Don’t ask me how I got myself into this one…It had something to do with meeting a rower called Gearoid Towey at his 30th birthday party, bonding while we inhaled helium from the party balloons and then I suddenly find myself with a sack full of survival gear from “The Great Outdoors” in Dublin and a training schedule.

“The Beast of Ballyhoura” is an adventure race which takes place continuously over 22-28 hours. Teams of four mountain run, mountain bike, kayak, abseil, orienteer and clay pigeon shoot over purpose built Ballyhoura Trails, through the Galtee mountains. I don’t know where they are. I must look them up on my new map and then I shall go there using my new compass to direct me.

It’s called “The Beast of Ballyhoura” because apparently when people do these adventure races and are sleep deprived, they start to hallucinate and often see strange beasts and monsters. Although those may just be the other members of the team looking a bit rough. One racer told me he started to see clocks everywhere. I think that only happens on the really serious races where they go up to five days without sleep.

The great event takes place over the 4th and 5th August. Check out The Beast of Ballyhoura website or Outsider Magazine for further details. I think there are still spaces for teams to apply. And a big thank you to Damian Hackett and to Charlie who helped get all my gear together in the Great Outdoors.