The bigger the challenge the greater the reward! In 2018 Quest 12.24 was everything they said it would be and more, they even delivered the weather. There was sweat, tears and thankfully not too much blood as the inaugural event took Adventure Racers from Sneem to the top Carrauntoohil, to Waterville, Ballinskelligs, Caherdaniel and along the Kerry way back to Sneem…crossing mountains, lakes, beaches…over some of the toughest cycling climbs in Ireland on a journey of a lifetime. Some went to win, some went to just finish…but all came away with one of the best experiences of their lives.
And so it’s no surprise that for 2019 Quest 12.24 that there are a lot of returning warriors….on 31st August there are times to be beaten, scores to be settles with the Devils ladder and Ballaghasheen Pass…they are back for the challenge! Joining them will be a whole new bunch of Adventure Racers, and each of those has their own goals too, they are chasing Paul Mahon’s or Killian Heery’s course records…or this might be the culmination of a year’s training…this might be a showcase event for a charity they are supporting….they might just want to see how far they can push themselves….or they just might want to spend some time in the heart of the beautiful Kingdom of Kerry. Last year we experienced first hand what this event had to offer…it was a day to remember, an unforgettable experience and many new friends were made.
So is there any advice we can offer any first timer? At this point you should have you training on point and you should be on track for the big day….just 3 weeks away now!
Join the Quest 12.24 Facebook group – This offers invaluable information and answers many questions you may have or provides a platform to get any questions you have addressed.
1. PLAN and PACE YOURSELF
This is not like your normal Adventure Race. It won’t be over in a few hours. Stick to the plan, never mind how quick the person beside is going….don’t worry about the ones going too fast at the start, chances are you’ll see them again before the finish?. It’s easy to get caught up in the action and bolt out of the traps. It’s a long day and one that could be made even longer if you run out of steam.
2. Spread your effort LEVELS out. BE SMART
Familiarize yourself with the route and make a plan – Ideally you should have attended one of the Quest 12.24 training / recce days which introduced parts of the course. Don’t panic though if you didn’t, use the available resources on the Quest information pack and the website. Know roughly how long each stage should take you and plan appropriately. Use this to plan what gear you will use on each stage and what you need to pack in the transition boxes
Transition boxes – You can pack transition boxes which the event organizers will have ready for you at key transition points along the course. Plan what you are going to store in each. Make a list, check it 5 times, tape the list to the cover of the box. It’s better to have than not have but be sensible. The 35 litre box can only fit so much. See the blog on the Quest 12.24 website for suggestions of what you may need in the transition box.
3. NUTRITION – Eat, drink and be merry
…then eat and drink some more – You need a nutrition plan for the day, we cannot stress this enough….you should know what you are going to consume and when you are going to consume it. Check out the blog on Quest 12.24 website which provides a great insight on how you plan for nutrition on a longer event. Make sure you stay ahead of the hunger and thirst. Pack lots of food, your taste may change during the race so pack a variety of high carb/cal foods
4. Test Your Equipment
20 minutes into my first stage, I had mechanical issues, which put a further 20 minutes on my first stage. It messed with my whole plan, mindset and everything else. It changed the day for me. And not in a good way. It took me time to re-adjust and get my head back into the game. So service that bike, check your trail runners, test out that hydration vest and anything else you may potentially use over the day.
5. RACE WEEK TAPER TIME
Training should be done, It’s time to fuel up and rest. Plenty of carbs load and make sure you are getting plenty of sleep in the days leading up to the race. The likelihood, if you are a first timer or someone who generally gets a bit nervy, you won’t sleep too well the night before, so get a jump on that and try and get a few extra hours kip during the week…. A good sleep on Wednesday or Thursday night will have you in fine shape for the big day
6. Stop and enjoy it
It’s easy to forget what you are achieving and where you are. Stop every now and then and look around, get your breath, sip that tailwind and eat then get moving again….don’t delay in transitions…keep moving…relentless forward progress. And have a chat now and again, no doubt your fellow competitor is in pretty much the same boat as you are!!!
Thanks to our pals at Primal Tracking there will be a live tracker on each and every one of us. A link will be sent out to you in the days leading up the event. You can share this with your nearest and dearest so they can be part of your amazing journey too.
It was announced that after this year, the next running of the race will be in 2021.
We will see you there on 31st August…be sure and say hello? Best of luck with the prep.