ABOUT ME: Kate Harrison
LOCATION: Co Laois, Ireland
Age: 35
Occupation: Veterinary surgeon ( honours degree veterinary medicine, postgraduate certificate veterinary public health and epidemiology)
I grew up on a farm with racehorses and got an amateur jockey licence with the Turf Club aged 16. I’ve ridden 4 winners over fences in point to points, 4 winners over hurdles against professionals and 3 winners on the flat. I represented Ireland in the Fegentri race series in 2011 which gave me the opportunity to race horses all around the world in countries such as Sicily, Qatar, Oman, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland.
I started running in 2012 and since then I have won races from 3k up to 63.3k including county team gold medals at cross country and on the road with my club Moyne AC. I’ve completed 2 road marathons. Dublin City Marathon (Time 3:18 )and Limerick City marathon (4th in 3:28). My first trail race was the 2014 Ballyhoura mountain marathon which I won in a time of 4:25. In 2016, I also won the Glen of Aherlow ultra.
I began adventure racing in 2014 when I joined Team TriHarder. We completed the Beast of Ballyhoura as an unranked team that year and returned in 2015 when the Beast of Ballyhoura was hosting the final of the Adventure Racing European Championships. In a very competitive field of 50 teams we finished the long course in 29th place. In 2016 we did our first race in the Adventure Racing World Series when we joined 33 other teams for #ITERA. We finished 5th in the short course and 14th overall.
Kate’s Main goal for 2017 is Expedition Africa ( (http://kineticevents.co.za/Events/Expedition-Africa) which is an expedition length race in the Adventure Racing World Series.
  • Adventure racing is a multi-discipline endurance sport where competitors compete in teams, navigating from control point to control point in a number of disciplines.
  • The race lasts 6 days. Disciplines include: mountain biking, trekking, kayaking, rope work and orienteering. Teams are expected to navigate using a map and landmarks. Teams must be able to operate in harsh remote environments
  • DISTANCE AND ROUTE
    • Teams travel through day and night, they can decide if, when and where to rest.
    • The first team to complete all the Expedition legs, visiting all the control points will be declared the winner.
    • The expedition will cover approx 500 km. Winning team 72 hours (sleep excluded), last team six days.
    • Route will consist of … legs with …. transitions. Cut-offs on route will be enforced for slower teams to be re-routed
    • Mountain biking 50 %
    • Trekking 30%
    • Kayaking 20%
    • More accurate distances of individual legs will be released at registration and at Expedition briefing.
    • All teams will be able to finish before Saturday night awards ceremony
  • DISCIPLINES
    • Mountain biking – teams should be prepared for a range of riding including single track, steep hills, gravel roads and sealed roads.
    • Trekking – will involve travelling by foot through rugged and diverse terrain.
    • Kayaking – kayaks will be provided by race organisers. Kayaking will be on tidal rivers, lakes and the sea. Inland kayaking will be permitted during both day and night.
    • Orienteering – orienteering is an extremely important part of the race. The course is not marked and teams are required to navigate using maps.
    • Rope work
    • Swimming – teams might be required to cross rivers
    • Canyoneering – teams need to be able to travel in canyons using a variety of techniques that may include other activities such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping and swimming.
The race is being held on the Eastern Cape, which is fondly known as the Adventure Province, and includes the Baviaans, Kouga, Tsitsikamma, Addo, Sunshine Coast, Karoo, Great Frontier and Wild Coast, and the highlight of the 2017 route of Expedition Africa will be the Baviaans.
The Baviaans is home to the Baviaanskloof Nature Reserve, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the biggest wilderness area in Southern Africa. The 225 000 ha mega-reserve boasts unspoiled, rugged mountainous terrain with spectacular landscapes and seldom seen flora and fauna.
Kate is joining a South African team (Team Tumbleweeds: https://m.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1542925369333574&tsid=0.8267155252590034&source=typeahead) for the race and would be very grateful of any help or support you could give me.