Is there anything that Galway cannot conquer at the moment? Perhaps the County Senior and Minor hurlers took note in their preparation for Sunday’s All Ireland wins of the achievement of a group of Galway based cyclists who last week created a new Irish record in the gruelling 2,150 KM Race Around Ireland Ultra Marathon Cycling event last week.
Starting in Trim in Co. Meath on Sunday 27th August the self-styled Galway Baybes all female amateur cycling team returned home to Galway last Thursday with a new Irish cycling record after completing the race against a team of female Australians and nine men’s teams in their 4 person category.
The team made up of Sport for Business member Joanne Murphy, Bríd Naughton, Karen Cassidy and Marie Boyle cycled non stop in relay format taking in some of the country’s most breath taking scenery, iconic attractions and severe climbs.
From Donegal to Castlebar they rode, then from Galway to Kerry and Cork through Waterford to Wicklow and the finish line in Moynalty, County Meath on Wednesday night.
The Australian females ‘The Veloroos’ took the title in the female category, finishing 4th overall against the men’s teams while the Galway Baybes crossed the finish line in a time of 81 hours 13 minutes with an average pace of 27.26kph, a new Irish record by 10 hours and 17 minutes.
“This event is epic, the training, logistics and race preparation to take on such a mammoth event was huge, the endless training on the bike was only a small part of the preparations,” Joanne Murphy told us yesterday.
“The camaraderie between riders and crew out on the road was fantastic, we had lots of fun with the other teams, chasing each other down yet supporting each other as we went past on the road.”
“This event is like none we have ever taken part in before. For a group of amateur riders to take on the challenge of breaking the Irish Record and succeed in such a significant way is a testament to the dedication, commitment and strength of not only the riders but the amazing crew and our support teams who pushed us all the way to the finish line.”
“Seeing the welcome to ‘Baybe Country’ signs in Connemara, hearing the crowd cheer from Oughterard, to Moycullen, Bushypark, Newcastle, Oranmore and all the way to Kinvara was hugely motivating and emotional,” added Karen Cassidy.
“To think we had so many people willing us to the finish line, watching the dots on the race tracker was amazing. We will never forget the experience of this race and the support we have received from friends and family, our sponsors as well as complete strangers not only in Galway but all across the country.”
In a sad turn of events for the team, Marie Boyle’s father passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday morning. Marie’s husband Pat was on the crew with the team making this record breaking success even more poignant and meaningful for all involved.
Sport and motivation come in many different forms but this has to count as among the toughest. Our congratulations to all concerned.
Cycling Ireland, Triathlon Ireland and TriTalking Sport are among the more than 220 organisations that play an active part of the Sport for Business community.