Whether it’s doing your first 5k run or signing up for the marathon, everyone needs a challenge to keep them focussed. We picked out the Top 10 Dublin challenges that you can sign up for right now!
1. Dublin Marathon, October 27th. It’s the Daddy of all challenges and you’ll remember this one for the rest of your life. If 26 miles sounds like a joke, then how about the 10k, 10 mile or half marathon options in the run up to the big day? They all have the same great buzz and friendly atmosphere.
2. Rock n Roll Half Marathon. 4th August. If we had to pick one half marathon it’d be this one because there’s live music every mile. The concept started in the States in 1998 but it took until last year to make it across the Atlantic. Past performers have included the Goo Goo Dolls, Counting Crows, Chris Isaak and Sugar Ray. But not in Dublin, unfortunately.
3. Dublin City Triathlon August 24th. Irish Triathlon lists this Phoenix Park based triathlon as one of the biggest in the country, so it should attract a large range of abilities and not just elite athletes. Entries don’t open on April 1st, so you’ve got a bit more time to convince yourself about this one.
4. Duathlons are the triathlon’s little brother. You get all the running and cycling but you won’t get wet. Try the Runways Duathlon Series in Phoenix Park. The next race is on May 7th and it involves a 2.7km run, 12km cycle and another 2.7km run.
5. Wicklow 200, Sunday June 8th. This is the cycling equivalent of the marathon. We know it’s not really in Dublin but it starts in Greystones so it’s certainly accessible for Dubs. It’s a gruelling 200km course with 3 major climbs so you’ll need to put in the training. There’s also a 100k option if you’re not ready for the full whammy yet.
5. The Flora women’s mini marathon. It’s now the biggest all women’s event of its kind in the entire world, no less. And as such it probably doesn’t need any more introduction. It takes place on Bank Holiday Monday 2nd June and entries are now open. Other runs to consider are the Great Ireland run, the FIT magazine series, Docklands Run and the Samsung Night Run. Most are run in conjunction with worthy charities so there’s double the feelgood factor.
6. Adventure racing. As the name suggests, it’s not for the faint hearted. Adventure racing involves varying combinations of mountain running, biking, swimming and kayaking. Check out the individual events to see what they entail. The Hellfire Adventure Duathlon has already sold out, 2 months before the event, so you’ll have to check out the Wicklow Adventure Races (WAR) instead. The next one is on April 26th in Glendalough. Again, it’s not quite Dublin but it’s pretty close.
8. Liffey Descent. 4th October. It’s another marathon equivalent, this time in a canoe. The Liffey Descent starts at the K Club and finishes at Trinity Rowing Club in Dublin. This historic event first started in 1959, but you need to take part in qualifier races or get sign off from an instructor to take part. Contact Canoeing Ireland to find out more. Apparently there’s a decent after party too.
9. Mountain running is growing in popularity every year and it has gained a reputation for being friendly and accessible to new participants. The mountain running association attributes its growing popularity to its after race “atmosphere”. Or as we call it ‘a piss up’. Their website has more on how to get started.
10. Open Water Swimming. The annual Escape From Ireland Swim is a 2km course from Ireland’s Eye island to Howth beach. The 2014 date hasn’t been announced yet but keep an eye on the website for more. The event is part of the Howth Aquathon but it’s suitable for strong and experienced openwater swimmers only. Check out Open Water Swimmer’s website for details of more events. There’s one in Glendalough on 6th & 7th September.