So many races went on over the weekend for friends & MSR team runners so hope you all got on great...
As for our Kerry event WOW it was ACE!! So many things was going on and everyone seemed very happy.
This was our first running tour & planned to be a best!! & wont be the last ( I've just started plans for our next tour ) so this trip was super planned & getting the logistics right was a lot of work but it all paid off as everyone had super duper time 🤓
14 runners ready to rock n roll on the Kerry mountains, When working with groups its most important to keep everyone happy & safe, the big day that everyone was waiting for was here... Friday the 22nd & bus started to pick everyone up from points along the way filling up the MSR mini bus thanks to Phillip from Footfalls ( link below)
5+ hours on the road with few rest stops for pee pee's & food before ending in Killarney on time as planned by Phillip our driver who is very nice guy always helping when needed :-) link www.facebook.com/Footfalls
Kevin Leahy the owner of The Black Sheep Hostel ( link below) met us at the main door to give us all a great welcome & show us around which I must say its super nice new hostel inside & in the garden with everything needed like home grown veggies in polly tunnel, For a kind donation you can help yourself to the veggies & everything is there. There's always eggs from their chickens too.
The hostel is new & very clean with very friendly staff there to help you & your needs.
Kevin & myself had planned easy runs for anyone wanting to loosing their legs from the drive on Friday evening & Kevin took the faster runners up front for nice 12k run while his partner hana & their dog ( who wants to play all the time ) along for the fun with our other runners for 6k slower pace run around the park. All seemed to well & myself was cycling with them all taking photos & making films,
I was holding off from running as wanted to rest my ankle for the Kerry way run on Saturday as wasn't fully healed.
Soon after both runs were done & dusted we headed off for some good foods ( Indian ) which was lucky we had booked our tables killarney this time of year is very busy & most places booked out!
Thanks to my friend Nicola for booking our tables for what was a savage place thanks to Kevin for recommending, I just about eat all my food with few beers to wash down the rice in all ready for our adventure next morning..
Soon after our meals were down a little walk was much needed before heading back to our hostel & hitting the sack for some much needed sleep!
Had a great sleep:-)
Saturday morning comes everyone up at 8-9am some up at 6am doing their workouts!!! & others fighting for the showers but all was good in the end, Anna & Kevin had made up lovely warm porridge for our group with nuts & all kinds of seeds with fruit just what us runners needed for the day & Kevin went for his 100k training run...
Bus outside for 10am start & all ready in their gear waiting to run;-) seemed like a nice warm day & misty on higher grounds but good on lower land for us, The 32km group started just off the main road before Muckross park & ran past the "Torc Waterfall" & along the "Old Kenmare Road" to "Galway's Br" about 12km in & this part of the route is super beautiful with lovely views as far as your eyes could see with lakes & lots of mountains higher tops were still covered in mist but was due to clear up by mid-day, the trails along here were very technical and fun...
The 26k runners had a shorter route & got dropped off just after "Torc waterfall" along with myself & plan for both groups to meet up along the "Old Kenmare Road" just after "Torc mountain" & having the 32k runners behind us which all went to plan & soon both groups met up, We all ran for a while together chatting & enjoying the trails in till myself & others stopped to take more photos & then all groups broke apart and everyone ran in pairs or smaller groups.
Soon coming into "Black Valley" we met the road part & walked for while looking all round taking in the high Kerry ridge mountains trying to work out which mountain was what as I had looked at the map coming up to this event learning few names for each mountain summit could still only see parts of them due to fog!
Soon leaving black valley with a big smile as coming back onto the trails with nice descents to play on ( at this point my ankle started to relax into the run ) up to this point I was taking it very easy not to mess it up to more ( Sprained it on Monday in my garden ) Friday came & was about 90% healed but needed to run Kerry way :-)
Myself & Nicola stuck with each other from just after Torc mountain till the end & I wanted to give her the push when needed as this was training for what will be her 1st ultra which were training for, I've been training Nic for good while now working on many things and this 32k was Nic longest trail run to date & she ran a 4/5 km min pace for 12km run on Friday evening so training does pay off & Nic was feeling good, my training skills is train good & feel better the next day or just after the race:-) with no stiffness etc...
Am super proud of Nic at the moment she's putting a lot of time into her training & not just running, Working on navigating running skills as well as flexibility boot camp drills & much more, Plans going ahead for longer training sessions soon.
Soon both of us came to "Bridia Valley" Where there was mix of trail / road running slow pace on the road & steady pacing on the trails known the faster group was ahead of us somewhere!!!
We had started to climb again on steep ground up the "Bridia Valley" & got to the top in no time pushing power hiking needed in places:-) Soon made it onto top at the "Stone Row" about 20k done & took a few pics before heading off descending along steep mountain & very technical in places but trying to stay light on my feet and moving fast with a 90% healed ankle was fun & stepping into every river or mud bath to make my foot landing less impacting or sore, Worked... so I was happy and soon came to the end of this track which I knew there was about 6k road to meet the bus so stuck it out and chatted all the way & soon we seen the 1st group after the a bend all having a cold can of beer or water & so we raced to them for a COLD one too which I must say went down great ;-) & turns out the lads were just about 15mins ahead of us so not bad at all & other groups behind us about 30mins so happy running from everyone, 26 & 32km runs with 6 & 12km runs the night before over all super running & hiking from you all...
3 groups on the go from the start till the end of 26 & 32km thanks to Philip our bus driver where planned for him to meet us with water / food as few of us was going to keep on running after the 30k mark up to Carrauntoolhill summit & make a 50km out of it, but due to few things & the fog on summits it was called off & the group was happy to end it at the 32k.
Everyone was still coming in to the end strong even tho some was feeling f#%ked but said they loved it.. That kind of pain can be nice at times known we feel good about the journey even tho our legs or feet feel sore, So well done to you all I know a few of the guys & girls never ran that far before so again well done that's amazing running... ;-) keep the training up now & soon to be out having lots more MSR fun.
The runs came to an end but weekend we still had plans & so everyone had there sandwiches made up from Kevin @the black sheep hostel, We had per ordered them before our adventure :-)
Food & beers all gone down & we started to pack all back onto the bus & headed back to the hostel to clean up then off to dinner at the "The Porter" which was very nice & then the beers ;-) soon after this bar we started our journey in search for old bars & found a good few :-) The after party starts....
Chats, fun, tricks & magic, more beer, chips & ice cream, more beers then singing & dancing ( dance from Keith as seen in my film ) more chats as we started to have more beers!!! Soon the group stared to feel tried & few headed back to hostel where the others stayed out till bars closed & they needed a guide hehe!!! Must been about 2pm & we called it a night!!!! Headed back yo the hostel but no sleep as we were all wired & started to play a game called " I Spy With My Little Eye" who's ever played that game ?? It was tough 😜 going ha!!! 30mins or so of that & the night was over all to bed....
Sunday morning I planned to sleep in as most Sunday's am up & out the door to spend the day teaching & guiding, Even tho I had about 8-10 beers night before I was fine as most of us was ( the fitter u are the less hangovers) but others went down for great food but I just wanted to sleep in till about 10:30 as we needed to be out by 11am I couldn't sleep as members of our group said let's chat to juju as his feeling lazy!!!!!!!!
Thanks I love you all really 😜
Ok OK am getting up..... Juju is up & packed... Phillip was outside so everyone packed their gear into the bus & we all went for little outdoor shopping as planned to visit the Kerry outdoor sports store which is also the people that hold the "Kerry Way Ultra" in Sep each year, Which this year has a 51k as well as the Kerry 201k, good look to all running this great event I had hoped to race the lite (51k) but seems am working in Achil that weekend but who knows;-) so myself & the group spend an hour or so looking round & chatting to the lovely staff about mountains as you do, The group got few things & everyone was happy... :-)
The weekend was so dam good I didn't want to go home!!
Am very happy for putting this event on as it was kind of a test for myself to see how a running road tours would go & WOW I love it..... Everyone loved it 😍 There will be lots more & I plan to have as many as I can all year round.. So hoping you all can join our new "juju's adventure running tours"
SO time to leave Kerry! All packed onto the bus & time to hit the road back to Dub!!! & as most of us fell sleep others were telling crazy jokes & messing with funny phone pics YES Gary the one & only but we all love him as on the way down to Kerry was the same 😭😭😭.....jokes , Jokes & more JOKES every road trip needs a good joker😂
A great weekend full of jokes, chatting, games, mountains, hiking, photos, films, ice cream, cycling, dog playing, deer watching, river dipping, beer drinking, good foods, nice sleeps , farting!!, & YES trail running..... Happy people doing what we love the most sharing our passion & much more making this road tour a superb weekend.
Thanks to everyone on this list, Phillip our bus driver having to put up with us all!!!! The black sheep hostel for everything, Nic for helping with bookings & Great Outdoors for giving me such great gear to test & spend the weekend using my Garmin Virb X sports camera ( photos / films ) & it's super coooooool when ya learn how to use it!!!!https://www.facebook.com/GreatOutdoorsIreland/
So hope you all had a good time and roll on our next road trip....