WAAR – The Wild Atlantic Adventure Race – Rás an Atlantaigh Fhíain, will take place on Saturday May 16th starting and finishing at the Naomh Muire GAA club in West Donegal.
Organised by the local GAA Club, WAAR is attracting great interest both within the County and throughout Ireland with queries in the past few weeks coming in from the UK as well.
The organisers have set about to create an event which is challenging and attractive to Adventure Athletes as well as being one which inspires local participation by those wishing to improve their physical health and condition. The course has been designed to meet those aims and it has been visited by several experienced Adventure Race organisers and endorsed with glowing reviews.
WAAR is a four-part challenge- Run-Cycle-Hike-Kayak.
It starts off from the famous Banks in Mullaghderg with a 7.5k road and off-road run taking in the Mullaghduff road, down to Carrickfin, across to Ballymanus and back to the Banks.
Then comes a 42.5k cycle along the Wild Atlantic Way on the coast road to Dungloe before heading into the Hills of Donegal, up past Thorr and downhill to Meenaweel.
At this point at Meenaweel Chapel, participants will disembark from their bikes and have a steep 2k Hike up to an Grógan Mór and back down again to resume the cycle down and over to Loughanure Lake.
Once again it will be off the Bikes and a 1k Kayak challenge out on the lake. Back on the bikes and homewards towards the Banks through Annagry.
The final part of the race involves a run around the GAA pitch and into the finishing line…some 53k in total.
The local organisers or the WAAR Cabinet as they are now known, have put in a great deal of planning and design to the event. There are many reasons behind the event.
John Colm Gillespie explains “Primarily, it is a fundraiser for the Naomh Muire Club to support recent development work on a Health and Wellbeing Room which has been built.
“However, there is a strong emphasis on creating an event which brings Tourists into the area and this will do this. We are encouraging families to visit the area while supporting a mother, father, brother, sister in the event.
“As well as that, this is in keeping with the Club and Community efforts to encourage our Health and Wellbeing initiatives and we are delighted so many locals are training for the event. We have a three year plan with the intention of building the event to a Nationally recognised one….we are very excited about WAAR and are delighted to launch it today”
It would be hard to imagine a more scenic part of Ireland and such a diverse range of scenery as that along the WAAR route.
With Errigal looking down on much of the course and the Atlantic Ocean lapping in near the run, together with a cycle along the Coast Road of the Rosses, through the town of Dungloe and into the Hills of Donegal……..participants will be driven on by the ruggedness and beauty of the route.
Lake, Sea and Mountains combine to challenge yet the much acclaimed warmth of the locals will balance that to ensure great welcome and support for all who come along to WAAR.
The WAAR event was launched by three-time GAA All Star, International Rules player and Donegal Player of the Year Neil Mc Gee. Neil has strong family connections in the Lower Rosses and generations of his family include the Boyle’s of Bunaman who participated in many sports at the Banks, the WAAR base.
Brian Feda O’Domhnaill is an organising member and he says “ The promotion of an event like this is important as it encourages physical exercise which has great benefits at a time when there is such a focus on both physical and mental health and well-being”.
Entry to the event for an individual is €55 for Early bird up to St Patrick’s Day. The price will then be €65 with the fee rising to €75 for later entries.
There is a launch special for team entries of €155. This is available to St Patrick’s Day when it will then be €175 with a later team entry free of €195.
For updates and entry visit WAAR.ie and like our facebook page WAAR or follow us on twitter #WAAR
The organisers would like to acknowledge the Main Sponsors Randox Teoranta as well as our Sports sponsorship from Lucozade Sport. We likewise thank our many local sponsors who have encouraged us by their contributions. Randox Teoranta, a new and important employer to our area have a long term commitment to West Donegal and their support for the WAAR event is a reflection of their effort in working with the Community.
For further details please contact any of the following –
Adrian Ward 086 2266811 Brid Boyle 086 2086818
Brian Ó Dónaill 087 2648497 Gavin Ó Dónaill 087 6522285
Hugh Bonner 086 8239607 John Gillespie 087 7434523