Building on a hugely popular series last year, the 2020 Continental Tyres National Adventure Race Series was launched this week with some exciting additions for the year ahead.
The multisport adventure race series includes running, cycling and kayaking across some of Ireland’s most challenging – and picturesque – terrain including the Dingle Peninsula and Killary Fjord in Leenane, Co. Galway. The 2020 series starts on March 7 at Quest Kenmare, with thousands of adventure racers expected to take part in the 11-event series between March and November
The National Adventure Race Series features two competitive category options including Expert level where participants climb higher, cycle longer and paddle further. Sport level is shorter in all elements, but somewhat faster and highly competitive with some of the country’s fittest athletes participating.
The Continental Tyres-sponsored series gives both experienced and novice adventure racing enthusiasts an opportunity to become national champion. Athletes must compete in at least five races to have a chance of winning the overall title, but many complete all the events.
For the first time since the series began in 2013, this year’s event will include a much-anticipated cross-border race. ‘FEAR’ in Co. Fermanagh will see athletes race along the rugged shores of Lough Erne in September, adding a welcome Northern Ireland element to the series.
Continental Tyres will support each race by profiling local winners and offering a range of exciting prizes including top-of-the-range adidas trail and running shoes with Continental’s patented rubber sole grip as well as the company’s most advanced bike tyres, the GP5000s.
Speaking at the launch, Tom Dennigan of Continental Tyres Ireland said: “Adventure Racing has become a fantastic part of our sponsorship portfolio in Ireland. This partnership allows us to showcase the growing community of outdoor adventurists and we are delighted to help promote this exciting sport and hopefully get more people involved.”
“The events themselves take place in some of the most breathtaking areas on this island,” Mr Dennigan added. “Getting to the events is an adventure in itself and we are keen to make sure not only the racers themselves but their friends and supporters have the right grip for the journey, whether it’s on their car, bike wheels or the soles on their shoes!”
Also present at the launch was Paul Mahon, founder of the Continental Tyres National Adventure Race Series, who said: “We are thrilled to have Continental Tyres on board with us again, and really looking forward to the 2020 series with a brand new event in the shape of ‘FEARmanagh’. The addition of a cross-border event shows how popular the series is becoming and we can’t wait to get up North in September.
“We saw last year that the standard in both men’s and women’s races has surged up to a new level,” Mr Mahon added. “This year we expect to see even more barriers broken and records set, with athletes pushing themselves and each other to the very limit. It’s going to be an unforgettable year of adventure racing!”