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Killarney man completes in one of the world’s toughest adventure races

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By Sean Moriarty

Killarney mountain runner Joe O’Leary was part of a four person team that finished one of the world’s most arduous adventure races in Spain this week.

The Dingle Adventure Race team, Noel O'Leary, Joe O'Leary, Colm Casey and Ailise Deane started the six-day race in Adventure Race World Championship in Gallaecia on Saturday.

They only reached the finish line in the early hours of Thursday morning after enduring 220km of mountain trail hiking at heights of 7,500m, an 80km mountain bike race and an 11km kayak race in a river with currents so strong they had to carry their canoe along the river bank just to make the section-finish.

They did all this while surviving on limited sleep taken on a short bus journey to connect sections and 17 minutes of open air sleeping on the side of a mountain in the middle of the night.

“The 2021 World Championship will be the most mountainous, the longest and the most technical edition of our race so far, covering 600km across three of the four provinces of Gallaecia and passing very near to the border with Portugal,” explained a pre-event press release. “Teams can expect a varied and technical race delivered by a crew which has been together for many years and has a reputation second to none for their courses, logistics, mapping and organisation.”

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At the event start, all teams were given 51 maps and had a limited time to plot the correct route via several pre-ordained check points.

They were not allowed use modern GPS technology and one mobile phone was allowed per team, however this was switched off and placed in a sealed bag and if the seal was broken they would have been disqualified from the race. A digital wrist watch, that showed no more than the time and a date was the team’s only connection to real time as smart watches and Fitbits were also banned.

The course opened on Saturday morning and they had exactly seven days to complete it.

Following a very difficult opening night, they spent 40 hours on a mountain side in driving rain, missed a cut off time at a check point and were forced to complete a stage by bus. While the bus trip offered much needed rest, Team Dingle Adventure Race were forced to drop down to the shorter course and were no longer eligible for overall honours. It was a cruel blow for the squad as they were the last team to be cut off.

They continued with the Mountain Bike section but before they could participate in the kayaking element of the event they had to carry their boat through difficult mountain trails to reach the start of that section.

The final section, 12km of street racing, was as difficult as the mountain courses they had just completed.

“We got over the line at about 3am, there was one person there to clap us,” a clearly exhausted Joe told the Killarney Advertiser a few hours after the finish.

“What day is it? I literally don’t know what happened over the last few days. I will be getting flashbacks about this for the next six months and it will take a long time to piece it all together. Right now I am drifting between back to life and being completely delirious from sleep depravation.”

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“I’m not fit enough”

How many of you have said or thought “I’m not fit enough” or even heard others say it? Quite frankly it grinds my gears. That mentality is going to hold you back. Change your “I’m not fit enough” to “I will get fit”. Break free from this limiting belief If you think you are not […]

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How many of you have said or thought “I’m not fit enough” or even heard others say it?

Quite frankly it grinds my gears. That mentality is going to hold you back. Change your “I’m not fit enough” to “I will get fit”.

Break free from this limiting belief
If you think you are not fit enough then you never will be, and let’s face it, you’ll never know if you’re fit enough to do something unless you do it! You can achieve so much, much more if you have the right mindset, and that this is a mental hurdle to overcome, not a physical one.
Everyone must start somewhere, and that can be as simple as aiming to sit a little less and move a bit more.
More gentle exercises that don’t require too much skill such as walking, and housework can help start you off slowly and build up gradually. You will still be making progress, physically and mentally, and will enjoy it more. A common mistake is trying to achieve too much, too soon. If exercising feels too hard, you will be put off.

Visualise success
Visualisation is an athletic tool that has been used for decades. By closing your eyes and imagining what it would look and feel like to achieve a goal or to complete an exercise, we can prepare ourselves physically and psychologically for the task at hand.

Certified fitness instructors add to the cost of your workout, but they can also add a lot of value. An expert can design a program based on your goals, show you how to use equipment, and provide tips on nutrition.

Log your workouts by recording distances, weights, and other objective milestones in your fitness journey, you will be able to see progress on paper. That record can come in handy when you are feeling uninspired or lethargic

Don’t over-promise. Having goals, even lofty ones, is key to anything you want to achieve in life. Make sure the bar is reachable—even if it means aiming for just 15 minutes on a bike—so you are not overwhelmed. Don’t forget to celebrate the small wins along the way!

Research on the placebo effect has focused on the relationship of mind and body. One of the most common theories is that the placebo effect is due to a person’s expectations. If a person expects a pill to do something, then it is possible that the body’s own chemistry can cause effects similar to what a medication might have caused.

For instance, in one study, people were given a placebo and told it was a stimulant. After taking the pill, their pulse rate sped up, their blood pressure increased, and their reaction speeds improved. When people were given the same pill and told it was to help them get to sleep, they experienced the opposite effects.

Meaning when you believe something, it can and will happen. That is the power of strong mentality.
If you keep thinking you are “not fit enough” then you will believe it, but if you start to change your way of thinking and change your mindset to “get fit”, you have made a huge step in the right direction. Take small steps to start new habits no matter how small they may be, and you will start to see some remarkable results.
If you would like help with any of your health and fitness goals please contact us at www.activate.ie

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Lack of street lights a concern

By Sean Moriarty Two roads in the wider Killarney area will not get any additional street lighting despite requests to install them by Cllr. John O’Donoghue. Mr O’Donoghue called on the council place extra lighting on the Muckross Road near the old Whitegates Hotel. “The area is considerably darker now and is presenting a serious danger […]

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By Sean Moriarty

Two roads in the wider Killarney area will not get any additional street lighting despite requests to install them by Cllr. John O’Donoghue.

Mr O’Donoghue called on the council place extra lighting on the Muckross Road near the old Whitegates Hotel.

“The area is considerably darker now and is presenting a serious danger to pedestrians crossing the road, particularly between Woodlawn Cross, and what was formerly the Whitegates Hotel,” he told a recent meeting of Killarney Municipal District.
The council said that the area was subject to a recent upgrade and that additional lighting would not be installed along this section of road on top of the 19 LED lights already placed there.”
“The lighting was installed, commissioned, light levels checked and provides adequate illumination to meet the relevant lighting design standards,” a council spokesperson told the meeting.
Mr O’Donoghue also called for a new street light to be placed on the junction where the L.3015 meets the slip road by Glenflesk National School: “to facilitate the safe passage of school children walking home during the Winter months.”
Kerry County Council reviewed the request but said: “This proposal would not comply with Kerry County Council’s Public Lighting Policy.”

COMMENT BY KILLARNEY ADVERTISER

While this Killarney Municipal District meeting took place hours before the horrific murder of Ashling Murphy in Tullamore, it drives home the importance that all our citizens are entitled to feel safe in their locality. The addition of a few extra street lights in the areas mentioned is not too much to ask.

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