Last weekend I took part in my first Adventure Race since I had my baby, so needless to say the nerves were there. It was in Wicklow - a beautiful, sunny, scenic hilly part of our country and yet a stones throw away from Dublin city. It is breathtakingly remote and incredibly beautiful. The race is affectionately known as WAR... Wicklow Adventure Race, and it took me 3 hours and 25 minutes to complete. It involved cycling, mountain running and kayaking.
The first leg of the race was a rolling start on the road bike, which meant we as a large group peddled behind a jeep for about 2kms until he sped away... and so did we! The race was on! It was uphill all the way, in fact, I think the hills were only up, there seemed very few downhills! So we sped away, lactic acid already starting to build up, and I had just started... Yikes I thought, this isnʼt good, its only just begun! But in true grit and determination I battled on. First transition was the base of the Sugarloaf - a lovely mountain famous to hikers. Off the bike with wobbly legs and up we went... straight up... rocks rumbling underfoot, boggy wet feet from deep muddy trenches. Again lactic acid came knocking on my door. Up we went, hands and knees on the last little bit, to check in our timing chip take a quick peak at the stunning 360 degree views, then down we went, after all this was a race, not a day out! :-)
Down the hill, back on the bike and off again, kilometres of beautiful scenery again. Quiet roads with the lush green fields and a few four legged friends who raise their heads as you pass them by. Down to a spectacular lake, where we collect our two-man kayak. I find a friend to paddle with and off we go, paddling in unison. We go around two buoys and back to the shore, trudging out of the water, soaked from head to toe, and back on the bike. A long, hard, uphill cycle for what felt like hours to the place we call the FINISH line, and what a beautiful, beautiful sight!
Coming up the very last vertical hill, quads cramping so hard it brought tears to my eyes. As I peddled, I realised the most important person got me to the finish line, my little blue eyed boy! He is my reason for getting up in the morning, he is my world. I hope that by my living life and stepping out of my comfort zone one day will inspire my son to do the same.
Life is amazing, and Iʼm lucky to have the opportunity to get on my bike and challenge myself. Take your Mountain Buggy and get outdoors, life is for living, life without limit!!!
How inspiring is this story? Any parents out there who have challenged themselves physically? Share your story below in the comments section of this blog - we'd love to hear from you!