Three splendid days with wonderful people on magnificent mountains
4What makes an event? The people do, everything else is secondary. Their spirit, humour, enthusiasm and the way they look at life. The Comeragh, Galty and Knockmealdown Mountains were alive with said qualities over the weekend.
There were some exceptional personal achievements by walkers; surpassing anything they’ve done on the hills to date, by a country mile. The fatigue and soreness of the body was dismissed immediately after the event as talk turned to next year.
Some walkers had really done their homework on route choice this year. It was brilliant to see the lines that they were taking, watching and learning from these. No matter how many times you’d look at the map beforehand, you only see the logic of a route on the ground.
The weather was unrehearsed and like Mr. Gump’s box of chocolates. The 10 day forecast was more accurate than the 24 hour one. But, it doesn’t matter to seasoned hill walkers as they just dress for what the elements throw at them and curse the weight of the ‘heavy’ coat etc. when the rain doesn’t come.
A massive ‘Thanks!!’ to everyone that supported the event. They’re just too numerous to mention individually and the risk of leaving someone out is too high. As I said last year, if I communicated with you about the challenge you helped me. It was a huge effort by everyone involved. It’ll be another two weeks before I have a final figure on the fundraising and I’ll keep you posted on that. Thanks for taking sponsorship cards, donating and thanks to those who sponsored walkers.
Hats off to the members of the Peaks Mountaineering Club in Clonmel for embracing the Club Challenge. They registered, took their chances, put the work in and walked as a united club. I think Ken Quinlivan gave a masterclass in leadership and pace setting. I’ll tell you this, it’ll be fair difficult to pry that trophy from his hands next year.
I often think about whether Fei would have liked the hill walking; I think she would. And, I especially think she would have loved the people.
Pat Beardmore, Pavel Bodi, David Browne, Carmel Carey, William Carey, Kevin Finn, Steven Forde, Sean Freeman, Angela Hennessy, Enda Lynch, Noreen McCarthy, Ray McConnell, Martin McKenzie, Gerry McVeigh, Daniel Mills, Josephine O’Brien, John O’Connell, Mary O’Connell, Bridie O’Connor, Muiris O’Suilleabhain, Michelle O’Sullivan, Andy Owens, Ken Quinlivan, Michael Rea, Pat Ring, Billy Sheehan, Gerard Sheehy and William Smyth.
Sign-In/Sign-Out and Stand-By
Margo Kelly, Martha Beardmore, Nuala O’Connell, Eimear Power, Tom Lyons, Michael Desmond, Pat Fahey, Kevin O’Donnell.
Event Mascot (and official Club Challenge trophy presenter) - Lian Sheehy
“Winning isn't about finishing in first place. It isn't about beating the others. It is about overcoming yourself. Overcoming your body, your limitations, and your fears. Winning means surpassing yourself and turning your dreams into reality.”
15 did 3 days
5 did 2 days
9 did 1 day.
16 Participants were new to the event
7 did 3 days
2 did 2 days
7 did 1 day.
Peaks Mountaineering Club had 5 that did 3 days and 2 that did 2 days.
7 participants did the treble in 2014 and 2015.
There’s just over two weeks to go and participants have received the itinerary and general information on the challenge.
56 walkers have registered (up from 42 in 2014) and hopefully the weather will be kind to us. I mean, it can’t continue to be as bad as it has been, right?
The counties of Antrim, Armagh, Cavan, Cork, Down, Dublin, Clare, Kerry, Kilkenny, Limerick, Monaghan, Tipperary, Waterford & Wicklow will be represented. Over 60% of those registered for this years event are new to the challenge.
I look forward to meeting you all over the three.
‘On sleepy hallowed heathered ground; the walkers come to visit
They hold no fear of ascent or length, nothing shall inhibit.
They’ve travelled from all over; to cross three mountain ranges
To them it’s all about the walk, the people and exchanges.
Some committed early; determined not to waver
The thought of three days back-to-back, was something new to savour.
The challenge walkers come out in force; to them it’s another test
The single day event is grand; three days requires one’s best.
A little girl inspired this walk; as brave as brave can be
It’s only fitting that monies raised; are gifted to charity.
Comeragh, Galty, Knockmealdown; are our challenge mountains
We’ll drink a toast on day three, to our healthy lives from fountains.
If you think our sport is about prestige; and of your rivals besting
It’s not you know, it’s simple as; deliberate self-testing.
Come Sunday evening in Ballyporeen; a stranger might enquire
“What’s with all the energy and buzz? How come you are all not dead tired?” ‘