Racers 2016

  • Declan Rafferty
Declan Rafferty
– This is my first time signing up for an Ultra cycling event. I have completed numerous 1 day cycling events including Amstel Gold Race, Liege-Bastogne-Liege, La Marmotte, Wicklow 200. I have also completed numerous multi-day events including Mizen to Malin (over 3 days and 4 days), Pyreenian 5-day trips and Dublin to Paris.  
– I’m looking for a new challenge and always had a keen interest in ultra cycling (RAI and RAAM).  The fact that this event is in my home county of Donegal makes it even more appealing.
– I expect it to be tough, challenging and a massive learning experience.  Sunny weather with no wind and the good Donegal roads will be a bonus!

  • Eunan Quinn

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– Ironman Hawaii world Championships 2002, 2003.
– Irish record holder Ironman 2006.  9.25.48
– 12 hr Sligo ultra TT record 384 km – 2015.
– Race around Ireland 2 man team 2015. 2nd place 27.33km avg.
– Doing the event because I like a challenge. It’s great to have an event like this to showcase our County, and is destined to be one of the best endurance tests in the country.

  • Joe Barr

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As a Donegal native I get great satisfaction to have the opportunity to race the roads of Donegal, a place I have covered many, many thousands of miles throughout my years as a rider ….I have been so very fortunate to have experienced a career which has allowed me to have won many races of different dimensions in the sport of cycling and passing through the professional ranks to arrive where I am today…. here in  world endurance racing…
I am very excited to bring my team who have proven themselves beyond any doubt that they are amoungst the best in the world today, over the past 9 years we have raced and progressed through many levels to be in the top 10 in the world , something I am very proud to bring to the roads of Donegal.
I look forward to being the best I can be in June and hopefully bring enjoyable entertainment to all who follow the race and my team.
National Champion 25, 50, 100 mls TT ( national 100 record holder)
National Cyclo cross champion ( 10 world championship starts for Ireland )
Northern Ireland road race champion
3rd National road championship
3rd Overall “the Ras”
1st team ” the Ras”
3rd Commonwealth Games
3rd National Professional Road Championships.
1st National Classic League ..
10th Overall Race Across America ( 2nd in Cat)
1st Race Around Ireland
1st NCOM 1000 Texas
1st Le Mans 24hr France
4th Race Across Italy
Irish End To End record holder
Irish End To End to End Record holder .

  • Conor Mc Ilwaine

Conor Mc Ilwaine

  • Matthew Mc Kinley

Matthew Mc Kinley

  • Sean Mc Crudden

Sean Mc Crudden1

The main reason I have entered is to challenge myself. I haven’t done an ultra before or racing, I have taken part in sportives and club TT’s. I am a member of Letterkenny Cycling Club. My aim is just to complete it, I will be happy if I get in just under the 60 hours.

I am one of the organisers of The Race ( work at Gartan Outdoor Centre) so thought I should do a bit of suffering to see what it’s like. It is a truly amazing route with fantastic scenery it my home county so had to enter.

  • Christina MacKenzie


This will be my first cycle ultra, I have previously competed in multi sport ultras including “The Race” in 2014 and 2016.

The cycle sections in The Race really stood out to me, I enjoyed the distances, elevations and scenery. This along with the hospitality I received in Donegal is the reason I am entering the ultra.

I expect this to be a tough challenging course and battle against the elements, one that I will enjoy.

  • Gavin Harris

Gavin Harris

  • Gary Gardiner & Johnny Patton

Gary Gardiner1

I come from a background of hockey,  athletics,  surfing,  varied outdoor experiences and expeditions!  I have previously completed triathlons,  half marathon,  marathon,  numerous one day adventure races, mountain bike races, Isle of Man end to end, diamond quest,  Glover Highlander (hike/run), as well as other odds along the way! By mid May I hope to have completed the Irish coast to coast solo two day adventure race.
For this race, I’m not on my own, Myself and Johnny Patton are a two person team, and expectations are to finish it while having as much craic and enjoyment as possible.  Looking forward to it!

Keith O’Donnell

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In the last 2 years I have started to do some of the longer sportives and partook in the Sligo 6hr Untimate TT series last year. I have completed the Wicklow 200 the last 2 years and this is my 1st race/ultra race in any form. I have no previous experience in bike racing or ultra events of any kind.

I have been looking for an event to really challenge me and set the bar as high as I possibility can. I have never taken on anything on this scale but hope that I can complete the race in as fast as possible time and do both the race and myself justice. I have a time that I want to beat and leave plenty of hours to spare ha.

My reason for entering the Ultra is that it is local and will be covering some of the most beautiful and challenging coastal roads and climbs that this Country has to offer and I think to complete this would be a massive achievement for me and other participants. Looking forward to getting started and hopefully to finishing in a good time.

Team Donegal Oil

“Team Donegal Oil” was set up over 12 months ago by Managing Director of Donegal Oil, Arthur McMahon. It was set up to provide a platform in the county and beyond which promoted involvement in community events through physical activities and in return raise funds for chosen charities.

To date “Team Donegal Oil” have had over 30 different sporting enthusiasts of all levels taking part in local & national events as part of “Team Donegal Oil”. Speaking on behalf of Team Donegal Oil, Arthur McMahon said “I have to say I have been so delighted with the response that “Team Donegal Oil” has received from all sorts of local sports backgrounds. We have managed to raise over €10,000 to date for local charities and at the same time achieve what we set out to do, promoting involvement in community events through physical activity.”

“Last year we had a team of 4 take part in the Race around Ireland and the support we received from the local community to come along & help in every way, made me feel very grateful, so this time myself & Michael McGarvey will be on standby to help our “Team Donegal Oil” participants along the way. These lads have been very enthusiastic and know that their participation will help raise money for charity. Our team is Barry Mackey, Manus Kelly, Rory Kennedy, Andrew Stewart, Padraig MacGinty, Joe Boyle & Conor O’Dowd.

Carn Men

Tony O Doherty, Cathal Doyle, Dean Lockhart & Nicky Gormley

Douglas Ruddock

Douglas Ruddock

Running – 10 times Comrades Ultra Marathon (S. Africa, 90km, ‘Green Number’), 2hrs 42min Marathon, member of winning Relay Team (Veterans) for Johannesburg & Pretoria Marathon Champs.
Climbed Kilimanjaro (5 day direct route not tourist 8 day route🙂 ) followed 2 days later by Kili Marathon.
Triathlon – 2 times Ironman finisher (NZ & Austria), represented Ireland in age group at World Champs (London) at Olympic distance.
Cycling (very late starter🙂  – competitive but not a cyclist🙂, Trans Alps MTB Race (2011), Haute Route Pyrenees (2015), Various Sportifs including Lake Taupo (NZ) Challenge.
I’m up for a challenge but after riding some of the Antrim & Donegal individual climbs in training I’d really like to test myself against local terrain over a multi day event but hopefully not historically local weather!

Micheál Brennan
Micheal Brennan

Delighted to be part of the first running of this event around Donegal. I am a late comer to the sport and have done a lot of sportive rides and various charity cycles over the past four years, before taking up racing. This will be the first Ultra challenge I will attempt.

I have completed the ‘Race the Rás’ charity event 3 times cycling the route of the An Post Rás on the same day as the main race. I have just completed the Donegal Rás for the third time 2 weeks ago. Having also competed in a number of other 2-3 day races around the country. Hoping that I have enough in the tank to get me around the 555km Wild Atlantic Route!

Michael Russell
Mickey Russel
Looking forward to the race and the adventure, I enjoy cycling and its great to get the opportunity to take part in an event like this when it is so close to home.

Jason Black

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Jason Black renowned Irish leading Adventurer, endurance athlete & mountaineer.

Born in Ireland & growing up in county Donegal as a young boy, his love for the great out doors was heavily influenced his love for Mother nature providing the mountains waterways roads & unspoilt coast line, Ireland was to be his perfect adventure play ground. Jason’s light hearted fun filled nature makes expedition life an adventure to enjoy. But his unfaltering determination as a very keen athlete from a very early age, has always played centre stage in his daily life allowing no obstacle stand between him and success in life.

Not the best at school sport has always been his salvation, giving him self belief discipline and a competitive attitude to be the best he could ever be twenty years in Judo association of Ireland competing for Ireland on international duties. Alongside this a further twenty years a member of cycling Ireland racing competitively in regional and Irish national road races including three FBD international milk Rás.

Honing his skills around the world training with exceptional athletes prepared him to tackle the might of the greatest +8000mtr mountains in the world, making Irish history as the first Donegal person ever to stand on the summit of Mt Everest the highest place on the planet at 29,029ft on 19th may 2013. Denali in Alaska in 2014 and in 2015 set the bar even higher setting the world record on Kilimanjaro speed climbing the mountain via the west2east and back with a double summit in 22.5hrs. And on 13th January this year he successfully summitied Aconcagua the highest mountain in south America and one of the elusive seven summits and in doing so setting a new mountaineering record climbing expedition style from Argentina basecamp to the summit 22,834ft direct and traversing to Mulas basecamp on the other side in 32hrs in what should have taken fifteen days allowing for a progressive acclimatisation, an incredible physical feat.

Jason Black just back from his great success in Ironman Barcalona 70.3 & unfortunately not so in  Race across Italy ultra marathon cycling race on 23rd April 2016, seen him take on the qualifying RAAM event but the savage weather conditions resulting in hyperthermia stopped Jason’s success with just 120km to go. Vowing to return in 2017 he has set his focus on a solo bid in race around Ireland in August and sees the Donegal wild Atlantic ultra event the perfect race & conditioning for the 2500km race.

Jason’s infectious passion for living life to the full can only be but inspirational.

“No mountain too high ,No problem too big to be conquered in life”… Jason Black

The Robinsons


Hugh Coll


Kenny O’Donnell


Tir Chonaill Gap CC (Mixed 8-Person Team)

Mairead Cranley, Declan Brennan, Helen McNelis, James Griffin, Kevin Gibbons, Peter Mc Gee.

Tir Chonaill Gap CC

Tir Chonaill Gap CC Lads

Alan Breslin, Charlie McMonagle, Denis McCrudden, Felix Jackson.

Francis Furey

Francis Furey

The main reason I am doing this is I like to set myself a challenge every year. I have completed an post race the Ras in 2013 and 2014. I have also participated in WAAR for the past two years. I have done a number of sportive cycles in recent years. My main goal is to finish the race within the sixty hours.

Enda Madden

Enda Madden

I am a member of the Curlieu Wheelers Cycling Club in Boyle, Co. Roscommon. Having been a heavy smoker for many years, I finally traded smoking for cycling 5 years ago and haven’t looked back since. I have entered this event to push myself to the next level, while having my sights set on the Race Around Ireland-Ultra Challenge in the not too distant future.

As a four time finisher of the Etape Du Tour, in temperatures ranging from 0 to 38 degrees, I am hoping that the June weather in Donegal won’t be too harsh. Having done Mizen to Malin over 3 days last summer, the big challenge for me in Donegal will be to cover a similar distance in a much shorter time-frame. Mamore Gap, here we come!


Ultra Cycling 555km of Donegals Wild Atlantic Way

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