Still here, there and everywhere….

As a team, we’ve been kinda quite for the past while. Since ITERA anyway, which seems like a far distant memory at this stage.

Individually we have all been flat out busy with life. Kate is the only TriHarderAR trooper who has managed to find that Work / Life / AR balance and is doing a mighty job of flying the colours around the world!

Kate raced Expedition Africa earlier this summer with the Raidlight Tumbleweeds and provided us with some thrilling dot watching. Plans are afoot for another Expedition race this Autumn too, so we have to catch up with her on the plans for that one.

The boys have been busy with work and life. Between new arrivals, building business opportunities, studying (congrats to Mike on his results), relocating (Sean in USA) there has not been a whole lot of time or opportunity to do any training let alone racing as a team in 2017. It looks like the season will end without a complete Team #TriHarderAR appearance at any of the adventure races including one of our favourites The Beast where it all started for us.

We’re still here, still loving the sport and with tons of ambitions ahead of us for future races. We’re not ready to #GoDark just yet 😀

TriHarder Kate

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
    • 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
    • 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.

Fatbiking looks like so much fun!!!

This is hilarious I never realised fat-biking could be such a laugh!! ? ??

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[RACE REPORT] #ITERA Ireland 2016 – Stage 8 The ‘Sprint’ Finish

Once we made it down off the Reeks after our impromptu game of Twister in a Bothy and safely crossed the raging river we trotted on down the road and worked our way to the final transition area …

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[RACE REPORT] #ITERA Ireland 2016 Stage 7 – The Reeks

We seemed to be forever in transition in Glenbeigh but this was probably one of our slickest changeovers as we got ready for the hike out, the last one, the big one.

Little did we anticipate what the weather and terrain had in store for us…

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[RACE REPORT] #ITERA Ireland 2016 – Stage 4 – 6

Picking up from our landing at Corrib rowing club in the last installment, Kate continues with the tale….

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[RACE REPORT] #ITERA Ireland 2016 – Stage 3

Stage 3 was the setting for the biggest paddle leg. This one we had predicted though our ultimate arrival point was a toss up between Fanore and Ballyvaughan. In that we were wrong as Kinvara was the goal.

Anyhow, on with the story as told by @triharderKate…

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[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




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