The fifth annual Skibbereen Charity Adventure Race takes place this year on Saturday, October 20th and looks set to be the biggest yet with up to 600 competitors taking part.
We took time out to talk to Sean Mahon, Race Director and member of Skibbereen Lions Club about why SCAR is a little different to most adventure races.
The main thing that sets our race apart is that 100% of all competitor race fees goes to local charities and good causes in and around West Cork as the event was originally created and is now organised by a special race team from Skibbereen Lions Club. Around 6 years ago a few of us in the Lions club were getting involved in cycling, running and kayaking events and even the odd triathlon. At the same time we were looking for new fundraising ideas for Skibbereen Lions Club and the idea was floated, by fellow member, Ciaran Dillane, of putting on our own adventure race where all entry fees go to local good causes. It was challenging in year one but we learnt a lot about the logistics and forward planning required when putting on such an event and things went fairly smoothly. The idea seemed to be a popular one from the start because 5 years later and with with the help of loads of local volunteers, we’ve attracted over 2,000 competitors and to date have raised more than €100,000 for charity and good causes which is wonderful and we sincerely thank all the local businesses, volunteer marshals and voluntary organisations that have supported us. I also must thank our sponsor Carbery Group and of course everyone who has entered over the last 5 years. Finally, I must acknowledge all the hard work that the lads in the SCAR/Skibbereen Lions Club team put in every year to organise the race and make sure that competitor and marshal safety comes first.
SCAR is a multi-discipline adventure race and is on the National Adventure series for Ireland. The race starts and finishes just outside Skibbereen and takes place in beautiful West Cork with routes that weave their way through stunning and challenging Wild Atlantic Way coastal locations such as Castletownshend, Union Hall, Toe Head, Tragumna and Europe’s largest saltwater lake, Lough Hyne. If you’ve never been down to this neck of the woods or fancy a different challenge I can guarantee you a warm welcome, incredible scenery and a solid challenge.
What can you expect? Well, the race has three courses which appeal to all levels and abilities. They are the ‘Expert’ (79.5km: running,18km, biking 60k, kayak 1.5km) which from personal experience I can assure you will give you a good run out! ‘The Sport’ (53.5km: running 12km, biking 40km, kayak 1.5km) which is a great distance for pushing yourself hard and the the ‘Taster’ (26km: running 6km, biking, 20km) which had been really popular with those wanting to try adventure racing for the first time or who simply enjoy the shorter distance. The Sport and Expert courses are designed to attract the more serious racers from around the country, with several racers joining us from the UK. They will get to pit themselves against some of the country’s top adventure racers and tri-athletes on the day.’
The Expert and Sport both have some nice hills included, if that’s your thing, both for the run and cycle sections. We incorporate trail running on forest paths, cycling along cliff top roads and through coastal villages, incredible views out to the Atlantic and Cape Clear and Sherkin Islands respectively and kayaking on Lough Hyne which is a really special place and one of the many jewels in West Cork’s crown. You’ll love it! We’d love to see you on Saturday October 20th and remember 100% of your entry fee will be helping good causes’
Places are going fast for this year’s SCAR event. Full details can be found at www.thescar.ie and on facebook.
TASTER- 26K BREAKDOWN
Run 6 km – Cycle 20 km
The TASTER starts in Castlehaven GAA with a 6 km Out and In run, followed by a 20 km bike loop starting and finishing in the Castlehaven GAA grounds with a short sprint over the finish line.
SPORT – 58.8K BREAKDOWN
STAGE 1 TRAIL AND ROAD RUN (15.5KM)
Run 6 km – Cycle 22 km – Run 7 km – Kayak 1.5 km – Cycle 22 km
The SPORT starts in Castlehaven GAA with a 6 km Out and In RUN, followed by a 22 km BIKE to the Bike Drop in Lough Hyne, where you begin the anticlockwise 7 km Lough Hyne Forest Loop RUN. After descending the famous steps you will begin the 1.5 km KAYAK (in double sit on top kayaks). After the Kayak you will collect your bike and head on the second 22 km BIKE back to Castlehaven GAA grounds finishing with a short sprint over the finish line.
EXPERT – 77.5K BREAKDOWN
STAGE 1 TRAIL AND ROAD RUN (15.5KM)
Run 12 km – Cycle 35 km – Run 7 km – Kayak 1.5 km – Cycle 22 km
The EXPERT starts in Castlehaven GAA with a 12 km Castle Loop RUN, followed by a 35 km BIKE to the Bike Drop in Lough Hyne, where you begin the anticlockwise 7 km Lough Hyne Forest Loop RUN. After descending the famous steps you will begin the 1.5 km KAYAK (in double sit on top kayaks). After the Kayak you will collect your bike and head on the second 22 km BIKE back to Castlehaven GAA grounds finishing with a short sprint over the finish line.
NOTE: EXPERT and SPORT Course participants will earn points for the MSAI National Series.
All starts are from Castlehaven GAA Grounds with registration and bike rack on Saturday morning only.
PICS & CAPTIONS
SCAREJ17 : Credit Emma Jervis – ‘The kayak stage takes place on the stunning Lough Hyne’
SCAR COD3 : Credit Charlie O’Donovan – ‘Some of the country’s top Adventure Racers have competed in SCAR’
SCARGM14 : No credit reqd – ‘The infamous “Wall’ on the Sport and Expert course cycling stage’
SCARGM19 : No credit reqd – ‘SCAR welcomes you to West Cork’