Adventure “Races” into the Glens

On 22nd October 2011, the Glens of Antrim will host its inaugural fully fledged Adventure Race called “The Glentathlon”.

The definition of Adventure racing is a combination of two or more endurance disciplines and is one of the fastest growing recreational challenges in UK and Ireland. The Glentathlon which will start and finish in Glenravel, will take in road cycling, mountain running and trail running.

The Glentathlon has run in various guises over the years but this year it is making the leap to full mature adventure race format. Event organisers Paul and Peter McToal have competed in various adventure races around Ireland including GaelForce West (in Mayo) and GaelForce North (in Donegal) and Wicklow WAR adventure races, so they have significant experience as competitors. This will be their first foray into full adventure race organisation.

The event itself offers two options in terms of endurance and difficulty. ‘The Max’ is the longer of the two events and is approximately 65Km in duration. ‘The Warrior’ which should be more suited to the beginner covers a very respectable 35Km. One of the characteristics of an adventure race that has developed is that it takes in an area of outstanding natural beauty and this one certainly will not disappoint. The raw beauty of Orra and Glenaan are in the cycle route, the striking but steep Lurig run and the scenic Glenariff forest park are included in the running section.

Since this type of event is relatively new to Northern Ireland, the unique step has been taken to allow teams to enter. Adventure racing normally means that an individual has to be competent in the disciplines included in the event and “tie” these together to complete the feat of endurance. The team event will mean that the wealth of separate running and cycling ability that is contained within the country can come together to enable team participation in “The Max” event only.

The Glentathlon 2011 which is being run in aid of Marie Curie Cancer Care will undoubtedly be a boost for Tourism within the Glens of Antrim and will certainly bring people to the area in considerable numbers and should grow year on year.

For more information on The Glentathlon and to register, see www.glentathlon.co.uk