Competitor Spotlight – Week 2.
I was up on our Instagram page and my eyes were drawn towards a picture of huge hoard of Adventure Race medals. They belonged to a guy called Denis O’Sullivan. To say I was impressed was an understatement…there was definite medal envy in there too.
And as if big brother was watching, I just posted on our Facebook page, that if anyone had any pictures from their day at GaelForce Dublin, that they should post them up. And low and behold, Denis posts up a picture of him and his 2 boys post race. The one we have used for here. (We always encourage people to post their race day pics up on our Facebook page, so if you have any feel free to do so). So I quickly set about getting in contact with Denis and he was totally on board about being under the competitor spotlight this week…
So here we go…
What is your name?
How old are you?
In my 30’s for one more month.
Where are you from?
Blennerville, Co. Kerry but exiled in Dublin!
What got you into Adventure Racing
My brother in law had taken part in the Dingle AR and was signed up for the Killarney AR in 2013 and I thought it sounded like something that would suit my competitive nature but I didn’t feel that my fitness was up to it. I lost some weight through Slimming World and signed up for WAR in 2014 and the rest as they say is history.
How many races have you done?
15 in total
When was your first race?
My first was in 2014
Which race was it?
The last WAR Sugarloaf (I finished last in the Sport!)
I’d love to take part in the Quest Austria event when it’s up and running
What inspires you?
My two boys mostly, I want them to see that with hard work and commitment anything is achievable. Apart from that it’s the camaraderie you see at every race.
What’s the plans for the upcoming calendar year?
I’m signed up for Quest Killarney in March and I’m planning on competing in Quest Achill, Quest Killarney (October), Moxie, DAR and the new Off The Bloom AR.
What music are you currently listening to when out?
I have the most eclectic musical taste known to man; my iTunes shuffle could throw out anything from U2 to Dropkick Murphy’s to Creedence!
Bike of choice?
I use a Giant Revolt, it’s a gravel bike which I alike as it’s got a more relaxed geometry and bigger tyres so it suits some of the rougher roads. It also has disc brakes which are handy!
Week before race…what do you do?
Panic! I try to have the hard work done by the last week although it’s not that easy early in the season, you could say I’ve wintered well! The last week is usually indoor to limit the chances of injury. I enjoy spinning classes with transitioning onto the elliptical trainer to keep the muscle used to the transitions but minimizing impact to the joints. Keeping well hydrated all week is also vitally important to avoid cramping on the day.
Morning of race…what do you do?
Panic some more! Normally I’m up early and have my usual breakfast of porridge with raspberries, blueberries and honey. I find porridge great as it’s filling without being too heavy and provide a great source of slow release carbs. I’ll get my race kit on and try and get to the loo before I head out to the start point.
Any embarrassing moments you wish to share?
Apart from being asked to complete this Q&A I think practically crawling over the finish line on the Blackstairs AR was the most embarrassing!
30-50 depending on the race and time of the year.
Post-race…do you spoil yourself, if so, how?
Normally a few pints and a decent (horribly bad for me) feed.
Any funny anecdotes?
None that I can think of, I’m very boring!
Strangest thing you have seen on a race?
I think the funniest rather than the strangest was the lady in Achill with the basket full of flowers on her bike and a flower headband, she brightened up my day.
(BTW This is the 2nd time in 2 weeks, that we have heard of this amazing lady…we would love to interview her…if anyone knows who she is)
Most beautiful scenery?
It’s hard to beat Kerry when the sun is shining either surveying the rugged beauty of the reeks from the saddle while traversing the Gap of Dunloe & the Black Valley to the views of the Atlantic Coastline when riding through Ventry & Slea Head (Quest Killarney & DAR Dingle).
Paul O’Connell for his leadership, drive and determination.
Advice for absolute beginners?
Get out there and enjoy it the experience and the awesome scenery that this little country has to offer. Don’t get too hung up on the finish times, I know I’m not the fastest guy out there and I’ll only ever finish mid table and I’m ok with that. Remember that no matter what your pace you’re still lapping the guy or girl on the couch! It’s a great community full of some wonderful people.
If you know of anyone who would like to go under the spotlight, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In case you missed last weeks Competitor Spotlight – Jonathan O’Meara – here is the link.