begins Gartan front entrance
Sunday
The Race finishes Gartan front entrance
Prize-giving brunch Boat House
Event Ends

Race Fees

In order to provide the best possible competitor experience and to minimise the impact on the local environment and ecology The Race is a limited field event.

Competitor places for The Race 2017 will be limited to 150. Your place will only be guaranteed once payment of the deposit has been received.

The Race is a not for profit event. All proceeds from The Race will go to charity. Upon acceptance for The Race you will be sent a Sponsorship Pack from Gorta – Self Help Africa. The pack is will include useful information to help you raise the sponsorship fee necessary for registration.

 

Entry fee – with accomodation* – €600

Entry fee – without accomodation* – €530

Deposit payable upon registration – €150

€150 second installment – must be paid before 01/7/16

Final installment must be paid before 01/11/16

 

Entry Fee Includes

  • Two nights accommodation in the Estate
  • Dinner upon arrival on eve of event
  • Breakfast on the morning of event and dinner upon completion
  • Brunch in the Boat House for prize-giving ceremony
  • THE RACE Pack – including THE RACE performance top
  • Use of kayak, paddle and buoyancy aid
  • Access to expert training and nutritional advice
  • The Race 2017, official medal (Only available to event finishers)

*There will be 60 spaces for The Race 2017 that include accommodation and these will be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Competitors who miss out on accommodation can add themselves to a waiting list

Rules & Regulations

  1. On entering, competitors agree to a declaration to waive liability, confirm acceptance of the rules & agree to the release of personal images to the media and for event promotion purposes. International competitors must have the appropriate travel documents, visas & comprehensive medical insurance in place for this event. We do advise that competitors organise their own personal insurance.
  2. You must immediately and respectfully comply with any direction or decision of the Event Organisers and the medical support staff. Any failure to do so may result in disqualification.
  3. There will be inforced cut-off times to ensure competitor safety. If a competitor misses a cut-off they will be transported back to the Gartan Estate.  This decision lies with the Stage Safety Officers and Race Director.
  4. Compulsory Equipment must be worn or carried as appropriate and as outlined.
  5. Competitors must be wear reflective clothing and front and back lights during all stages taking place during darkness or in the event of poor visability.
  6. The Race is an unsupported event. Spectators may not provide any item of equipment, drinks or nutrition to an athlete competing in the race. Assistance can only be provided by event personnel or other competitors competiting in the race. Any failure to comply may result in disqualification.
  7. You can only use one bike for the cycle. If you are found to change bike during the event you will be disqualified.
  8. Competitors must observe all Road Traffic Laws.
  9. Cycle on the left on all roads and keep tight into the left especially on main roads.
  10. Competitors must follow the course as marked. Any short-cuts will result in a time penalty or disqualification.
  11. Checkpoints must be visited in the prescribed order.
  12. In accordance with our commitment to minimise our impact on the local environment no litter of any kind, including for example water bottles, caps from water bottles, energy bar wrappers or toilet paper shall be left on the course. If you are found to have littered the course you will be heavily penalized or disqualified.
  13. All litter is to be carried to the closest transition or checkpoint for disposal.
  14. Respect the environment & local inhabitants
  15. MP3, Ipods etc are not permitted to be used during the race.
  16. The Race Director’s decision is final
  17. Inform a race official immediately after withdrawing from the race.
  18. Bib numbers must be worn by all competitors during The Race. The bib numbers must be visible on the front and back of each competitor.
  19. Drafting from another athlete or motor vehicle is forbidden. Competitors must reject attempts by others to draft. The Race will follow the rules on drafting as outlined by the International Triathlon Union for drafting illegial races.
  20. The responsibility of remaining on the course rests with the competitor. Any competitor, who appears to Technical or Medical Officials as presenting a danger to themselves or others, may be removed from The Race.

FAQs

1. What is THE RACE?

THE RACE is a 250km endurance event across the least hospitable terrain in Ireland.

2. Is THE RACE an adventure race, a ultra-triathlon, expedition race or extreme race?

THE RACE does not fall into any specific category. The race combines elements of many different genres but is in fact a category in and of itself. THE RACE is simply the toughest endurance event ever to take place on these shores.

3. Is any navigation required on the course?

The race is an endurance challenge as distinct from an adventure race requiring navigation. As such the course is sign posted and marshalled throughout and does not require navigation.

4. Who will compete in THE RACE?

There will be no stereotypical competitor. Competitors will come from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. You do not need to be an experienced athlete. You do not need to be an elite runner, cyclist or kayaker. Those who compete in and ultimately complete THE RACE will be those who refuse to give up.

5. How much training is required?

The amount of training needed will depend on your current fitness levels. Competitors are invariably busy people and can’t train all the time. Some will complete the event with less training, others want to win and will devote more time to preparations. The Race team will be available to talk you through a training plan that works for you.

6. How much does it cost to enter THE RACE?

THE RACE is a not-for-profit event. All proceeds from the race will go to help support the work of Gorta-Self Help Africa. The entry fee for the race is 600 euro (150 euro of which is payable up front and represents the deposit to confirm registration.) Competitors will get support from Gorta-Self Help Africa to help with fundraising and sponsorship.

7. What is included in the entry fee?

  • Two nights accommodation in the Estate
  • Dinner upon arrival on eve of event
  • Breakfast on the morning of event and dinner upon completion
  • Brunch in the boat house for prize-giving ceremony
  • THE RACE Pack – including THE RACE performance top
  • Use of kayak, paddle and buoyancy aid
  • Access to expert training and nutritional advice from Sand2Snow Adventures Team
  • Discount on personal training in your area
  • Discount in a range of hotels in the area for friends and family
  • Discount in a range of restaurants in the area
  • The Race 2016, official medal

8. What equipment do I need to compete in THE RACE?

A full list of compulsory equipment is available here.

9. Are there any classification categories for competitors?

Race Entry / Registration

We will award a total of 150 places to competitors for The Race 2017. Registration is divided into two categories. The 150 Spaces will be divided as follows:

Registration Round 1 – First Come, First Served.

This round is open to all competitors. Places will be awarded on a first come, first served basis until all places are filled.

Open from 9.00am on Thursday the 26th of March 2015

75 Spaces available

Registration Round 2 – Selection Process

This round is open to all competitors. However, preference will be given to certain groups if their allocation has not already been filled.*

Open from 9.00am on Thursday 9th April 2015

75 Spaces available *

*Where possible we will ensure a minimum representation in The Race of Female Competitors (10%), International Competitors (10%), Local Competitors (10%) and Previous Competitors (10%).

The Elite competitor spaces will be allocated to the competitors with the greatest experience and/or best, relevant race results as judged by the race organisers. Please note that there will be no elite wave during The Race. All competitors will begin the event at the same time.

10. How many checkpoints are there during The Race and what will be available at each ?

There is a checkpoint at the end of each stage so 5 in total as the end of stages 3 and 4 are at the same location. There will be basic shelter at each checkpoint on the course. These will vary between temporary and permanent structures. Each will contain Safety Personnel and Equipment Box Drops Toilets Changing Areas Seated Areas Water and Food

11. Is there is a box drop at the end of each stage ?

Yes there is a box drop at the end of 1,2,3/4 and 5. To be clear the end of stage 3 and 4 is at the same location and as such there will only be one drop here.

12. Will we have toilets on the route, if so where?

Yes there will be toilets at base and at the end of stage 1, 2, 3/4 and 5.

13. What gear can I leave with my bike?

As with other interchanges you will be able to leave 1 box with your bike.

14. How do I get to the start of THE RACE?

Competitors are required to make there own way to Gartan Adventure Centre (17km from Letterkenny.)

15. When and where are the cut-off points/times?

1. Competitors must begin Stage 4 by 4.30pm

2. Competitors must begin Stage 5 by 6.30pm

3. Competitors must begin Stage 6 by 11.30pm

Additional Notes on Cut off Times:

On stage 5 and 6 cut offs will be enforced if it is clear competitors are unable to finish the course within the 24 hour limit. This decision will be at the desecration of the stage safety officer and race director.

Cut off times will be strictly enforced and will be at the discretion of stage safety officers and race director.

16. Are kayaks, paddles and buoyancy aids provided?

Yes.

17. How many checkpoints are there during The Race and what will be available at each ?

There is a checkpoint at the end of each stage so 5 in total as the end of stages 3 and 4 are at the same location. There will be basic shelter at each checkpoint on the course. These will vary between temporary and permanent structures. Each will contain Safety Personnel and Equipment Box Drops Toilets Changing Areas Seated Areas Water and Food

18. What items of the mandatory list must we carry throughout the race.

You will need to have all compulsory gear on your person throughout. Except Clothing which you can separate as you wish and bike gear which is only required for the bicycle section.

19. Are both cycle legs on reasonably good quality sealed roads?

The cycling legs are all on sealed roads and over 90% of these would be described as being in good to very good condition. There is a 15km stretch towards the end of the second cycle that is on a one lane local road. Again this is in good condition for a local road.There will however be cracks in the tarmac on this section.

20. Are the kayaks single or double sit on tops?

Single sit on tops

21. In terms of assistance for the race are we allowed to have any outside support ie a support team with food, clothes etc ready or do we have to be completely self sufficient?

The Race is an unsupported event. Part of the challenge is for competitors to complete the course without outside assistance.
Supporters can meet with competitors at designated areas located at each stage transition . Supporters are not permitted to interfere with competitors and cannot under any circumstances:

  • Handover or collect any equipment / fuel
  • Drive alongside competitors
  • Disobey an event marshall

22. Can you describe the accommodation provided?

Accommodation is dormitory style but spacious with plenty of room for all competitors kit. It is included in competitors race fee for the Friday and Saturday night of the event.

23. Can my friends/family run/cycle/kayak alongside me on the course

No support by foot / kayak / bicycle on the course. Friends and family can support at numerous designated spots along the course. They will also be able to meet with competitors at designated zones at each stage transition.

24. Will there be any water available on the final run leg or should we planning to carry all of what we will need in a hydration pack.

There will be water available at each stage checkpoint and at the half way point on stage 3 and stage 6. Marshals on the course will also have an additional supply of water at varies locations on the course.

25. On stage two, if the weather is bad, i.e. cold and wet,I may wear a wet suit. Is there any problem in doing so ?

No problem at all. The clothing choice is at each competitors discretion.

26. It states stage two is paddling with the tide, is there any part during the 15km we are against the current or flow. This is just so I can get a close estimate on my time.

In testing this stage has taken us between 1hr 30mins and 2.15hrs. In 2017 all competitors will be paddling with the tide throughout this stage.

27. Is there is a box drop at the end of each stage ?

Yes there is a box drop at the end of 1,2,3/4 and 5. To be clear the end of stage 3 and 4 is at the same location and as such there will only be one drop here.

28. Will we have toilets on the route, if so where?

Yes there will be toilets at base and at the end of stage 1, 2, 3/4 and 5.

29. Are we allowed any support or crews on the route?

There will be no support crews

30. What facilities will be at transitions and can we store our food & change of clothing at each transition.

There will be four bag drops on the course at the end of stage 1, 2, 3/4 and 5. End Stage 1 – Water, Bag Drop, Medical Team End Stage 2,3/4,5 – Medical Tent , Bag Drop , Toilet, Water. (We will have a small area in the medical tents that competitors can use to change. This will be private but quite basic) There will be hot water available at check points 3/4 and 5.

TO REGISTER CLICK HERE