Claire FerrySean MullanDuane Fitzsimons
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An Incredible Fundraising Story from This Year's Giant's Causeway Coast Sportive

Posted on June 14, 2019 @ 11:16 AM in AdventureCycling

We caught up with Kathy, who contacted us at the Giant's Causeway Coast Sportive with the incredible story of seven friends who are raising money for a very special cause.

 

Hi Kathy, thanks for speaking with us today. You and your 6 friends have been doing some fundraising this year – can you tell us more about that and why you decided to take part in the Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive?

We are all school mums who met a few years ago and someone suggested we start a Book Club. So we did, meeting every Wednesday morning in Ballyhackamore, East Belfast. Occasionally we would share a book but mostly it’s just coffee & sharing chat. At one of these mornings we learned the devastating news that Julie was ill. She elected to go to the Christie in Manchester for treatment, and they really provided light at the end of a very dark tunnel.

 We continued to meet every Wednesday, sharing a lot of laughter and a lot of tears too. However, after gruelling chemotherapy treatments and, despite her iron will she was not able to pull through and very sadly passed away in February this year. The Book Club girls were looking for a way to honour her memory and raise funds for the Christie so we decided to sign up to the Sportive 2019. Julie loved spending time on the North Coast so this challenge felt just right.



That’s so sad to hear Kathy – your fundraising really is incredible and it’s such an amazing thing to do! Is there somewhere we can find out more about this and donate to your cause?

Our Just Giving is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ForJulieMcKH?sfns=mo Here you can read our back story to this fundraising effort and donate.

 

Thanks Kathy, we’ll be sure to check it out! Have any of your group ever taken part in the Sportive before?

Two of us (Kathy & Poppy) completed the 35 mile route in 2017 & 2018 and have signed up to the new 60mile route. Jennie, Mary, Maxine & Suzanne (Julie’s eldest Daughter) are novice cyclists and have signed up for 35 miles. We also have Cheryl and Lynda, the support team providing cheers and jelly beans along the way!

 

It’s great to see you come back and also to welcome your friends for the first time – I’m sure they’ll have a fantastic experience. What are you looking forward to most on the day?

We’re looking forward to the beautiful route along the Coast Road past Ballintoy, Whitepark Bay and on past the Bushmills Distillery. We must remember to smile at the camera in the Dark Hedges! 

We chose this Sportive as it is safe, well organised and marshalled, it’s all-inclusive and open to all abilities. This is not a race for us, and we’ll be enjoying every moment taking in all the sights and sounds. The camaraderie and support from the more professional cyclists was much appreciated and I hope we’ll be supported again.

 

That’s what it’s all about – enjoying the amazing scenery and having fun with the other cyclists. What made you take the jump up to the 60 mile route after having previously ridden the 35?

We decided to take on the 60 mile route as a new challenge, a step into the unknown! We have been training most weekends for the past few months and just hope we’ve done enough!

Hopefully all of your training pays off! Finally I have to ask – are you going to tackle Torr Head!?

Torr Head you ask? Never say never!

 

Maybe you’ll be persuaded on the day! Thanks very much for sharing your story with us Kathy :) We'll see you on the 22nd!

 

Keep an eye out for Kathy and her friends on the day – they’ll be wearing special t-shirts made for the day with their friend Julie’s photograph on the back. To find out more information about their fundraising and donate to their cause visit https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/ForJulieMcKH?sfns=mo 

 

 

Dominic Lyttle
Dominic Lyttle  Assistant Marketing Officer

Dominic has recently joined the ORNI team following completion of a MSc in Marketing from Queen’s University Belfast.

In his spare time, Dominic enjoys trekking, travelling to new and exciting places, and playing basketball, alongside drinking far too much coffee!

Show Off Your Trail - WINNERS

Posted on June 11, 2019 @ 5:26 PM in Mountainbiking

Over the last few weeks, we've asked MountainBikeNI followers to send us their pictures from the official mountain bike trails. You've responded in your hundreds and some of the photographs we've seen have been incredible. Others have been terrifying. And then there are a few odd ones out there - but we love them all.

Our favourite pictures will win £400 and £100 respectively in online voucher for Chain Reaction Cycles. But first - some of our highly commended pictures!

Ryan Butler's triumphant picture over a turbulent Kodak Corner is all kinds of cool.

One of a few from the seriously impressive photo reel of Warren McConnaughie at Rostrevor.

Colin Smith at Kodak Corner with a mini MTBer is as heart warming as it is impressive. How did he get up there?!

Old faithful style picture from Andy Gilmore, but we love it.

Somehow the view is still amazing, even though it's completely obscured. Cheers Jason Hill for sending this one in!

Another from Warren and this is a pretty idylic shot at Davagh Forest.

We love this view from Boundary Rock. Evan McIlmoyle's shot really brings home how wonderfully remote you are.

Sunset over Run Ragley Run in this shot from Bradley Grahame. How could you not want to get on the bike seeing this?

Brian Lenehan's picture feels like it's literally moving with him here. 

Trails? What trails? Thomas Marks reminds us what mountain bikinig at Davagh Forest can be like in the other part of the year. 

We're at Castlewellan for this great shot from Carlos Russell.

Dark, moody and atmosphere. Quality show of the Castlewellan Lake from Mickey Clarke.

 

But the winners are...

 

In 2nd place we have a tie!

Warren McConnaughie's black and white shot at On The Pulse at Rostrevor MTB Trails is pretty special. The camaraderie, variety in the trails and skill of local riders all hits you straight off.

 

Jonny Clyde has won a special additional prize for his hilarious breakdown on a trip to Rostrevor MTB Trails. Check it out below.

 

And our 1st place winner is...

The vote from our team was unanimous. This one was picked out by every one of us as being in their favourites and we can see why. The atmosphere, the air, the rugged and incredibly familiar look of our local trails. Congratulations Tommy Magnenat - you've won the £400 voucher!

 

Thanks to everyone for sending in your pictures! Stay tuned to MountainBikeNI's FacebookTwitter and Instagram pages as we've something exciting dropping in the next few days...

Ethan Loughrey
Ethan Loughrey  Mountain Bike Officer

Hardest thing about Mountain Biking? Definitely the trees.

Northern Ireland's Outdoor Adventure Blog outdoorni.com walkni.com cycleni.com canoeni.com