Saturday, April 21, 2018

Local gym members dominate 'The Race' in Donegal

Members of local gym No1 Fitness Kilcullen dominated the podium this week at 'The Race' in Donegal with one first place and two thirds in Ireland’s toughest endurance challenge, writes Maxine Strain.

The 250km unsupported endurance event across the rugged landscape of North West Donegal involved 15km of kayaking across Lough Swilly, 166km of cycling across steep, windswept coasts and cliffs, 5km of mountain running up Muckish and 64km of road and trail running through the picturesque Glenveigh National Park to finish at Gartan Lake.

A total of 90 competitors from all over the world took part, who had 24 hours to complete the challenge — fewer finished The Race than started it.

No1 Fitness in Kilcullen, run by Beata Zielinski and Mariusz Olejniczak (a winner of The Race in 2016), had seven members completing the challenge.

Fran Morrison, John Cahill and Ken McManamon won first place in the team event, completing the course in 13 hours and 19 minutes.

Paul Doyle, Michal Zielinski and Damian Strain held 2nd place for most of the day before the additional demands of an earlier injury finally caught up with them and they finished in 3rd place with a time of 13 hours 57 minutes.

Derek Brannigan (above kayaking on Lough Swilly) achieved 3rd place in the solo event, finishing in 15 hours 57 minutes.

Mariusz Olejniczak said preparation for such an event involves many months of focussed training and planning to ensure the athletes are both physically and mentally prepared. "We have great camaraderie at No1 Fitness and we are delighted to support our members in achieving their goals.”

Pictured top are Mariusz Olejniczak, Zosia Olejniczak, Paul Doyle, Michal Zielinski, Damian Strain, Ken McManamon, John Cahill, Derek Brannigan, Fran Morrison and Beata Zielinski.