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Adventure racing is a sport that is growing rapidly in interest in Ireland. Just take a look at the number of people taking part in races like Quest Glendalough or Quest Lough Derg and you can see they are events worth participating in. At Outsider, we are extremely excited by this as we understand the benefits that come from taking part in adventure races. Here are some of the benefits we have seen in ourselves and others, as well as reasons you should consider taking part in an adventure race in 2023.
As with many other outdoor sports in Ireland, there is an exceptional community feel to many of the events on the calendar. From the front of the field to the back of the field, you will see smiles, chats, and good vibes!
Even at the front of races, Adventure Racing makes competitors marvel at the beauty on offer in our country! The 3rd place finisher at Quest Glendalough Expert summed it up when they said, “Adventure racing makes me travel to places I otherwise wouldn’t commit to. Once you start doing adventure races, you realise how much we have to explore here and it puts notions of travelling abroad on the back burner. I doubt any of us have actually visited all the sites, monuments, mountains, and beauty spots in Ireland – or realise how much there is to see – such that Ireland is top of our bucket list of holidays each year!”
To cater to a wide variety of different participants, adventure races in Ireland vary greatly in terms of distance, elevation, and difficulty. We have found that there really is something for everyone on the adventure racing calendar in Ireland. For example, the Quest Adventure Series has at least 3 different distances for each of its events, and Quest Killarney has 5 different variations to ensure you can find the right level of challenge for you! Having said that we would encourage you, especially with events like the Quest series, to push yourself beyond your comfort zone. From personal experience, this results in an unrivalled level of satisfaction when you reach the finish line!
Dynafit Feline SL: The Best Muddy Trail Runner?
In Ireland, every year over 2,000 athletes tackle the Ironman 70.3 in Youghal. We firmly believe that the Expert 83km distance at Quest Killarney is equally if not more challenging. The Quest event requires more running, all of which is off-road and includes summiting Mangerton Mountain (838m), a shorter but hillier cycle, and a 1km kayak in place of a 1.9km swim. The winning finishing times of the 70.3 in Cork are between 4:03 and 4:20 and the winning times for the Quest Killarney Expert race are between 4:17 and 4:30. This indicates to us that they are extremely similar events when it comes to the overall effort required. So with that, we pose a question. Maybe this year you should opt for an Adventure Race in the kingdom of Kerry over a 70.3?
Perhaps our favourite reason to do an Adventure Race in 2023 is that it will make you get outside more! And it’s not just on the day of the race. Your training in the build-up to your race will require lots of outdoor exploring!
Best Adventure Races in Ireland
There are 4 different events in the Quest Adventure Series next year. Whether you’re a newbie or a high-level athlete, we would highly recommend giving one of these a go! They are excellently organised, welcoming, challenging events in some of the most beautiful corners of the country.
This event has 3 different distances for competitors to choose from
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This event has 5 different distances for competitors to choose from
By Matthew McConnell
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