This summer, Columbia Sportswear chose Ireland to road-test their 2015 outdoor clothing range with 17 of the world’s top adventure journalists. This followed a successful pitch by Failte Ireland to entice the outdoor clothing maker to Ireland.
Seven of the journalists also chose to take part in Gaelforce North – one of the many popular adventure races run by ATTA member Killary Adventure Company. This was an opportunity for the visiting journalists not only to test the clothing range but also to really engage with the outdoors in the rugged and beautiful north west of Ireland.
According to Amy Jurries from The Gear Caster “The best way to see a country? Run an adventure race. ..You need to feel the wet, spongy bog beneath your feet, breathe the salt air, paddle the lakes and coastlines, or cycle through the forest trails in order to get a real feel for the country.”
Gaelforce North offers participants two distances – a 45km Sprint Course and the 64km Full Course – and involves 3 disciplines, running, cycling and kayaking over varied and, at times, challenging terrain.
The course which takes in Glenveagh National Park, Dunlewey and Gartan lakes, Mt Errigal and finishes on Inishcoole beach in Bunbeg was revealed in all its glory by the perfect weather conditions on the day.
Stephen Regenold from Gear Junkie who took on the full course gave his perspective of the view from Mt Errigal “I paused on the summit to look around. The world dropped away, gray talus and scree, then endless green in all directions below.” Definitely worth pausing to look around at.
Killary were also delighted to welcome ATTA President Shannon Stowell and Vice-President Chris Doyle who visited as part of their motorbike trip along the new Wild Atlantic Way in June.
They got the chance to enjoy an exhilarating speed boat trip into the Atlantic Ocean from Killary in search of Dolphins. They then returned to ‘dry’ land to try out one of Killary’s most unique and popular activities – The Turf Challenge.
The Turf Challenge is an obstacle course which involves climbing, scrambling, sliding and crawling over natural and man-made obstacles while immersing yourself in the Connemara bog. As you can see from the photo attached all that could be seen of the two visitors at the end were the whites of their eyes!