THREE gritty and determined Killarney men took on the epic Transatlantic Way Ultra Race Challenge, setting off in Derry and finishing in Kinsale Co Cork.
Brothers Benny and Donnacha Cassidy and Killarney Cycling Club’s secretary Tom Daly realised a long-time ambition to tackle the course and they were thrilled to be in a position to do so.
The Cassidy brothers, sons of former Killarney Cycling Club Chairman, Brendan, took on the 2113km +25,225m climbing challenge with 65-year-old Tom being the only and also the eldest entrant for the shorter route of 1540km with 17,400m of climbing.
Benny had an early lead but, unfortunately, he had to abandon his attempt in Sligo due to a knee injury.
Donnacha then took the lead at 650km until being overtaken at approximately 1000km. He went on to take third place finishing with a time of six days and four hours.
Tom took a tumble in Clare, suffering some facial injuries, but it was nothing serious enough to make him give up this epic challenge.
He aimed for 250km a day – 3000m of climbing – and he was facing 25-30kph headwinds in the rain and through dark nights, carrying 6kg of essential gear and averaging four hours of sleep.
“At times in Donegal I found it very hard but on the whole I really enjoyed the experience,” said Tom completed the race in six days and nine hours.
Eight of the 12 entrants finished the course and the winner of the race was Rachel Nolan who completed in five days, 22 hours and 20 minutes.
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