For those who are unfamiliar with it, this event is 2 distances, a 12 hour race covering 147km and a 24 hour race covering 248km. Both unsupported races start and finish in Sneem Co. Kerry and take in the best of what the Kingdom has to offer.
Each race however is quite different. The shorter race, if 147km can be considered short, is harder to complete within the 12 hours. On average only 40% will make it under the 12 hours. The 12 hour race consists of a 48km bike to Carrauntohill, a 13km run up and down that wee little hill, 47km bike to Waterville, 5km kayak, 14km bike to Catherdaniel and finish up with an 18km trail run along the Kerry Way back home to Sneem.
1. Top honours were taken by return race winner Killian Heery finishing in 8hr 28mins, followed shortly by fellow Cavan man and 2019 Continental National Adventure Series (Expert) Champion Philip Smyth coming in 2nd & Liam Ahern taking the final podium spot.
2. In the ladies field, last years 2019 Sport Series winner Regina Sheehan took the top gong for the ladies in a very impressive 10hr 07m, followed by Rosemary Rutherford 10hr 52m and the final slot taken by Renata Soulevicuite 11hr 02m.
Last year, there was an epic battle with only 3 minutes between the first 3 contestants in the longer race.
I remember being on the finish line, having come in shortly before them after completing the 12 hour race(with 6 mins to spare). There was great excitement as a crowd had gathered and were all following the live tracking, wondering whose face would come around the corner at the finish line first. The mercurial Matt Casey took top honours in a time of 13hr55m17s followed shortly by Paul Mahon 13hr57m04s and hot on his heels was Laura O’Driscoll in 13hr58m32s (all as seen in cover photo).
The 24hr race consisted of a 80km bike, 13km up and down Carrauntohill, 111km bike, 10km kayak and 35km trail run. For most, the 11.5 hour cut off at the kayak is the hardest part to make. Being a strong cyclist should get you there with time to spare. I feel it’s important to stress that each cycle on each race has some wicked hills to contend with. If you have ever taken a spin up Ballagasheen Pass, Ballaghbeama Gap, Coomakista Pass or the energy sapping road out of Valentia Island, you will know where I’m going with this. Nothing is straight forward and if it is, it will be up hill.
It was a truly amazing day. Both courses are amazing, the scenery breathtaking, the comradery unmatched, the sense of achievement upon completion…unrivaled. From the briefing the night before, the last minute tactics chat and the early 6am start, the buzz of anticipation is bubbling. If you fancy a serious no holds barred challenge, and about 2 steps up from the norm, then this is the one for you. But be warned, you need to put in the leg work beforehand. You will be found out. It’s not for the faint of heart. It’s the kind of event where you will “get out, what you put in”. It was tagged as “a race like no other…” . Only one way to find out.
Roll on 2021…We cannot wait!!!
BTW: if it is a race you are interested in or want to know more about, please do reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org. We are always happy to fill you in 🙂
Quest 12 results
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Our 2019 Quest 12 Report Click Here.