MARIUSZ OLEJNICZAK WAS the winner of the 250km Race, Ireland’s first 24-hour endurance event staged in Donegal.
The 33-year-old Pole (pictured above), who has been based in Ireland for 10 years and owns No 1 fitness in Kilcullen, Co Kildare, completed the course in a record time of 15 hours one minute and 45 seconds.
Stage 1 was a 22km jog from Gartan to Ramelton before Stage 2 – a 15km kayak onto Rathmullan. Stage 3 then was the first of two cycles, some 96km from Rathmullan over Knockalla to the Atlantic Drive, over Lough Salt and into the base of Muckish.
Stage 4 consisted of a 5km scramble up and down Muckish before Stage 5 meant it was time to get back on the bike for 68km from Muckish around the Bloody Foreland and back to Doochary. Then, to finish, a full marathon back to Gartan via Glenveagh National Park for Stage 6.
The wind and rain that proved such a deterrent in the first two stagings of the event wasn’t a feature in a typically springtime day in the north-west.
Olejniczak admitted the snow on Stage 4 on Muckish mountain frightened him a little.
“When I saw the snow it scared me a bit,” he said. “It was very wet and slippy and there was snow on top. I slipped a few times coming down but I was alright. It’s brilliant, I’m really happy now but I’m glad it’s over. The weather wasn’t bad. This is my first adventure race. It is the hardest thing I have ever done but it’s an honest course.”
Rob McDonald from Cellbridge, Co Kildare, was second with Martin Lynch from Ramelton was third.