Quest Glendalough. For many, it will be their first exposure to adventure racing, it was mine. And looking back now at photographs and remember some of the rookie errors I made, I can only laugh. It was all part of the fun. Part of the learning curve. Football socks, the shorts, and carrying enough kit that would see you safe to Basecamp Everest.

So we have put together a quick list of things to help you.

Probably top tip at this stage would be to do a little homework on the course, especially if it’s your first time doing the race. Take some time to familiarise yourself with the route. Find out what the terrain is. Is it Hilly? Is it flat? Is it mucky? Is it Fireroad?

We have a full breakdown of the 3 routes, click here

Last October, due to adverse weather conditions there was a last minute change to the route on the Sport and Export route, the 1st run up around Shay Elliot had to change. This route has remained for this weekends race. After Transition 1, you will head off as you usually would but instead of heading off towards the climb, but instead you will run straight through to a technical 1km drop down a narrow track before starting a stiff climb back up intersecting with the old route. If you were querying whether or not you needed trail shoes, this new route will put a sudden end to that question. This weekends weather looks like it’s going to change for the worse so will be very slippery underfoot.

And following on from the above, what are you wearing on your feet. Road runners, for the sport and expert routes just will not cut it. You will need a pair of trail runners with a good aggressive grip. On the Challenge route, you may struggle if its anyway wet in the days leading up. Ideally a trail runner too.

Often overlooked. But do not burst out of the traps if you haven’t got the fitness level to maintain it throughout. The hills can be a cruel wakeup call and you will be found out very early and it might make for a very long day. Better to finish strong 😉

The body needs carbs to keep it moving in the right direction. These come in many forms. Spuds, pasta, rice. Start eating your body weight in these, in the days leading up to the race. Carb Load. Your muscles will store these carbs in the form of glycogen. We wont bamboozle you with facts and stats but just get them into you Wed/Thur/Friday. On the course, especially for the longer 2 races, you will need a good carb source to keep you trucking. There are loads of options mostly come in sugar form. Jelly babies, gels. That sort of thing though we recommend you have already tested gels out before the race in training as they dont agree with everyone’s tummies. Tailwind drink is a great way of taking on carbs and also electrolytes. Electrolytes are a great way to keep cramping at bay. Sports drinks have them. Plenty water in the days leading up to the race as well as during the race.

The mandatory kit and the penalties
This year there has been a tightening of rules and regulations, and expect more of the same this weekend. Mandatory means mandatory. You have to have it or you not be allow participate. There are stringent checks with every participant before you enter the starting ring.

So what is the mandatory kit (Expected to be on your person at all times)

  • Silver Foil Blanket & Whistle
  • Jacket
  • Plasters
  • Adequate nutrition

If you don’t have a kit, they are available at registration for purchase.

Bike Kit(not expected to carry these on run)

  • Helmet
  • Repair kit
  • Pump
  • Spare tube

The Penalties
This year there has been an increase in safety measures of the races involved in the National Series. Penalties will be enforced with spot checks throughout the course. For every stage you do not have the kit on, a 60 second additional time will be added to your overall time for each piece of mandatory kit not on your person e.g. if you are on a run and not carrying a jacket, you will get a 60 second penalty.

The ARI National Series Adventure Series.
You may or may not of heard there is a national series where anyone can compete at the sport and expert distances. Glendalough is one of those races. There are 100 points up for grabs in each race. Finish 1st you get 100 points, 2nd 99 points and so on. There are 10 races in the season and your best 5 results go to the overall tally. You don’t have to go anywhere to enter, by crossing the starting line, Full details here

At the end of the day, if this is your first time trying out Adventure Racing, it’s all about enjoying the event. Soaking up the party atmosphere, enjoying the breath taking views, the comradery and hopefully coming back for more. We hope to see you there. Best of luck to you. Don’t be nervous. Be excited. You got this!!

Other things to note

Friday 1st April: 5pm-9.30pm
Saturday 2nd April: 7am-9am

Brockagh Centre, Laragh, Co Wicklow, A98 D3H1

Sport Route
Cut-off point 1: 13.00 in TA1 (Laragh GAA transition). Anyone leaving the transition after this time will follow the Challenge run route at low level to the Upper Lake to complete the kayak stage and then onto the final run stage to the finish line

Cut off point 2: Anyone reaching the lake after 14.00 will not be permitted to kayak.

Expert Route
Cut off point 1: 09.45 at the Glenmalure Lodge / Drumgoff crossroads (This is approx 5 mins after leaving TA2). Failure to reach this point before cut off time will result in competitors being redirected onto the Sport route – No exceptions.

Cut off point 2: 11.00 at TA3 (2nd Bike / Run transition). Persons reaching TA3 after 11:00 will be asked to continue on their bikes to TA1 (at Laragh GAA) and may not attempt the 2nd trail run on Croghanmoire Mountain.

Cut off point 3: 13.00 at TA1 (Laragh GAA transition). Anyone leaving the transition after this time will follow the Challenge run route at low level to the Upper Lake to complete the kayak stage and then return on route to the finish line.

Cut off point 4: Anyone reaching the lake after 14.00 will not be permitted to kayak.