Competitor Spotlight – Barry Dempsey

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Competitor Spotlight – Barry Dempsey

The likelihood is that you have come across our next Competitor to go under the Spotlight. And the likelihood is that he will have had his camera out making the most of the awesome scenery. But don’t mistake him for a photographer, this year he completed his 7th GaelForce West. He doesn’t do things by halves.

I give you Barry Dempsey…

Screenshot_20170921-112155What is your name? Barry Dempsey

Where are you from? Enniscorthy Co.Wexford

How old are you? 39

Occupation? Leisure Centre Manager

What got you into Adventure racing?
It was buy pure chance i had never heard of Adventure Races and in 2011 a good friend asked if i would do Gealforce West. I couldn’t as i had an Fai coaching course booked the same weekend, but it was cancelled and i entered Gaelforce West 2011 just 10 days before the race. So totally blind with 7 days training off i went and i was hooked. I had just retired from soccer with a back injury and the races were a great alternative, the atmosphere was great and the scenery was amazing.

I was also single and it was also an attraction if you know what i mean 🙂

There was also a big group from Enniscorthy for the first few years but there is only 2 of us left now.

The Body did pay a heavy tole as i did the race with a knee problem, you could say I’m a bit stubborn. So had to come back more prepared and the view from the top of Croagh Patrick was unbelievable.

How many races have you done? To date I gave completed 29 races in 7 years with 1 more to go in 2017

When was your first race? 2011

Which race was it?
It was Gaelforce West in Westport.

Favourite race?
Oh god such a difficult question but would have to be Gaelforce West as it was my first race and still do it every year and the plan is to do 10 years in a row. Quest Killarney in October would have to be up there as well for its location as well as the sheer size makes it a must every year.

Dream race?
Dream race would be a combination of Gealforce West and Quest Killarney in October. Going from start to finish without doing any loops on the different stages.

Screenshot_20170921-112239What inspires you?
The race atmosphere created by Quest and Gaelforce is great and the relaxed nature of the competitors so friendly and helpful in the midfield anyway. But it has to be Ireland and the amazing parts of the country we get to see and i have taken a few pictures to say the least J The sense of achievement at the end and the memories will always stay with you as well as the new friends you meet from all over Ireland.

What’s the plans for the upcoming calendar year?
For 2017 i wanted to complete the Quest and Gaelforce medal sets and sadly missing Glendalough has cost me the Quest set. Killarney will mean iv completed 8 races in 2017. Gealforce Dublin, Quest Killarney March, Gaelforce Connemara, Dingle, Gaelforce West, Moxie, Quest Achill and Quest Killarney now in October.

Which would you consider your strongest discipline…Kayaking, running or cycling?
It would have to be Cycling especially the races with off road sections as i use a Giant Hybrid. But could do with a full racer for 2018.

Runner of Choice
Its Solomon at the moment but may have to change as there not doing my toes any favours.

Screenshot_20170921-112713Bike of Choice
I’ve a Giant Hybrid bike which is perfect for off road races but not so good for the road races. Il have to get a second bike for 2018.

Do you use GPS watch? If so, which one?
No I don’t as of yet it doesn’t really interest me as I am more interested in looking around at the views and taking a few pictures.

Week before race…what do you do?
I actually don’t do anything different race week except increase my carb intake and taper training down with 2-3 full days rest before race day.

Morning of race…what do you do?
You might notice from my pictures I like to leave everything out on the table the night before and then in the morning decide what I need to bring for the race.

Any race superstitions?
No superstitions really

Any embarrassing moments you wish to share?
On Connemara 2015 I capsized and oh the cold………and then quads and hamstrings cramps when I tried to run the final 10km. That’s more painfull than embarrassing.

That probably about it so far anyway, no really embarrassing moments so far.

Screenshot_20170921-112427Ideal distance
Oh the longest distance mostly but that may have to change with the current knee problems, only having 1 ACL!!!!!! Will have to be a little bit more causes in the future.

Post-race…do you spoil yourself, if so, how?
On yes the hot tubs after Quest events are great. Oh a chat then shower and lying off on the bed for an hour is great. Later the usual some food and a few drinks but only a few as I’m a light weight on the drink 😛

Some people race for the medals, some for the jerseys, are you either of these people?
I wouldn’t say I race for them but I do have all the medals, jerseys, race numbers and time sheets.

Strangest thing you have seen?

On WAR Sugar Loaf there was a Christmas on the side of the road. On Achill 2016 2 top female races getting into a one man kayak, Laura O’Driscoll will remain unnamed. The Dingle wind tunnel which was like hitting an invisible wall which forced everyone off the road for 10meters, it was crazy. On the Dingle pinnensla you could hold a baby lamb for just 5 euro …. !

Most beautiful scenery?
On where do I start, Clew Bay from The Reek, Gap of Dunloe/Black Vally, Slea Head, Keel Beach, Devils Punch Bowl, Killary Harbour, Glendalough are all the most impressive places and iv a few pictures of all the above. But still so many more places all over Ireland in all the races.

Hydration/Gels? Do you use them? Do you use any particular brands?
Gels I do use a couple but can be sticky and you can’t beat good old water. Brand wise it was Maxi Muscle and now its Kinetica

Screenshot_20170921-112329Sporting hero?
Probably mostly Irish soccer stars and generally anyway Irish competing internationally. Green is the colour no matter the sport and it’s all about encouraging and keeping as many young people in sport healthy and fitness for as long as possible.

Advice for absolute beginners?
Plan your race ask for advice and anyone can get through a race with so many options for every ability from total beginners to the very good.

Don’t try and stay dry because the feet will always get wet eventually.

Planning is the biggest thing esp in your pre-race prep for the distance you plan on doing. But the biggest thing is to always talk to everyone around you as it just makes it so much easier and enjoyable.

Do you have any social media links we can follow your progress on?

Oh I have a few and even try and post during races esp on new courses you can follow me on Twitter @debarry78, Instigram its barrydempsey1, Snapchat barryde78.

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