You may be forgiven for thinking that Dublin is flat…The hills in Gaelforce Dublin are less forgiving. One thing about Killary Gaelforce, you can be sure anything they put their name against, will really test you.
Gaelforce Dublin is no different. A race that put you through your paces with particular emphasis on the cycling stages. You will meet almost every cycling terrain imaginable.
In this blog and our next blog, we are going to breakdown the 2 routes, 29k & 49k respectively, to help you prepare for the big day.
As you can see from the route breakdown, some of the hills are severe.

 29K Route Breakdown

The race starts in Tallaght Stadium with roughly a 1k run to the first bike transition and then its off up towards Bohernabreena reservoir in the Dublin mountains for 9k.
Over the space of the first 4k on the bike, you will encounter an ascent of circa 250m. Only the hardiest of cyclist will reach the 351m above sea level mark without dismounting with almost 11% gradient in some part. You will off road as well at some stage and require good grip on your tyres. A hybrid tyre would probably work best here.
After you reach the bike transition, it’s a short run uphill to the reservoir and into the kayak for about 750m. The legs will enjoy a welcomed rest here. The kayaks are duel i.e. sit two people comfortably.
Next up is the 10k run stage. Of which roughly 4k up to the summit of Kippure gaining about 150m ascent and then back to the bikes for 8.5k.
The first section is back on the gravel/dirt road so be careful. Then back onto the R118 back to the stadium for well deserved rest and refresh.
Tip: Keep an eye on the weather this week. Some of the off roads cycling stretches may suffer if there is wet or snowy weather.
To cleat or not to cleat. The age old question. Our take on it is, that if you are doing the 29k, you are probably better off with pedal stirrups, as you travel over some of the harder cycling track. For all you gain with cleats on, you will be dismounting in some parts as either the roads are too steep or just to mucky, and they may not be ideal.

A route breakdown for the longer 49k course will be posted shortly.