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Kevin faces two of the world’s coldest races

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By Sean Moriarty

A Killarney man who is no stranger to tough challenges is set to take it to the limit in the coming weeks to take on - not one but two - ultimate ice challenges.

Kevin Leahy of the Black Sheep Hostel is currently on his way to the Arctic Circle to contest the first of two 500km ultra runs in the frozen north.

CONDITIONS: These are the conditions that Kevin Leahy will face in Överkalix Sweden in March.

The first ice running event will be done in Canada and then he'll face a similar run in Swedish Lapland – with less than 10 days off in between.

His first race, the Yukon Arctic Ultra – billed as the world’s coldest and toughest race - where temperatures can dip as low as -50°C – gets underway next Thursday.

Kevin reckons it will take him seven days and nights to complete the course.
Throughout the 500km race he will have to be fully self-sufficient and will drag a sled weighing between 25kg and 30kg with all his cooking essentials, tent and spare clothes on board.

The effort required to pull it will depend on the depth of snow. In late 2021 he traversed the entire Kerry Way and contested the Kerry Ultra Marathon as part of his final preparations.

“I have been practicing on the bogs near Kilcummin by pulling old Jeep tyres behind me,” Kevin explained to the Killarney Advertiser this week. “I have to be completely self-sufficient and I will sleep when I am tired, I will eat when I am hungry.”

Kevin is no stranger to such events.

The Yukon Arctic Ultra runs along the Canadian-Alskan border and two years ago he led the shorter 160km race that runs within the main 500km event.

The problem with leading is that he created a path in the snow for his pursuers to follow.

He still won it despite suffering from "sleep deprivation and hallucinations", was hungry, cold and exhausted and with "nothing but the sound of the sled behind me for company" - with no prize money, or fame for his efforts.

Once he completes the Canadian race he will return to Killarney to get ready for a second 500km race in Swedish Lapland but will have less than 10 days at home to prepare.

The Lapland Arctic Ultra, billed as a race “through Europe’s last wilderness”, takes place between March 6-16 in Överkalix, Sweden. The Swedish town is about 160km west of the Finnish town of Rovaniemi, the official home of Santa Claus in Lapland.

DOCUMENTARY

Kevin’s progress on both events will be followed by local digital production company Grandview Media.

The Pawn Office Lane-based company is run by director and producer Adrian McCarthy who is well known for his video promotional work in the district.

Adrian’s documentary entitled ‘1000km of Chaos' will chart Kevin’s early preparations in Kerry, the disappointments of cancelled events due to COVID-19 restrictions and finally getting to compete in two of the toughest races in the world.

The finished production will be shown at the Kerry International Film Festival next October.

Kevin’s bid is being supported by All Real Nutrition, the Farranfore-based protein bar manufacturer, and Montane, an international extreme weather clothing brand.

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Do facial treatments hurt?

It can be difficult to book your first facial, as you aren’t sure what your skin needs or what’s involved, but don’t worry, as that’s our job to make it […]

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It can be difficult to book your first facial, as you aren’t sure what your skin needs or what’s involved, but don’t worry, as that’s our job to make it an easy process.

One of the most asked questions I get asked is do facials hurt? The short answer is no, but I have to admit it depends on your skin type and what is required. Squeezing black heads isn’t the most comfortable moment during a facial, but we always have the skin well prepared, exfoliated and softened, and use steam to open the pores. Mostly a facial is super relaxing and comfortable.

Summer weather tends to bring with it oily skin and breakouts, but it’s often less acne prone in the winter. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be getting regular facials throughout the year however. The best way to see the benefits of a facial is to get them consistently. A good facial will have the products tailored to your skin type.

You have nothing to loose but excess oil and dead skin cells. I have a feeling men are more sensitive than women as they always ask about the pain involved first!

Give me a call to book in or if you’ve any other questions ring 064 6632966.

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Plan ahead for College Open Days

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore. For more careers information see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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By Niamh Dwyer, Chairperson of the Kerry Branch of Guidance Counsellors
 

The College Open Day season for 2023 entrants starts in earnest in early October.

From then on, the Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) and Agricultural colleges will showcase what they have to offer to potential students. Further Education Colleges tend to host their open days from January onwards. Thankfully HEIs are back to hosting in-person open days but many are offering more specific information sessions on particular courses and departments virtually. College Open Days give students and parents a great chance to find out lots of interesting and detailed information about courses of interest and the many supports available, as well as giving the opportunity to get a feel for the college by availing of campus tours. You will find a complete list of the open days in the events sections of www.qualifax.ie and on www.careersportal.ie so take some time to make a list of the ones you want to attend.

Prepare and plan 

Do some basic research on the courses on offer. Check the entry requirements for each course of interest as you will need to meet these to be eligible to compete for a place on the course. Check out the modules and whether Erasmus or travel abroad options are available, as well as work placement. Don’t ignore a course or open day because you don’t expect to get enough points. You may do far better than you anticipate.
Have a good look at the college website – register for the open day in advance, download the schedule of talks and make note of the ones you want to attend. Make sure to download a map of the campus so you know exactly where to find the talks and presentations of interest. Jot down any questions you have as you will hopefully get a chance to talk to college staff and/or current students. Plan to arrive in plenty time as there are likely to be very large crowds attending. On the day, try to gather information about accommodation, clubs and societies and student supports. Many HEIs run talks for parents and on grants, HEAR (Higher Education Access Route) and DARE (Disability Access Route to Education) so check them out. Make sure to get contact details for any staff members which may be important later for follow-up questions.

Atmosphere

There is nothing like a College Open Day to give you a sense of what the campus feels like. Soak up the atmosphere and consider if the size of the campus is the best fit for you. Larger campuses can be intimidating for some students while exciting for others. Smaller campuses can feel more comfortable and manageable. You will know what feels right for you. Bear in mind that open days have a festival feel to them and regular college days are not always like that. This may be your only chance to visit the campus before you register there as a student so make the most of your day and enjoy it!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore. For more careers information see www.mycareerplan.ie or follow @mycareerplan on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

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