Following the huge success of last year’s inaugural ‘SCAR’ – the Skibbereen Charity Adventure Race – this year’s race has been given National Series Adventure Races accreditation – making it one of just ten prestigious adventure races nationwide. West Cork’s SCAR is also one of just a few races that give 100pc of the proceeds to charity.
Despite a target of 300 participants for the 2014 race, more than 400 people came to take part in one of the three-courses on offer amidst some of Ireland’s most stunning scenery. The event is hoping to raise €30,000 – with a target of 600 participants.
This year the race, organised once more by Skibbereen Lions Club, will also be in aid of two very special charities – the Jamie Wall Foundation and Nathan Kirwan’s chosen charity, helpfulsteps.ie.
Jamie Wall (23) is a dual Gaelic footballer and hurler who was paralysed from the midriff down in 2014, by a spinal abscess which left him wheelchair-bound. Nathan Kirwan (25) is hoping to secure funding for an exoskeleton – the robotic suit which helps strengthen people with disabilities. Keen sailor Nathan was left with a spinal injury after a fall in Cork city in 2013.
The SCAR race, which takes place on Saturday October 17, will offer Taster, Sport and Expert options, ranging from an entry level 17km to a thigh-busting 76km. Catering for everyone from the beginner adventure racer, to the elite athlete, SCAR will involve a mix of running, cycling and (in the Sport and Expert courses) kayaking. The route will feature the stunning coastal scenery of the Wild Atlantic Way – following a course which hugs the sea from Skibbereen, through Castletownshend, Union Hall, Tragumna, and finishing in the stunning Liss Ard Country House estate, near Skibbereen. The kayaking stages will take place in the largest saltwater lake in Europe – Lough Hyne, near Baltimore.
The race will be organised and run by a 100pc volunteer committeee, from the Skibbereen & District Lions Club. ‘In the Skibbereen club, there are several members who are regular adventure racers, so we thought why not create our own race event as a fundraiser, where every cent of a participant’s entry fee will go to charity,’ said organiser Ciaran Dillane. ‘The Sport and Expert courses are designed to attract the more serious racers from around the country, with several racers joining us from the UK. They will get to pit themselves against some of the country’s top adventure racers and tri-athletes on the day.’