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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.”

START

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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Taking care of your skin at home

By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio In Part 2 of taking care of your skin at home it’s important to do the following steps after cleansing, toning […]

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By Jill O’Donoghue from Killarney Toning and Beauty Studio

In Part 2 of taking care of your skin at home it’s important to do the following steps after cleansing, toning and exfoliating your face, neck and décolleté.

Serums, eye creams and moisturisers: Moisturising provides a protective layer to the skin that locks in moisture and keeps skin hydrated. This hydration is what gives your skin a smooth and luminous appearance. This is the step in your skincare routine you don’t want to skip. We always apply the serum closest to the skin as it’s water based and needs to be absorbed on the deepest layer of the skin; the basal layer which is the active layer. It’s where the collagen and elastin start to grow and move up towards the surface of the skin. The more hyaluronic acid, peptides, ribose, and active ingredients in your serums the better. We need to keep our fibroblasts, melanocytes healthy as they are the source of plump, juicy skin.

An eye cream to me is the most important cream as the eye area is a place that doesn’t have any sebaceous glands (oil gland). These glands help remove old skin cells, keep the skin lubricated and prevent tissues drying out. Therefore, for me, I always use an eyelid lifting serum, eye cream in the night time and eye roll-on gel in the morning. Our eyes can make us look older than we are so it’s important to look after them. It’s very important not to go too close to the eye when applying creams as the skin is very thin. A little bit often makes a big difference.

When applying your serum and cream rub upwards and outwards; be careful not to tug the delicate skin around the eyes.

Apply SPF all year round, it’s the most important step in preventing skin cancer and keeps your skin healthy as you age. Protecting your skin from the sun’s damaging UV rays helps maintain a healthy youthful visage. However, it’s important to remember the best form of sun block is to keep your face in the shade.

With all skincare routines, it’s important to keep it consistant. Do it twice a day every day and follow with monthly facials. Your skin is the largest organ on the body. This means that it’s important to take good care of it.

For more information, or to book a skin consultation or facial, call Jill on 064 6632966.

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What do we mean by ‘Employability’?

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, a member of the Kerry Branch of IGC and a career consultant at www.mycareerplan.ie. Follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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By Niamh Dwyer, Guidance Counsellor

According to experts in the area of career development, the term ‘employability’ refers to a set of achievements that makes graduates more likely to gain employment and be successful in their chosen occupations.

This in turn benefits themselves, the workforce, the community and the economy. At this stage in the year Leaving Cert students are well into the process of trying to decide what step they want to take next. It is a daunting task for many of you because of the variety of choices available and the challenge for young people at 17 or 18 years of age to really know what career they might like. It is important to remember that you aren’t choosing a career for life, you are taking the next step and you will be building on that as your career develops. A big concern for many students and parents is whether they will get a job at the end of their chosen course or pathway. While we have some indications of where there will be skills shortages in the short to medium term, the jobs market is subject to change.

PATHWAY

One thing we can be sure of is that, regardless of what pathway you take after the Leaving Cert, be that Further Education courses (FET), traineeships, apprenticeships or university courses, on completion of your training and education you will want to be ‘employable’. In simple terms ‘employability’ depends on your knowledge (what you know) your skills (what you do with what you know) and your attitude (how you approach things). As you research the various options open to you after you finish school, remember you are heading into a working world that values transferable skills which include specialist knowledge in the subject, field of study or technical area you have chosen to follow. It also places huge emphasis on having the ability to analyse, evaluate and use information effectively to problem-solve and to organise and communicate knowledge well. Furthermore, your personal qualities are a core part of your offering to a potential employer – your ability to work on your own initiative, to self-manage, to manage time and meet targets and deadlines. Central to all of this of course is the ability to collaborate, to work and study as part of a team.

If you are struggling to decide between courses or options, focus on finding an area that you really want to find out more about. You will develop a set of transferable skills which will give you flexibility and adaptability as you grow and develop in your career. All of the other things you do will add value to your degree/qualification and that is what will ensure your ‘employability’!

Niamh Dwyer is a Guidance Counsellor in Scoil Phobail Sliabh Luachra, Rathmore, a member of the Kerry Branch of IGC and a career consultant at www.mycareerplan.ie. Follow @mycareerplan on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

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