I always like to have something to train for, be it a big race or something more personal. It keeps me focused and getting out in all weather.  During the summer I got a text about the FEAR race, trail running, road cycling and a kayak thrown in for good measure.  I thought it’b be a nice end to the summer and a bit of fun in the beautiful countryside of Fermanagh.  Sure why not?

Looking fresh on the first 4.5 mile run (wee dog jog)  Photo from @fear page.

After the recent Ben Nevis race I was pure sickened of mountains so added in some commuting to work and convinced my partner in crime Stephen to enter also.  Theres a long and short race, I of course entered the long one coming in at about 74km.

  • Cycling (Knockmore to Lough Shore) 10.2kms
  • Running (Wee Dog Jog) 7kms
  • Cycling (Knockmore to Lough Shore cont …) 30.5kms
  • Running (Blackslee Trail) 4.5km
  • Cycling (Knockmore to Lough Shore cont …) 3.8kms
  • Running (The Magho Cliff Challenge – downhill) 1.2kms
  • Kayaking (Paddle Power Point) 2kms
  • Running (The Magho Cliff Challenge – uphill 1,000ft) 1.2km
  • Cycling (Lough Shore to Pub Door) 13.6kms
All I knew was that it was going to be hilly.  This was the understatement of the day.

Long hills shrouded in mist.

Due to bad weather the kayak was cancelled (phew).  The rain started when we left Belfast and didn’t stop until the last cycling section.

Rain jacket on for cycle, back off again for the run.  Photo from @fear page.
The first cycle was up a cliff, I took it easy as I knew my 5mile cycles into work wasn’t the best prep. Next up the run and I was feeling ok, it took in some trails in a forest, again I was trying to enjoy the views of mist and clag holding my pace back.  The rain was that wet rain that soaks you through, the long 18mile cycle was tight with a fare bit of climbing, I sat behind a couple of guys having good craic which was far more enjoyable that being on my own.
Then came the slowest 5km ever.  My legs were not working and as it was hilly (no surprise there) I was walking a good bit of it but shuffled around in 34 minutes ish.  Another uphill cycle section to the top of Magho, a run down the cliff and then back up again.  The rain started to clear and I could see some views now, Fermanagh is beautiful when you can see the scenery.
Last cycle to the finish and I managed a couple of selfies as is a tradition in any race.

Selfie time.
Fermanagh you are beautiful when the sun finally comes out.  The FEAR is a great race, slick organisation, great race packs, good water and banana stops and you get a hoodie and medal for the really competitive race fee.  The hot food at the finish was a great touch, the pasta and sandwiches went down a treat.
I was a bit disappointed with my legs on the 2nd and 3rd runs but then again I didn’t really train that much for it.  4hr 54 overall time, happy enough and maybe I’d go back with more specific training to not suffer as much.
FEARmanagh in three words.  Hilly, wet, beautiful.

New helmet and gloves definitely made me faster.