[RACE REPORT] #ITERA Ireland 2016 – Stage 2

So following on from our paddle, trek, paddle arrival into Killary Harbour and the subsequent trek along the famine road to Delphi Adventure Centre, it’s just after 1:30 am on Thursday morning when we reach our first transition. Carrying on with Kate’s telling of the story…

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[RACE REPORT] #ITERA Ireland 2016 – Stage 0-1

What the brief, pre-race website information said about ITERA Ireland 2016 gave little or nothing away about what lying in wait ahead of us for 5 days of intensive adventure racing.

This event is the brainchild of 3 people, Ivan Park the man behind the Beast of Ballyhoara, Avril Copeland a prolific Adventure Racer (who is retiring again!) and James Thurlow has organised over 100 Adventure Sports events in the UK over the past 11 years with Open Adventure. The idea of showing off the country at its finest is what motivates the team behind the ITERA.

ITERLatin for “journey”.. and the “A” stood for little more than the ADVENTURE (where on that journey the outcomes are uncertain)…

The teams will be racing through Ireland over five days in August 2016. The race will finish in Killarney – and the start – you will have to wait till August in 2016 to find that out..

 Read on to find the first part of the ITERA Ireland Race Report from the keyboard of our Queen – TriHarder Kate, enjoy!!

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Providing Foot Care for Athletes – Should events be caring for your feet?

Interesting topic which very often crops up in Adventure Racing simply due to the amount of time that you are spending on your feet, very often in wet shoes as a result of tromping through bogs or a solid soaking from kayaking.

The article in the link is well worth reading but the key point raised, I think, is the lack of adequate preparation by athletes when they are aware of the availability of medical help at events.

Many runners have become dependent and expectant that events will have medical personnel providing even the most basic foot care.

Source: Providing Foot Care for Athletes | Fixing Your Feet Blog

I’ve written before about my own foot care issues where it went wrong and then steps taken and changes made that have meant I ***touch wood*** have had no problems since.

I’ve had no issues since I discovered the system that works for me and that is Goretex shoes (Saucony Xodux GTX – a whole size larger than normal), waterproof socks (DexShell Ultralite from Mapdec) and a thin lining sock within this concoction. Foot care in transition involves, removing shoes, socks and allowing feet to breathe whilst taking care of TA business and then before heading off, wiping (babywipes), drying, powdering and reassembly of fresh liner sock, fresh DexShell and back into the shoes that have been checked for all debris and grit.

However, recent experience during the 5 day ITERA expedition race has me a little more introspective on this subject than normal.

The race started with a run – grand, no issues; a long paddle – kayak booties & shoes in dry bag, no issues and then we were all pulled out for a road trek to transition.

This trek – we changed back into our shoes and set off with OK feet but during the course of the road, beach, sand, dunes, trek our shoes (& feet) were subjected to a fair bit of abuse as our shoes filled with sand from crossing beach streams. (With Goretex shoes the sand DIDN’T get into the shoe it filled between the outer lining and Goretex layers putting pressure on toes).

Key thing here which we missed in briefing was we didn’t have access to Team Kit in the next TA before the planned 25k (short course) trek so we had 20k which beat up our feet somewhat followed by 32k without having treated our feet though we did have a change of socks.

The BIG lesson learned was always carry footcare kit in one of the packs.

Furthermore and back to the original point, if you are an expedition racer or ultra runner or conduct yourself over terrain, distance or conditions where you may feasibly get into trouble through foot damage – then you really should be taking care of it yourself. Under no circumstances should an event organiser or event medic be taking care of your feet for you.

If you are relying on ‘outside’ assistance to get you through an event then IMO you haven’t done the homework and prepared yourself properly for participation.

What do you think? How do you take care of your feet and what works for you?

– #TriHarder Sean




#ITERA Live Tracking Link

pablo (6)


The tracking link for next weeks’ ITERA Ireland will go live when the race starts next Wednesday as 12:00 you can bookmark if here itera.ie/live and add Team 34 #TriHarderAR to your favourites.

You can see from the team bio that we are arriving at the start line prepared, despite the ups, downs and crashed of this season. We’re rocking on a high from our past experiences and know that this is a race that we want to prove ourselves at.

If #TriHarderAR can execute the plan they will surprise a few in this years ITERA, which is their first foray into the Adventure Racing World Series.

A tight knit, fun loving team with a never quit, #GoDark kinda attitude! Click To Tweet

Sean is half the nav duo and brings most of the laughs to the party. He tends to make the smart calls and has regularly saved the team from trouble.

Peter is the rock, unshakable, unbreakable and will keep the team pace honest.

Kate, holds the team accountable to the plan, jobs and having the craic.

Mike is the other half of the nav duo and team captain.

We are genuinely delighted that ITERA has come to the Emerald Isle and have been tracking developments since it was first announced in 2014.

We are also grateful for the support of our team sponsors Silva, Kalas, For Goodness Shakes and Gotta Run sponsoring Sean (Check out our Sponsors page

[RACE REPORT] Trekking the #BeastofBallyhoura (see what I did there? ) – Part 3

It’s just after midnight and the moon is out.

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across the finish line.

Under cover of darkness, at 5.10am team #TriHarder crossed the finish line in Ardpatrick.  I’m working off a phone since yesterday so I can’t pull up their track history to see if they did the loops of the MTB trails in Ballyhoura,  but from the timing I think they chose to miss at least some of it.

but fantastic achievement from the team. Looks like they finished themselves as there are still teams out on the course. Well done guys, epic weekend.


I’ll try and copy the sleepmonster reports up.

galtees no more.

Good news. Guys are down off the galtees.  They are currently rocking across the road from Kilbeheny  towards Ballyhoura. Finishing stretch coming up. Keep it lit lads

still galteeing

The leaders are beating down on the finish, but the  lads are still deep in the Galtees.  Looks like they are around half way round the hills, but are still clocking up the checkpoints  almost there guys. Keep it going!!!

Almost caught the beast

So my 4 hour cycle took me to Mitchelstown, and on to Cahir, which meant I passed through Kilbeheny, where I spotted a hall with a bunch of mountain bikes outside. found out it was Ta9/10, but a look online showed the guys what looked like a good bit away. I kept going, but an hour later they were showing up as right there, so I missed them by a very small margin.


They’ve been and gone through there, and are now in the galtees. as are most of the teams, and team #Triharder are currently running in 34th spot .


from sleep monsters:

Most teams were riding in the second night of the race on the way from Ballmacarbry to Kilbehenny (TA 9/10) and the first to arrive at 04.15 were Halti Adventure. They were well ahead of the bulk of the teams who are arriving through the middle of day and into the afternoon at the Community Centre in Kilbehenny.

The long overnight ride has spread out the teams and with different race strategies in play the leaderboard will be changing constantly today. (As soon as teams collect a CP they will move up.) Fortunately, it has been a fine morning for those on the riding and for the trek up into the Galtee mountains and there has even been a fair bit of sunshine.

I caught up with a few teams this morning near checkpoint B45, the last checkpoint in the hills before they dropped down and rode into Kilbehenny along country roads. To get to B45 they were riding along the Avondhu Way (also known as the Blackwater Way) which offered some easy riding and no navigational challenges, but B45 had been placed off the trail 500m up the hillside.

The first team I saw arrive were R’adys Team Switzerland and they lost time at this checkpoint with a simple mistake.  Looking for a track on the right they found an overgrown trail and left their bikes to set off on foot to B45. The trail up was deeply rutted and full of heather, tussock grass and prickly gorse, so it wasn’t easy going – it wasn’t the right trail either!

Less than 100m away a rideable trail led to the checkpoint and they only found this after trekking across the boggy moorland in their bike shoes.  As they ran back down the trail they were meant to use they were passed by Team Yeti and Vallfosca – Raidaventure.org … who were riding up to the checkpoint.  It was an unnecessary extra kilometre of trekking for them, but an easy enough mistake to make.

Watching the team dots on the trackers you don’t get any sense of how the finer detail of route finding can affect the teams.  The tracking map may have shown the team arriving by the checkpoint, but in fact they’d lost 30 minutes and had a frustrating time just finding it in the last few hundred metres – and that was in daylight on a sunny morning.

This kind of scenario is played out hundreds of times in a race and experienced by all the teams.  Deciding which side of an island to paddle or which of two gates to take, can make the difference between finding a checkpoint quickly and easily or losing time.

Team Yeti had seen the Swiss team’s bikes on the trail side and stopped beside them, checking their maps, but in the end decided it didn’t look right and rode on those few extra metres to find the bigger trail.  They were experienced enough not to let another teams mistake distract them and the more experienced racers and navigators will find the best way more often than not, as well as deciding what to do more quickly.

Yeti were followed by Vallfosca and all three teams were in the next checkpoint at the Michelstown Caves entrance together, along with Dutch Adventure 2.  The race had hoped teams could go into the show caves but it couldn’t be organised so the Sportident timing box was hung by the entrance.

The Dutch team were busy fixing a puncture here and helped out Yeti by giving them a chain link to make some repairs of their own.  They were enjoying the sunshine and said they’d slept well in the Astroturf hall at the previous transition before riding through the morning hours.

Shortly after all the teams were in Kilbehenny where they stopped to prepare for the next big trekking stage in the Galtees. They didn’t leave their bikes though, they had to ride on to reach the farm at Kings Yard for the bike drop, before setting out on the mountain trek

Points Penalties

There were some penalties given to teams yesterday which reduced their points total.  Most were for the coasteering with teams 4, 13, 30, 41 and 43 getting a 250 point penalty as one of the team couldn’t make the cliff jump into the sea.

Team 42 (SWECO) also received a 500 point penalty for not staying on the coastline between two of the checkpoints.

Teams 13 and 39 received a 250 point penalty each as they had a team member who couldn’t make the abseil descent. (The last 4 teams also arrived at the abseil so late they couldn’t complete it so won’t have been credited with those points.)

Are we there yet? #TriHarder #BeastofBallyhoura

Morning all. well state of play. looks like the guys made it to TA7/8 just before midnight last night. from the GPS track, they left aruod 3am, so presume a couple of hours slee. it looks though that they have skipped the bike/kayak/bike leg through Clonmel (or maybe couldn’t do it cause of dark. ) anyway, here is where they are just now


status 1_8_0747


no update from sleepmonsters this morning yet.

right, i’ve a 4 hour cycle of my own to do now, actually heading down to clonmel so i might catch sight of them. #TriHarder #BeastofBallyhoura

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