September 12th 2010 is set to be the date that the Race Around Ireland Challenge will kick off for its second year. This 2100 km Non-Stop cycling event was a huge success in 2009 with World Champions taking part beside weekend warriors as all set out on a great adventure around the Country.
The Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA) has sanctioned the event and has included it as part of their World Cup series which includes other huge endurance races such as The Race Across America. The Race Around Ireland will again loop around the entire country passing some of Ireland’s most famous landmarks, taking in magnificent scenery and crossing the countries highest mountains.
Unlike other cycling races such as the Tour de France or the Giro d’Italia, the course is in no way roped off with no marshals controlling traffic flow, and there are no planned rest stops or stages in this event. In The Race Around Ireland, once the clock starts in Navan, Co. Meath, it won’t stop until each rider reaches the finish line at the end of the 2100 km circuit.
The 2009 event saw 70 cyclists take part with supporting crew of over 200. 6 countries were represented with the ladies and men’s Ultra Marathon World No.1’s both taking part. The men’s solo race was won by Derry rider Joe Barr and the ladies solo race was won by Canadian World No. 1 Caroline van den Bulk. The fastest ladies 4-person team was the Bikedock Belles and the winning men’s 4-person team was Team No Prior Experience which was led by Sky Sports presenter Graham Little.
The Race Around Ireland organisers have added more categories to the event for 2010 with cyclists being able to take part in the Solo (ladies and men’s), 2-person (ladies, men’s and mixed), 4-person (ladies, men’s and mixed) and 8-person (mixed) divisions. Teams will cycle in a relay format day and night to finish the event in less than 4 days. Solo riders will spend up to 22hours at a time on the bike to be competitive. So far there have been entries from the USA, Germany, Italy, Croatia, Canada, UK and Ireland.
The route is being redesigned by Joe and Emmet Roche and once again they have included the Ring of Kerry and The Wicklow Mountains as well as Malin and Mizen Head. Some changes have been made to the route and it will be available to view on the Race Around Ireland website by March 2010. As well as passing through countless towns and villages the race will also pass through a number of major cities and national parks. From rolling farmland to steep mountain climbs to rugged coastlines, the route will prove to be just as spectacular as 2009.
Some teams will be extremely competitive in this event and for others it will be an opportunity to take part in an adventure and an amazing experience to raise funds for charities that they have chosen. The Race begins in Navan Co. Meath with the Solo riders setting off at 8pm on Sunday 12th September and the Teams starting at 8pm on Tuesday 14th September.
The Race organizers can be contacted at:firstname.lastname@example.org