Everest, the South Pole and Team Daft racing Around Ireland – The Link!

My mate John O’Regan just sent me a message on Facebook to remind me that this day three years ago we were about to finish the everest marathon. Today I am in the middle of the English Channel sailing a 40 ft yacht back from France for the Round Ireland yacht race. I have no idea what the new sailing challenge will teach me or what the Round Ireland will throw at us but there will be unexpected events along the way. I remember my time in the Himalayas with John and the unexpected nature of the challenge proved to be the catalyst for me to enter the South Pole race and for John to go on to represent Ireland in the 24-hour running world championships. Our plan was to do the lowest ultra marathon in the world finishing at the dead sea in Jordan, followed by the highest marathon from Everest base camp a month later. We finished the dead sea event in the top 25 out of nearly 150 athletes and I suppose our spirits were high heading into the Everest event. Too high as it happens! Prior to the marathon we had to trek in for nearly two weeks. But from the moment we started the trek I knew we were in trouble. The terrain underfoot was horrific for me and it meant that john had to communicate with me constantly. But the real killer was that every step we took was closer to the start line and therefore further from the finish. The fear of complete failure was with us for the entire trek as we knew that the terrain would get worse and worse the closer to base camp that we got. And it did. I was tripping and falling the whole way up but we made it. Albeit we, or I should say I, was slower than all the other competitors and the race was worse! Despite our fitness passing the test at the dead sea ultra we finished hours behind the field and dead last on everest. I hated that feeling and it was why I wanted to be competitive in the south pole race not just complete it. And it is the same for the Round Ireland yacht race. I am not planning to be a passenger on the Team Daft yacht with my co-skipper Mick Liddy having to do all the work. As it is only two of us in the boat for the race and we are in it to compete then just as with the south pole race, I will have to be a functioning member of our team. The great thing is that the boat is starting to feel a little bit like the south pole tent and I am learning the ropes. Literally! So I think we will be competing, not just completing the Round Ireland yacht race. That’s the plan. We have just got to make it all happen now.


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