FEARmanagh 2017 Full Course:
(Looking for the short course? Check that out here)
FEAR is a multi-sport competition consisting of three sporting disciplines cycling, trail running and kayaking:
Cycling (Knockmore to Lough Shore) 10.2kms
Running (Wee Dog Jog) 7kms
Cycling (Knockmore to Lough Shore cont……) 30.5kms
Running (Blackslee Trail) 4.5km
Cycling (Knockmore to Lough Shore cont……) 3.8kms
Running (The Magho Cliff Challenge – downhill) 1.2kms
Kayaking (Paddle Power Point) 2kms
Running (The Magho Cliff Challenge – uphill 1,000ft) 1.2km
Cycling (Lough Shore to Pub Door) 13.6kms
Total: 74Kms (approx)
LEG 1 – CYCLING
After an easy start down through Derrygonnelly a series of small hills brings you to the foot of Knockmore. The climb starts steeply and gets worse before an easy section just after half way leads to the final ramp. Treat this climb with respect as there’s not much recovery before you reach Transition 1 (T1) and it’s too early in the day to be digging deep.
LEG 2 – TRAIL RUN
A fairly fast route on forest fire road with a short section of tarmac road at halfway. If it’s clear there can be great views early on towards the Sligo hills. Once through the farm yard after the road section prepare yourself for a sapping uphill drag of about 1km before retracing part of your outward route back to the bike.
LEG 3 – CYCLING
The first section to Cashel Cross is great – good surface, sweeping bends and almost all downhill. The next bit to Garrison isn’t too bad either – an initial climb followed by a quick section on the back road into the village. The route takes in the beautiful park alongside Lough Melvin before a short off road section across a footbridge and up a steep un-surfaced track. You’ll have to run this bit but it’s all over in a minute or two. The rest of the leg to T2 is on good road but it’s tough. Endless short steep hills or long drags for most of the way sap the strength of even the best cyclist. The section from the high point at Meenacloybane to the entrance to the forest drive gives you some respite before the final leg buster to T2.
LEG4 – TRAIL RUNNING
Although shorter than the first trail run this one seems harder. Again the first half is downhill on fire road except for about 800m of single track past the waterfall. It’s all uphill now back to the transition. It feels relentless at this stage in the race.
LEG 5 – CYCLING
This is the shortest bike leg. If you’ve been changing shoes between running and cycling you might decide it’s not worth it for this section. The only problem is the really steep bit of road about half way in. Not easy to overcome in trail shoes on clipless pedals. If you can take the time to admire the view from T3 glance across Lough Erne towards Donegal. It’s spectacular but looks a long way down.
LEG 6 – TRAIL RUNNING
Almost 300metres of descending in less than 1km. This will trash the legs unless you’re used to hill running. The steps can be tricky but you must keep to the path.
LEG 7 – KAYAKING
Grab your choice of open top kayak and head east parallel to the shoreline for 500metres before rounding the buoy and heading back past the transition area to the next buoy barely visible 1km away. You should be sheltered from the prevailing winds so you can enjoy the long views across Lough Erne to your right or contemplate what’s to come on the next leg to your left. Round buoy 2 and head back to transition.
LEG 8 – TRAIL RUNNING
As a one off this next bit, the climb back up to T3, is hard enough but after what’s gone before it’s nothing short of horrendous. If you can run all the way and not cramp up you’ll be one of the very few.
LEG 9 – CYCLING
The glory leg, this is a fast and furious descent to the finish. Enjoy it. No holding back required. Let your inner Bradley Wiggins out.
NB. Routes may be subject to slight changes