Competitor Spotlight – Week 5.

With Quest Glendalough looming, I began to research actual footage of trails of Wicklow on Youtube and came across a channel by a fella called “Outdoorsy Guy”. Turns out he is an Irish guy who has done a good few races on the circuit. Really worthwhile checking his channel out. Some great footage in there. So we caught up with each other and i pinged him a few little questions.

So here we go…Enjoy 🙂

What is your name?
Ciarán McCann

How old are you?

Where are you from?
A small town called Johnstownbridge Co. Kildare on the Kildare/Meath border.

My occupation is far from “Outdoorsy”. I’m a Software Engineer at a Dublin based tech company based called Swrve.

What Tell us about Outdoorsy Guy
Guy, was quite literally the best name I could up with at the time of starting my Youtube channel, it was a ‘working title’ as they say. Though now I explain it as my alter- ego, as my day to day life is very ‘indoorsy’. I use the channel to drive myself to go outdoors more, which inevitably makes me happier.

You have a Youtube channel. What do we expect to see on this? 
It’s still very early days, though I’m currently on a pretty solid frequency of uploading a new video every Saturday morning. Mainly focused around trail running in the Wicklow Mountains, Cycle touring, Kayaking or just any outdoor adventure I go on really. I’m also branching out into tips and advice for these kinda pursuits. So if you’re interested check it out and subscribe

IMG_20150413_125015It is no secret you love the hills & trails. Can you explain why?
Trail running is something I kinda fell into while on a cycle tour in the US. I was cycling from San Francisco Yosemite and I knew Yosemite had many long hikes to some amazing peaks. I was only going to be staying there a few days, so I wanted to get to the top of as many peaks as possible. So I said to myself, why not run them? That way I could get several done in a short space of time, so bought myself a pair of trail running shoes and a hydration bag in San Francisco before I headed out. I ran several of the peaks in Yosemite over 5 days and the experience was breathtaking on multiple levels :P. Since than all the running I try to do, I try to do on the trail. It’s just much more interesting and freeing than the road for me

What got you into Adventure racing? 
For me, I have never been a competitive person, I have always been more focused around competing with myself and developing mental grit. I don’t know what it is, but Adventure races seem to attract certain type of people. It’s an event you all do together, people help each other out and just generally there is great banter between people. It’s more around enduring and crossing the finish line, rather than being the fastest to do so. The multi disciplines are also just fun and most of the running tends to be trail running up some amazing mountainous landscape this country has to offer, which is great.

How many races have you done?
Around 5 distinct events each year for the last 4 years. So probably around 15 or so.

When was your first race? Which race was it?
My first adventure race was around 4 years ago I think the ‘Connemara Rough Diamond Adventure Race’ it’s unfortunately no longer running as far as I know. It was a great race though, featuring a run and scramble to the top of the Diamond mountain in Letterfrack.

Favorite race?
Quest Killarney in October, the 75km Expert route. The Mangerton Mountain 19km run is one of the last stages of the race and it’s absolutely gruelling one to say the least. It’s really a great one, very well organized etc.

Dream race?
I don’t really have one, though I’m always looking at new events and challenges.

What inspires you?
That’s an intense question, but it boils down to a rush of chemical reactions in anyone’s brain really. I just so happen to get that rush from endurance type challenges and generally being outside in amazing landscapes.

What’s the plans for the upcoming calendar year?
Still forming the plans, though I certainly looking at most of the Quest races this year.

What music are you currently listening to when out?
I’m one of the few people who don’t listen to music while running.

Runner of choice?
For the trails, it’s got to be Solomen Speedcrosss 3.

Bike of choice?
My bike has been the same for the last 6 years or so. Its Giant TCX 3, it’s nothing majorly fancy, pretty entry level crosscycle bike, but I use it for everything: commuting, touring and of course, adventure races. It’s a nice all rounder.

Week before race…what do you do?
Start training 😛 Quite literally the first year I ran the DEBRA Ireland Half Marathon, I hadn’t run in months. Like most things you sign up to them and forgot about them. So the week before I just started running everyday and rested for the last 2 days. It certainly helped prepare me for the 21km on the mountains. Though probably not the most advisable training plan.

Morning of race…what do you do?
Porridge! Massive bowl of porridge. Several pints of water

Any race superstitions?
Nah – I’m not a superstitious person

Any embarrassing moments you wish to share?
Nothing particularly related to Adventure racing.

Ideal distance?
I’m always up for a challenge, so anything goes really

Post-race…do you spoil yourself, if so, how?
Post-race is far from spoiling myself, it’s forcing myself to stretch and foam roll all my aching muscles. It’s almost harder to do than the race itself. I tend to just drink load of protein shakes and have a large meal, nothing too excessive.

Strangest thing you have seen on a race?
Guys in sumo wrestler outfits as an obstacle. You had to get by without them taking you to the ground on the Connemara Rough Diamond Adventure Race. It was quite a funny sight.

Most beautiful scenery?
Connemara has to be the most beautiful place I have raced in. Which you can see in my videos of last years Gaelforce Mountain Run in Connemara.

Hydration/Gels? Do you use them? Do you use any particular brands?
I do sometimes, no affinity for any particularly brand. I mainly use High5 powder for my water bottles.

Sporting Hero?
Don’t follow sports, don’t have anyone I would admire.  l

Advice for absolute beginners?
Just start today, like all things in life you have to start somewhere. Go for a small run today, next day go a little further. Push yourself to get outside and take part. That’s all I ever did. One day I took the old bike out of the shed, cycled 10km to the next town over, though to myself that’s pretty cool. Two weeks later I cycled over 60km from my home in Kildare to my college in Carlow. Just start today.


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