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Michelle Judge undertook her first Quest back at the start of March in Kenmare. Read about how she got to that point and how it all went.

A friend of mine told me about Quest in 2018 and convinced me to purchase a bike, we started training straight away. We decided to book in for Quest Killarney later in the year, in October to ensure we had adequate training done. We decided to make a weekend of it so I recruited a few more people and it was all systems go with all roads leading to Killarney.

Other friends of mine were taking part in Hell & Back in September 2018 and were fundraising for the extremely worthy MS Ireland charity, so I gladly joined their team for the race. Unfortunately, with about 2km to go on Hell & Back I fell and injured my ankle. I visited my physio later in the week to get her opinion on my chances of completing Quest, sadly she sent me to A&E for an x-ray and put a halt to my plans! I traveled to Killarney with the gang and cheered them all over the finish line; I was extremely jealous and adamant that I would be injury free for next year’s races.

In January we signed up for Quest Kenmare, I had done no training over the winter with the ankle still niggling at me, but it was time to start training once again. I took part in the Bike Fit Physio’s training day in January (highly recommend this!) and it was a bit of an eye opener- I was going to have to ramp up my training if I was going to finish Kenmare in one piece! We arrived in Kenmare on the Friday night, with a power outage in the whole town it was a bit of a struggle settling into the house we had rented so we decided to go into the town and found a candle lit bar to have a drink in to settle the nerves. The weather conditions on the morning of the race were less than ideal- we were soaked to the skin before we even made to the start line but accepting that we couldn’t get any wetter we embraced it! My legs were like jelly racking up our bikes before the run, but by the second loop I was feeling great and flew back into Kenmare on the second cycle stage. The kayaking was cancelled because of weather conditions so it was straight onto the run to the finish line. It was honestly the best feeling running over that finish line and receiving the medal – I looked like a drowned rat but felt $100,000,000  dollars!

Four of us did the race with two of our group finishing in the top 10 of the Challenge route. Myself and the final member of our group did it well under the goal we had set ourselves – I wouldn’t have done it under my time if it wasn’t for Aisling, my friend who did it with me! We went to the Quest after-party that night, a great ending to the weekend.

My tips for anybody considering doing it – attend a training day, find a training partner or someone to do this race with you (it really does help!) and HAVE FUN!