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We caught up with Girl Outdoors Fiona Donnellan who has signed up to her first Quest, Fiona will be keeping us up to date with her training and antics before her first event. In her first blog she reveals what she has learned about adventure racing so far!

“If you’re like me and a relative (if not complete) newbie to adventure racing, then you’re in for a treat. I’ve compiled a list of 5 things you never knew about adventure racing that I think will help you along the way.This year, I wanted to challenge myself so when I saw Quest was coming to Sligo I said sign me up! Quest events take place in epic locations and now Sligo is on their list – the race will take you all over South and West Sligo from Temple House, Ballymote to the Ox Mountains and back again.

But before I get ahead of myself…5 things you never knew about adventure racing:

  1. Adventure racing is a year-round sport so expect to be training and racing come hail, rain or shine (hopefully, by August 22nd Quest Sligo it will shine)! With Quest race days fast approaching it will mean training starts now too so wrap up warm and get out jogging and cycling in this cool, crisp weather. It will stand to you come race day.
  2. Quest adventure races consist of cycling, running and kayaking so it’s best to train in all disciplines where you can. Sure you’ll often excel at one or if you’re lucky two disciplines, but it’s always good to ensure you’re well versed in all three before race day. Even if it just means familiarising yourself with kayaking and the key techniques involved.
  3. There are different race distances to choose from based on your fitness levels and experience. You can try the Challenge, Sport or Expert course (short, medium, or long). You may opt to try Challenge on your first run out to familiarise yourself with the racing process. Or you may just go head-on into an Expert race.
  4. Adventure racing isn’t like other sports where people are hyper-competitive – the vibe is super friendly with everyone happy to share knowledge and advice. So my advice, ask questions even if they seem wild or stupid. Odds are someone has asked the same questions before.
  5. Any level of fitness ability can do an adventure race, yes you read that right. I know you hear adventure races and you think about the super fit – your work colleague that seems to run to work, runs at lunch and then runs home. But adventure racing can be for all fitness levels. There are amazing programmes available whether it’s couch to Quest, an 8 week or 12-week programme, or just a case of upping the ante in the gym, getting out jogging more regularly in the lead up or going that extra mile on the bike at the weekend. All this will help you get across the line on race day. So see what programmes are out there and which suits you best. There are lots of resources available here.

So grab a friend, get training and go on an adventure.”