What a year we’ve had, or haven’t had, depending on how you look at it. When Leo did his speech back in March, we knew it would be a long time before the team here would see each other in person again. We were at a loss, as many people have been, especially at the start of the pandemic impacting in Ireland – we wanted to help, and we couldn’t as we weren’t on the frontline. But then we pulled ourselves together and rolled out the Green Wave, a fundraising initiative to get coffee into the hands of our frontline workers to help keep them going and to help small local coffee shops. Then we went from there to Box of Smiles – a way of supporting small local business around Ireland during these difficult times. But all the way through we had an eye on bringing our events back, as soon as we could, within the confines of the government and HSE guidance. Sadly, we didn’t just cancel some Quest events we had to cancel three cycle events and postpone Run Killarney. But during all this we thought, there must be another way to get people back out there and so Quest Geo was born.
We want to facilitate people enjoying the experience of an adventure race but without the concerns and challenges presented by a large-scale on-site event so soon. So, now you can sign up for only €20(includes €5 towards a Quest 2021 event) and you’ll be able to get yourself to one or more of the nine locations across Ireland on 8th and 9th August and run and cycling to your hearts content. The event is basically based on the sport of Geocaching – for the uninitiated this is essentially like a form of orienteering, but you use your phone to identify and collect the location markers.
Each Quest GEO consists of one route of between 40 and 50km in length involving running and cycling with 6/7 checkpoints. Participants can complete the route at any time over the course of the two days and its intentionally structured to be undertaken independently and is unsupported. So, when we would normally have start lines, waves, marshals, signage, and a finish line, none of that (or anything else bar the checkpoints) will be on-site.
Everyone who has signed up will receive a detailed online information pack in advance of the event with everything they need to know to complete this alternative adventure race. The locations include Killarney, Kenmare, Lough Derg, Glendalough, Cork, Dublin Mountains, Wexford, Carlingford and Achill, each offering their own unique experience in spectacular surroundings as many Questies will know already.
Everyone taking part needs to be self-sufficient and we’re asking them to comply with all government advice relating to Covid-19, particularly maintaining social distancing at all times and not to congregate. There will be an online leader board and one winner from each event shall receive free entry to the standard Quest of their choice in 2021.
It feels like we’re getting back to ‘normal’ a little. Quest Killarney will go ahead on Saturday 10th of October and Quest Glendalough will take place on the rescheduled date of Saturday 31st of October. There will be changes to how our events are run but we can guarantee they are still going to be an exhilarating day out. I think one thing many of us have learnt during the past few months is that we shouldn’t take for granted the things we love to do and we should do them as much as we can so we know many of you will be really eager to get back out there with us. We can’t wait to see you all soon.