Quest 12/24 had its inaugural event in August 2018 and what a weekend it was. The team at Quest have developed this new event for those looking for an extra challenge and to push themselves even further and there’s no doubt that’s what happened. Quest 12/24 is coming back on Saturday 31st August 2019. Here’s a breakdown of what to expect if you are considering signing up.
The South West of Ireland was a natural choice for this race, with Ireland’s highest mountains and rugged, epic, Wild Atlantic Way coastline – the scene is set.
There are 2 routes: Quest 12 a tough 147km-long challenge and Quest 24, a 248km grueling course. Both are individual, unsupported races. The aim is to complete each distance within 12 or 24 hours respectively.
What is involved?
Basecamp for this adventure is the Sneem Hotel. Registration/check in will take place on Friday 30th August. At registration you will leave your 3 drop boxes. The drop boxes will then be transported to each of the transitions to wait for you arrival.
Quest 24 participants will head off bright and early Saturday morning at approx 6am from Sneem Hotel. Stage 1 is an 80km cycle through Kenmare, up Molls Gap and the famous Ballaghbeama Pass. To finish off this stage there is a sting in the tail which is a tough short climb up to the base of Carrauntoohil at Lisleibane car park.
Transition 1 is at the base of Carrauntoohil, Ireland’s highest mountain standing at 1038m. Stage 2 will take you to the summit via the Devil’s Ladder and return via the zig/zag route, a 13km hike/run in total.
Back on to the bike for a 111km cycle via Ballaghasheen pass, Valentia Island, Portmagee, Skelling Ring, Coomansapsic, Ballinskelligs and hitting the transition in Waterville. There a 2 tough climbs on this section, at Ballaghasheen pass, 20km into the cycle and towards the end of this stage is the infamous Coomansapic climb. This stretch has been used many times in the An Post Rás and will test the tiring legs to the limit.
It’s on to the kayak and stage 3 on Lough Currane – 10km in total. The kayak course is a 4 lap course around the Island in the middle of the lake. From there the final stage will see competitors run the 34km of the Kerry Way back to the Sneem Hotel. The final stage for many will be completed in the dark. The Kerry way is a defined track of mountain trails, bog roads, mountain passes and secondary country roads. A highlight for many on this section will be the moon light run on Catherdaniel beach.
Quest 12 participants will set off at approximately 06.30am from the Sneem Hotel and follow the Sneem to Molls Gap road and left to Ballaghbeama Pass, this is one of the toughest climbs and the drag on the Sneem to Molls Gap road is enough to get the legs warmed up for the climbs ahead. To finish off this 48km stage has a the sting in the tail, which is a tough short climb up to the base of Carrauntoohil at Lisleibane Car Park.
The run/hike on Carrauntoohil mirrors that of Quest 24. Up to the summit via the Devil’s Ladder and back down via the ‘zig zags’.
Then on to the bike again and a 49km stage via Glencar Ballaghsheen pass and into Transition 2 at Waterville. The kayak is 2, 2.5km loops of a circuit around an island on the lake.
The next stage is a 14km bike ride taking in the Ring of Kerry route, Coomakista and Derrynane along the Wild Atlantic Way. The final transition is at Caherdaniel Church when participants will run the last 18.5km to Sneem hotel on the Kerry Way trail.
These events will test those who enter. The cut-offs have been set so as to make the events challenging to complete in the allotted time. Some will compete to win, some will compete to finish the route, some will compete to finish the route in the allotted time and others will compete to see just how far they can push themselves. Whatever your decision we would encourage you to take your training seriously. We have developed a 5-month training plan which you can use for guidance – talk to other competitors, do your research and put in the hours. It will be worth it.
Everyone who finishes their event will receive a customised finishers medal and Quest-branded 12/24 jacket. A celebratory event breakfast and prize-giving will take place on Sunday along with some serious post-event analysis, or bragging, once everyone is back on their feet. We are exceptionally excited to bring this great event back in 2019, it’s going to be something very special. We hope you will be part of it.
There are limited places on both Quest 24 and Quest 12. You can find more information on both routes here.