As the early morning sun rose and shone over West Donegal on Saturday morning, the local organisers of Randox Teoranta sponsored WAAR 2016 had the all- important factor on their side.
WAAR is the Wild Atlantic Adventure Race. And Weather alone however was never going to be the deciding factor of success and the participants in WAAR 2016 have been flowing with their comments and reflections on what was a superbly well organised day in Mullaghderg.
Over 400 competitors, an increasing of 50 per cent on last year’s success, and several tweaks to the course which saw the Kayak section move to Mullaghderg lake, was received with a positive response from those who travelled from all parts of Ireland and the UK.
Accommodation was totally maxed-out in the Rosses and Gweedore and the event has been a huge boost to the local economy over the weekend.[adrotate group=”55″]
WAAR as an event is designed to invite the seasoned and experienced participant along so as they can inspire others to compete as well as challenging their own targets. However, it strikes a great balance in being able to attract the many who are encouraged to take part either as a team member or individually.
The initial aim and one which holds true in the event values, is that we all should try to get involved in some physical activity which encourages a more positive mental and physical health approach. The use of volunteers as organisers is another positive of involving the wider community.
The social aspect of WAAR is another great aspect of the event from the many that join in the pre-event social media chat, to those who come along for the support of others and down to the now famous after party.
Saturday’s weather could not have been better and the scenes from the key points of Mullaghderg beach. The top of Thor, the lake with the Kayak’s at full-tilt -were all viewed in their full glory on a day to remember for participants and spectators alike.
The give-it-a- go competitors were an inspiration to watch as they lined up with enthusiasm and continued with resilience along a course although picturesque in scenery, was daunting in parts. The elite participants were led from the start by Gavin Crawford who took the run leg in an impressive time of 28.33.
Sean McFadden, the eventual WAAR 2016 winner pulled back his slight run time by gaining in the bike section against stiff opposition from local man Neil McBride.
Edward Harkin gained time back on the Kayak but it was the more balanced performance across all disciplines by Sean Mc Fadden that saw him take WAAR 2016 with an over 2 min lead on Martin Lynch who finished second. Siobhan Gallagher was the first female home with a great time of 2.37.06 which was +19.06 from the winning time.
The Team event was won by ‘Team 25’ C Docherty/ P McBride/ C McGeever/ D Walsh which was led by Ciaran Doherty’s super run in a time of 26.01, the best of the day in that section and the always impressive Peter Mc Bride’s bike ride in a time of 0.54.28. The Female Team category was won by ‘Mara Media Ladies:’ G Boyle/M Sweeney/E Sweeney/G Sharkey and the Mixed Teams category was won by ‘ODonnells.ie Fuels’ Team: Kevin McGee/Michael ODonnell/Orlaigh Fogarty/Dinny McCullagh.
Danny Quigley won the inaugural Duathlon event winning both the run and bike overall in a combined 1.54.58 time.
Overall, WAAR 2016 was a big success and it is expected that the registration will increase even further for the 2017 event. Organisers got it right in all aspects of the event organisation and it is this attention to detail that will have participants waiting for the event again in 12 months.
Male Overall Winner: Shaun McFadden, 2nd Martin Lynch, 3rd Neil McBride.
Female overall: Siobhan Gallagher, 2nd Helen McCready, 3rd Anne Robinson.
Duathalon Male: Danny Quigley, 2nd Gerard Cuddy, 3rdBrendan Lawlor.
Female duathalon: Sharon Muir, 2nd Kelly O’Donnell, 3rd Mona Bonner.
Please click here for full results
To see the gallery, please click in the first image below …