The inaugural race was held in 2009 and Team Youghal won the 8 person Team Category and have finished runners-up in the past two years. In 2011 Team Youghal made history by being the first ever Irish Team to complete the toughest endurance cycle race in the world, the Race Across America. The race starts in Oceanside California and covers 3,005 miles through 12 states before finishing in Annapolis in Maryland. The Irish team finished the race in a little over 7 and a half days, climbing 170,000 feet in total, crossing the Rocky Mountains in Colorado, the wheat fields of Kansas and the Arizona Desert in over 40 degrees of heat.
The Team to contest the 2012 Race Around Ireland includes Christy McCarthy and Ger Flanagan, both of whom have completed all three previous editions as well as the Race across America. The newcomers to the team are Conor Coleman and Thomas Curran, both seasoned triathletes. They have completed the Nice Ironman Triathlon in France as well as the Bolton Ironman Triathlon. They have completed numerous Olympic Distance Triathlons and have been very active with Youghal Rugby Football Club and Youghal GAA Club in the past decade. All cyclists are members of Youghal Cycling Club.
The Race Around Ireland is quite simply the toughest cycling endurance test in Europe covering a massive distance of 1,350 miles travelling through all four Irish Provinces with many steep climbs and sharp descents along the way.
What makes this such a fantastic challenge is the constant flow of the race which runs 24 hours a day from start to finish, with little or no let up and that overwhelming desire not only to complete the race, but to win it!
Race Around Ireland is part of the Ultra Marathon Cycling Association (UMCA) World Cup series which includes other huge endurance races such as The Race across America. Indeed it has now become one of the most prestigious events on the Ultra-Cycling World-Cup Calendar and is widely recognised as Europe’s most challenging endurance event.
In the ‘Race Around Ireland’ once the clock starts for ‘Team Youghal’ in Trim on September 9th it won’t stop until they reach the finish line at the end of the 1,350 mile circuit. This is the second most gruelling bike races in the world, the toughest being the Race Across America and Team Youghal became the first Irish 8 Person Team to complete this race in June of last year in seven days and 14 hours.
The 2012 Race Around Ireland has a large International line-up with racers from Monaco, UK, Austria, USA, Denmark, Switzerland as well Ireland.
Team Youghal will be raising funds for two local charities through their participation in this year’s race, Youghal Branch of C.A.S.A. and St. Vincent de Paul, Youghal. Two fundraising events are already planned, a cycle marathon and collection at Brookes Super Valu on Saturday August 11th and a Cabaret Night at J.D.’s on Friday August 24th. Tickets are on sale from Team Youghal, C.A.S.A. and from the local branch of St. Vincent de Paul at a price of €5 per book. There are some valuable prizes on offer including a weekend away for 2 people.
Follow the team on FACEBOOK or www.teamyoughal.com