THE DONEGAL WILD ATLANTIC WAY ULTRA RACE is now just over two months away.
The event organisers Sean McFadden and Shaun Stewart have been circling the route in recent days – in the cars – and the course has been confirmed as 555 kilometres with 6,000 metres of elevation gain.
Registration and pricing for the event is available by clicking here. It takes place on June 24.
The concept of the Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra Race, which is similar to “Race Around Ireland” and “Race Across America” will see solo racers, teams of two, four and eight, battle it out to conquer Donegal’s most scenic coastal roads, all within the 60 hours time limit.
“We’d like to think that because of the fact there’s a number of different teams options it means that there’s no exclusivity of entrants,” McFadden said. “With the two, four and eight-man team events, it means that even beginners in the saddle can play their part.
“There are a lot of people cycling in the county every day and the team event is more family and fun-orientated where we will have prizes for the fittest family and the fittest club.”
The race will be based in the Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny, where the competitors will depart for Inishowen, travelling anticlockwise towards Malin head and over Mamore Gap before returning to Letterkenny via Buncrana.
The route takes you past Malin head, Mamore Gap, Knockalla, Atlantic Drive, Horn Head, Carrickfin, Glengesh Pass, Sliabh League and Barnesmore Gap.
See the video below …
One man who has confirmed he will take part is Joe Barr, who is from Burt and a former professional cyclist who now specialises in endurance cycling. In 2009 he completed the solo Race Around Ireland for Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children.
That event was made into a documentary …
Eunan Quinn from Ballybofey – and a member of Finn Wheelers – is the current record holder for Ironman time for a Donegal man and will be in the saddle in June.
“It’s unbelievable to get people like Joe and Eunan coming to the event,” McFadden said. “They have serious calibre.”
McFadden took part in the Race Around Ireland last year in Team Donegal Oil with Gavin Harris, Arthur McMahon and Michael McGarvey and was considering registering for this year’s event in late August only to hear that there were no spaces left.
“My friend Peter McClean was driving to a wedding fare at the Grianan Hotel and saw signs on the way for the Wild Atlantic Way,” McFadden, who won the 2015 endurance event ‘The Race,’ added. “That’s when the penny dropped and I teamed up with Shaun Stewart who is a teacher at PCC Falcarragh and has been involved in a lot of adventuring.
“We felt there was definitely an opening in Donegal so within a month really the concept was up and running. There are a lot of local people who are into extreme events like Race Around Ireland and The Race, so with what we have on our doorstep we felt there was something we could try. And, as we said, for the lesser experienced cyclists there’s the team options so there’s something for everyone there.”