September 2009 will see the inaugural Race Around Ireland Challenge taking place. This is a 1,350 mile (2,170km) non-stop bicycle race that loops around the entire country, passing some of Ireland’s most famous landmarks, taking in magnificent scenery and crossing the country’s highest mountains with 23,000 metres of lung busting climbs. It will be the ultimate test of endurance, strength and mental toughness for elite and leisure cyclists alike.
The race is a registered Cycling Ireland event and has been sanctioned by the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA), who have been suitably impressed, to place the race on their International World Cup Series. It is in fact the second longest event in the series, after the legendary Race Across America.
The race will consist of solo riders as well as 4 and 8 person relay teams. Some of the top Ultra Marathon Cyclists in the world have already signed up, however the inclusion of relay teams, means that the event is fully accessible to leisure cyclists also.
The Race Around Ireland organisers see this event as a tremendous challenge for all competitors, no matter what the fitness level or cycling experience. It is designed to test each rider and team, and to bring out a sense of camaraderie and feeling of accomplishment second to none.
The course will start and finish in Navan, Co. Meath in the beautiful Boyne Valley and travel through no less than 22 counties. Some of the highlights of the course include Newgrange, Giants Causeway, Derry City, Donegal, Connemara, The Burren, Limerick City, Ring of Kerry, Cork City, Carrick on Suir (Sean Kelly’s hometown), Waterford City and the Wicklow Mountains.
Further details can be found on www.racearoundireland.com
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