The Inside Track – Quest Glendalough 2018

//The Inside Track – Quest Glendalough 2018

The Inside Track – Quest Glendalough 2018

The annual pilgrimage to the home of St Kevin is almost upon, but we will be praying for the fine weather we received last year. And early indications are that the gods have been listening to our novenas. It’s due to hit the high teens with plenty of sun. In 2017, Quest Glendalough scooped the award for Best Adventure Race. A cracking day it was as the 1500 strong entrants with remonstrate.  This years event sold out well in advance.

The 3 route event, has not changed. We still have the popular 19k challenge, 41k sport and 57k expert.

Challenge 19k Route Breakdown


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Strava Link

This is a lovely introductory route for a beginner. It compromises of 4 stages.

Stage 1: Cycle. 12k

A mix of good standard road and for a short stretch back road which may have some pot holes and light centre road grass.

Stage 2: Run 4k

From the transition area, you will run through a courtyard and onto the trail/fire road all the way to the kayaking section. Upon this run you will reach the highest point of the route. Then it’s all downhill from there.

Stage 3: Kayak 1k

You will receive all the kayaking equipment here and be partnered up with a fellow competitor

Stage 4: Run 2k

Run/walk to glory. A short run back on fire road back to the hotel and finish line.

Stage 5: Relax and enjoy the atmosphere

Not in the rules, but the weather will be fine, so chill out, have a bit to eat and maybe a pint too.

Sport 41k Route Breakdown


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This is a classic sport route. It compromises of 4 stages.

Stage 1: Cycle. 6k

This opening stage is a gradual 6k climb up to the first transition on good roads. About 250m assent in total

Stage 2: Run 6k

Here you will dismount and hit the trails, through the forestry and up to the highest point on the course, made up of fireroad and rough track. From there its pretty much back downhill around the outside of the forestry to the bikes.

Stage 3: Cycle 20k

Warning: The 2-3k is a steep descent where caution is advised. Especially if you are not experienced in race situations. Please try be aware that some cyclists will be going a lot faster. Stay left of the road if possible. At the end of the descent there is a sharp turn so heed the warnings signs and race officials. From there its beautiful rolling hills all the way into transition.

You may encounter one or two steep climbs. Advice here is save your batteries and dismount.

Stage 4: Run 6k

After transition, you will enter into a courtyard and then stay left up the fireroad.  This will be clearly marked. Its a 6k look over to the kayak section

Stage 5: Kayak 1k

Once you have reached the kayak, you will receive all your equipment and be paired up with another competitor.

You should let the more experienced kayaker on the back.

Stage 6: Run 2k

Run/walk to glory. A short run on fire road back to the hotel and finish line.

Expert 57k Route Breakdown


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Be under no illusions, this is a tough route. One of the main obstacles to overcome, apart from the course itself, is the prospect of cramping due to the number of transitions. 7 in total. Advice would be to make sure you are well hydrated throughout, taking on plenty of electrolytes.

Stage 1: Cycle 6k

This opening stage is a gradual 6k climb up to the first transition on good roads. About 250m assent in total.

Stage 2: Run 6k

Here you will dismount and hit the trails, through the forestry and up to the highest point on the course, made up of fireroad and rough track. From there its pretty much back downhill around the outside of the forestry to the bikes. The first 2 stages are the same as the first 2 in the sport route.

Stage 3: Cycle 13k

Warning: The 2-3k is a steep descent where caution is advised. Especially if you are not experienced in race situations. Please try be aware that some cyclists will be going a lot faster. Stay left of the road if possible. At the end of the descent there is a sharp turn so heed the warnings signs and race officials.

You will then climb up the highest cycle part of the race (450m). You will then descend to Aughavanagh before turning left to the Brown Mountain and next transitions

From there its beautiful rolling hills all the way into transition.

You may encounter one or two steep climbs. Advice here is save your batteries and dismount.

Stage 4: Run 5k

At transition in Barnaslew, you head up forest trail to near the Ballinagappoge bridge and then up the highest point of the course at 667m at the summit of Craoghanmoira Mountain.  The descent will be a mixture of rocky and rough track. Caution is advised.

Stage 5: Cycle 18k

Once back on the bike, its an 18k trek back to the next transitions. You will encounter beautiful rolling hills.

Stage 6: Run 6k

This trail run is the same as the sport route with a mix of fireroad and stone path.

Stage 6: Kayak 1k

You will receive all your kayaking equipment here and be paired up with another competitor.

Stage 6: Run 2k

A short run on fire road back to the hotel and finish line.

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