The Race Around Ireland enjoyed another successful year, with records in all categories being broken and even more epic tales of adventure and endurance to be added to the events history. The race organizer is our very own Alan Heary, who crated this event 4 years ago, and it has now grown to be one of the toughest endurance events in the world.! Riders from 9 different countries took part this year, including the current World Cup champion Valerio Zamboni from Monaco. The stellar line-up is an indication of the respect competitors show towards this race, many of whom have raced in RAAM.
The race started in Trim this year, outside the impressive King Johns Castle, and despite the unfavorable weather a large crowd turned out to see the riders+teams depart on their epic journey. It didn’t take long for people to see the Navan connection with the race with several Navan RC members helping on the start-line, and through-out the week in race HQ. The race is run at a highly professional level, but it can’t be forgotten that all race official are here as volunteers, and Alan Heary would like to thank all Navan RC members who helped out for the duration of the race.
One of the stand-out competitors of this years race was Bernd Paul of Germany who won the solo category in a time of 106hrs 14mins smashing the previous record set by Joe Barr. To put it all in context, he rode 2172km almost non-stop through day + night at an avg speed of 20.45km/h, and finished almost 9.5 hours ahead of the second place rider.!
Another impressive performance came from the ‘Strategic Lions’ team who also smashed the 4-person record, with a time of 66hrs 01min….thats an avg speed of 32.9km/h ! Right from the first night they flew out of the blocks and soon raced into the lead, and they never let up from their relentless pace. Watching them for a few hours one night i was blown away by their professional and efficient approach to the race. The record they have set will prove very hard to beat.
Well done to Alan and his team for another amazing race in 2012. A special mention must be given to ; Marshals Jimmy, Mary Nolan, Albert Milne, Niall Doggett, and the Motocrew guys…….. HQ staff Marie Byrne, Shane Donnelly, Lorraine, Simon O Dea, Jacqui, Cliona, Heather……..Route designers Joe Roche + Emmet Roche…….and many many more. ( I hope i haven’t left anyone out)
For more details on this years race……..and how to enter next years race….see : http://www.racearoundireland.com