Gareth BeckettSinéad KennedyChris Sidwells
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Take on the Challenge this Summer

Posted on June 9, 2011 @ 12:59 PM in Adventure

The last few years have seen an explosion of great ‘challenge’ events taking place in Northern Ireland’s outdoors. There are so many that now has its own ‘Take on the challenge’ section.

At latest count there are over 25 events happening between now and the middle of October, so whether you are looking for cycling sportive, off road running race, a charity walking challenge event then you’ll be spoilt for choice.

To make things a little easier the team has picked their favourites so you can choose what fits the bill and get training.

Cycling Sportives

Cycling Sportive

A cycling sportive is a long distance, organised, mass-participation cycling event, it could be said they are a close relation to a running marathon were participants battle against the clock and themselves rather than fighting for podium places.  Our sister website has its very own cycling sportive section

By far the most iconic will be the Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive which will offer cycling through the breathtaking landscapes of the iconic North Coast of Ireland and Glens of Antrim.

Cyclists have the choice of 3 routes (57km; 126km; 182km). The short route is great for those looking for a leisurely day out, whilst the medium and long routes include some killer climbs for those looking for the ultimate challenge. The promotional video says it all!

Off Road Running

Norn Iron ChallengeAlthough these off road running events are competitive you’ll find that there are also a great number of folk there to simply to complete the challenge with the emphasis on having fun, trying something new and meeting like-minded adventurous people along the way.  These events are certainly not for the faint hearted or the under prepared which only makes them even more rewarding.

The craziest event of all is the Todds Leap Norn Iron Challenge over a variety of off road tracks, roads and grass with a series of obstacles, ditches, water "hazards" and mud pits thrown in for good measure. Solo competitors compete over 25k whilst teams of 5 can run 5k each.


Pitched as probably the most scenic marathon in Europe the Causeway Coast Marathon passes through magnificent coastline scenery with fine views of wide bays, sandy beaches and dramatic cliffs.  There is also an Ultra Marathon 52 miles (for the uber fit), half marathon and 10k run. Check out the promotional video for some further inspiration.


Hill Walking


There is a real plethora of charity hill walking events to choose from, these allow you explore the countryside whilst also raising money for a good cause.

The Oxfam Trailtrekker Challenge is by far the biggest undertaking.  Teams of four will take on a 50km or 100km route, starting in Donard Park, Co. Down and finishing in Carlingford, Co. Louth taking on varied terrain through the Mourne mountains and the Cooley Peninsula.

For a solo challenge the NSPCC Mournes Challenge Hack is a challenging 20 mile walk through the heart of the Mourne Mountains.

Remember these are only our favourites, be sure to check out’s Take on the Challenge section to select your Everest!! 


Chris Scott
Chris Scott

When not boring everyone about his little kids’ latest antics, Chris enjoys sailing and cycling, if only to offset his love of eating out and Marlborough Cabernet Sauvignon..

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