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We caught up with Lisa Clerkin who completed her first adventure race in the Spring of 2019 and ended the season winning the National Series in the Sport category! Lisa reveals what she has learned and why she keeps coming back for more!

“The Quest events have a superb atmosphere and buzz at each and every event. I keep returning for the people! I have met some extraordinary individuals along the way! Some keen on racing for a fast time and others simply to get the best pictures of the spectacular scenery. The Quest events I have completed have all been set in fabulous countryside with rolling hills, fabulous lakes accompanied by breath-taking views.

2019 was my first year participating in Quest events but it has really been a great year for me so far! I was feeling a bit static in my fitness and I was really needed something other than my first love, running, to challenge me. The Quest events have it all! I was never a fan of cycling but this section is a large part of the Quest events meaning I had to push myself out of my comfort zone and get out on my bike! This was probably the biggest challenge for me! Quest not only pushes one physically but also mentally. Mental fitness and resilience are gained by participation at Quest events – these two elements trouble many people in today’s fast paced world! Quest forces one to focus on the kms ahead and to forget about everything else! My favourite part of Quest has to be the immense feeling of satisfaction after a race. The feeling is fantastic – you have so much adrenaline and energy. As mentioned, the people you meet along the way can become friends for life. In this short year I have met some of the most inspirational athletes. Another wonderful thing about Quest are the picturesque locations where the events are held! For me personally Quest Lough Derg was breath-taking!

The atmosphere at Quest events is electric! My own experience at events has been totally positive with lots of energy, encouragement and support coming from fellow athletes and supporters. I don’t get involved in the super competitive side of things and prefer to just show up, enjoy the views and race! There is always a fantastic buzz around after the races! Quest events in my opinion are a lot more challenging than other races purely because of the number of disciplines involved! A lot of things can go wrong between the start line and the end of a 50km+ race! At Quest Lough Derg there were 9 transitions! But that is the exciting part! You just don’t know what is going to happen next! As a runner, adventure racing is a new challenge for me. It pushes the boundaries and has forced me to do things I am not comfortable doing – like kayaking and cycling! In terms of fitness it adds a whole new dimension to one’s abilities. Adventure racing promotes all round power, strength, grit and determination. To excel in one discipline will not be enough!

I work full time so training has to fit in with my lifestyle. I train in the evenings, mostly running, but I don’t really have set training times and so forth. I do what I feel like doing and when I am exhausted, I rest! At the weekends I try to get in a cycle with my Dad or the local adventure racing club, Cavan Kayak Run Club. My Dad encouraged me to join CKR recently however I have been an active member of my local athletic club, Shercock A.C., from a very young age. I believe this has helped me greatly on the adventure racing scene this year. It is not necessary to be part of a club but I must acknowledge that I am very fortunate to have my Dad to train with and the best support crew at CKR lead by Michael Fitzpatrick and John-Joe Rogers. Undoubtedly, I could train a lot more but for me the level I am at now is perfect. I don’t want it to take over my life and become something other than a really great hobby! I enjoy travelling and also completed a Post Graduate diploma this year so the adventure racing is a great release for me.

I completed my first adventure race at Quest Glendalough in April 2019 and came 4th! I hope I have improved a lot since that day! Adventure races are a huge learning curve. My advice would be GO FOR IT!! You have nothing to lose only what you will gain in life experiences – meeting new friends, seeing some amazing places and mastering new events making you fitter and faster! It is the ideal event for those seeking a new challenge!”

Quest Adventure Series 2020 is now open for registration with early bird rates available on most events. You can register here