Race organiser, Ger Griffin and his daughter Holly (2)
If you want a challenge then the duathlon courses for the inaugural Coalface Adventure Races are worth checking out.
‘The Coalface’ is Kilkenny’s first adventure race, a single -day adventure duathlon race hosted by Castlecomer Discovery Park. Based in a former open cast mining area adjacent to the Discovery Park, participants will be running and cycling up to four sections, combining running trail, forest track and hills. The cycle sections are on sealed tarmac roads of varying quality, from primary roads to quiet country lanes. There is a choice of three different courses, ranging from Elite (78KM) Sport (56 KM) to Challenge (30KM).
Race organiser, Ger Griffin told the Kilkenny People that preparation for the event is in is in full swing.
“As this is the first Adventure Race to be based in Kilkenny we are getting enquires from all parts of the country and beyond! Many are planning on making this their first go at an event of this type and have rightly picked the 30km Challenge option.
“Combining 20km road cycling around the Comer hills with 10km off road running within a single race is a challenge. It is very achievable with a small bit of training and encouragement,” he said adding that there is lots of helpful advice on the website and via Facebook.
The Kilkenny man remembers his first adventure race as being a a similar one.
“That was almost ten years ago and I have enjoyed it so much I do about six every year. There is something about getting off the beaten track, experiencing the unique trails, hills and countryside of this country. The Coalface Adventure Race is all about that and more.
“It gives participants the chance to explore the woodland trails deep in the Discovery Park and to explore the jagged hills left from the open cast mining where few have ran before. Doing this gives a real sense of adventure and makes the Park such an ideal venue. With all the facilities of the Park available on September 23 it will be a friendly family event.
“We are using a single transition area near the Courtyard where all athletes will return after each section of their race for support and encouragement! We have medals and t-shirts for all participants designed by local artist Mick Minogue. Also refreshments and free massages which will be most well deserved!”
There are two tougher race options - a 55km Sport and a 77km Elite!
According to Kathy Purcell of the Discovery Park the team are delighted that the race will be held there. These courses will incorporate some of the longest drags and the fastest descents in the county. The picturesque setting of the Discovery Park as the central transition point for each section of the race means participants will always loop back to facilities and supporters who will get to spur you on throughout the race. The Park also provides the perfect place for families and friends of racers to enjoy the activities on offer from Zip wires to Tree top walks.
“With 8 weeks to go there is still plenty of time and long summer days to get your training and fitness to where you would like to be. To assist interested parties The Coalface have free training and tips on their website www.coalfacerace.ie.
The event will take place on September 23 at 9am
at Castlecomer Discovery Park. Register your place by booking on line at www.coalfacerace.ie For more details see the dedicated website www.coalfacerace.ie or check out our facebook page www.facebook.com