Beverley MagowanPeter MulhollandDan Lavery
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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!

Training Advice from Cycling Expert Dig Deep Coaching

Posted on May 31, 2019 @ 6:09 PM in AdventureCycling

With only three weeks to go until the big day, your training will really be paying off now. In this month’s blog, Dig Deep Coaching training expert Stephen has responded to some of the questions you’ve been sending in. Better still, he recorded a live video detailing everything you need to know about training for the Sportive. You can still purchase Dig Deep’s training plans here: bit.ly/SportiveTrainingPlans

 

In Stephen’s live video he talks through a whole range of subjects including training, nutrition and equipment, and much more! Check out the live video on our Facebook page now!

 

Coming from a different sport:

If you go to the gym 2-3 times a week or go out running 2-3 times week, now is the time to really start focusing more on getting out cycling.

 

Do you need a specific bike to take part in the Giant's Causeway Coast Sportive?
Nope! Participants can take part on a normal road bike, mountain bike, fat bike, E-bike, Mary Poppins bike - any bike you'd like!

 

How far on a cycling training programme should I be doing to get up to distance for the day? I’m signed up for the 85 mile/100km route and it’s my first time doing this type of cycling.

I would suggest that you are completing 60-70mile training rides without too much fatigue in the 4-5 weeks prior to the event. If you can be at this level then I would have confidence you can complete the 85mile route on the day.

 

The 115 miles, is it a tough course? It’s my first time doing this one!

The course is hard but so is the amount of time you will spend in the saddle. The biggest factors doing this distance is the terrain and how you hydrate and refuel. Make sure you keep energy levels topped up so you can tackle Torr Head at the end the best way possible.

 

Anything that would help with hill climbing would be greatly appreciated. I will always make it to the top but just so much slower than everyone else. I would be strong on the flat.

Climbing is all about general fitness and technique, to improve in both of these areas I would advise riding hills as much as possible in training. Not only to improve fitness but confidence. Look at increasing your cadence on climbs, get used to riding at a good rhythm and set out your own pace and don’t get too concerned about others, ride to your own limit and not others, as this will see your legs fall off later in the ride.

 

Any good advice for stretching? Pre or post ride?

I am a big believer in foam rollers, these are really good to help get the body ready for a long day in the saddle and help loosen out the muscles post ride. 15-20min a day on this will make a big difference.

 

Is the 35 mile route really hilly, and would I need to get loads of practise in?

The 35 mile route isn’t very hilly but there are a few reasonably tough climbs, the most notable being on the road after Bushmills. This Garmin link has the elevation chart on it: https://connect.garmin.com/modern/course/14818557

For the 35 mile, we would suggest doing 10-15 miles pretty consistently over the last few months and that you attempt at least one ride of around 20 miles prior to the start of the event to make sure you're comfortable with that distance. If you are within this range, then you should be fine to complete the 35mile route. The more training you can do, the better it will be on the day. Also, it depends if you do any other sports.

The two most important things to keep in mind for the last three weeks before the event are:

  • Stay healthy, including staying hydrated and eating healthily
  • Stay injury free

 

Try to strike a balance with your training so you’re not training too much or too little so as not to derail all the hard work you’ve put in.

 

To keep up with all things Giant’s Causeway Coast Sportive, follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

 

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!

Get Involved in Watersports at Get Wet NI’s 2019 Taster Weekend

Posted on May 9, 2019 @ 2:53 PM in AdventureCanoeing

Make a splash and try something new this May as part of Get Wet NI 2019. Clubs from across Northern Ireland are offering watersport sessions for just £20 or less on Sat 11th & Sun 12th May. With no experience necessary and all of the equipment provided, there has never been a better time to get out on the water!

 

For the Adrenaline Junkies:

Learn to Waterski/Wakeboard With the Experts, Meteor Water Ski Club, Lough Henney, Bresagh Road, Sun 12th May, £15 for under-18’s & £20 for 18+

Come and try water skiing or wakeboarding in a safe and controlled environment!

Alive Surf School Surf Club, Alive Surf School, West Strand Beach Portrush, Sun 12th May, £10, annual membership for £60

Come for a taster surf session with award winning surf instructors in Portrush!

Kayak Marathon Race, Belfast Canoe Club, Lower River Bann at Portna Lock, Kilrea, Sun 12th May, £9

Compete with or watch the best racing canoeists in Ireland!

Day Out with the Family:

Give Rowing a GoPortavogie Coastal Rowing Club, Portavogie, Sat 11th May, £3

Have a splash on the water and try your hand at rowing on their St. Ayles Skiff boat on the sea. 

Community Currach Rowing on the River Lagan, Lagan CurrachsRiver Lagan, Stranmillis Mooring Dock, Governors Bridge, Belfast, Sat 11th & Sun 12th May, £5

Join the Lagan Currachs on their community built traditional currach and experience being part of a mixed age and abilities crew as they row the River Lagan.

Have a Go Rowing in KircubbinThe Black Neb Rowing Club, Lockview Rd Belfast, Sat 11th & Sun 12th May, Free

Experience the fun sport of community coastal rowing, in a traditional locally-built St Ayles Skiff boat.

Fun with Friends

Try Rowing with Lagan ScullersLagan Scullers, Lockview Rd Belfast, Sun 12th May, £5

Feel the sleek boat glide through the water underneath you and enjoy being part of a team learning new skills. See Belfast from the river!

St. Ayles Skiff Rowing for BeginnersKillyleagh Coastal Rowing Club, Killyneagh at the Netwalk, Sun 12th May, £2

Enjoy Strangford Lough from the water with Killyleagh Coastal Rowing Club.  

Have a Go Row Dundrum, Dundrum Coastal Rowing Club, Castlewellan Forest Park, Sat 11th & Sun 12th May, £3

A great way to have fun and keep fit. Get instruction on rowing from the current Skiffie World Champions and find out about the fun events and challenges you could be taking part in.

 

Push the Boat Out (Try Sailing):

Push the Boat Out: Try Sailing Taster DayCarrickfergus Sailing Club, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, Sat 11th May, Free 

A great opportunity to get out on the water for free and try your hand at sailing! 

Push the Boat Out: Sailing & Kayaking Taster Sessions for Adults And ChildrenCounty Antrim Yacht Club, Whitehead Promenade | Marine Parade, Whitehead, Sat 11th May, Free

Free taster-sessions give you the chance to experience crewing a sailing dinghy or taking a sit-on kayak out for a paddle. 

To check out more events taking place, and to keep updated throughout the summer check out GetWetNI.com and follow us on Facebook.

This campaign has been funded by Sport Northern Ireland, with support from the National Governing Bodies of watersports in Northern Ireland.

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!

Have a Go at Watersports for £20 or less

Posted on April 15, 2019 @ 2:14 PM in AdventureCanoeing

If you've always wanted to have a go at something adventurous on the water, we have some good news for you! Clubs all across Northern Ireland will be running 'taster' watersport sessions over the weekend of Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th May as part of Get Wet NI 2019, and all of events are £20 or less, with most of the events either free or under £10. You don't need any experience, all equipment is provided and all of the activities are suitable for all abilities, no matter what your interest is!

Sailing

Push the Boat Out: Try Sailing Taster Day, Carrickfergus Sailing Club, Carrickfergus, Co. Antrim, Sat 11th May, Free 

A great opportunity to get out on the water for free and try your hand at sailing! 

Push the Boat Out: Sailing & Kayaking Taster Sessions for Adults And Children, County Antrim Yacht Club, Whitehead Promenade | Marine Parade, Whitehead, Sat 11th May, Free

Free taster-sessions give you the chance to experience crewing a sailing dinghy or taking a sit-on kayak out for a paddle. 


Rowing

Community Currach Rowing on the River Lagan, Lagan Currachs, River Lagan, Stranmillis Mooring Dock, Governors Bridge, Belfast, Sat 11th & Sun 12th May, £5

Join the Lagan Currachs on their community built traditional currach and experience being part of a mixed age and abilities crew as they row the River Lagan.

Have a Go Row Dundrum, Dundrum Coastal Rowing Club, Dundrum Inner Bay, launch site opposite Dundrum Inn, Sat 11th & Sun 12th May, £3

A great way to have fun and keep fit. Get instruction on rowing from the current Skiffie World Champions and find out about the fun events and challenges you could be taking part in.

Give Rowing a Go, Portavogie Coastal Rowing Club, Portavogie, Sat 11th May, £3

Have a splash on the water and try your hand at rowing on their St. Ayles Skiff boat on the sea. 

Water-Skiing + Wakeboarding

Learn to Waterski/Wakeboard With the Experts, Meteor Water Ski Club, Lough Henney, Bresagh Road, Sun 12th May, £15 for under-18’s & £20 for 18+

Come and try water skiing or wakeboarding in a safe and controlled environment!

To check out more events taking place, and to keep updated throughout the summer check out GetWetNI.com and follow us on Facebook.

This campaign has been funded by Sport Northern Ireland, with support from the National Governing Bodies of watersports in Northern Ireland.


 

Latest comment posted by Hazel Keys on April 21, 2019 @ 3:10 PM

Are there any activities in the west or northwest? We live in Strabane. Read more >

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!

Northern Ireland's 5 Most Iconic MTB Spots

Posted on November 6, 2018 @ 12:57 PM in AdventureMountainbiking

We asked for your favourite bits of trail on Northern Ireland's MTB trail centres and you delivered! Below are 5 of the most popular sections of trails that were sent to us. If your favourite place to shred wasn't included, let us know so we can use it in future! Just email info@mountainbikeni.com

 

1. Boundary Rock, Davagh Forest Mountain Bike Trails

 

2. The Great Escarpe, Castlewellan Mountain Bike Trails

 

3. Stream Trail, Davagh Forest Mountain Bike Trails

 

4. On the Pulse, Rostrevor Mountain Bike Trails

 

5. Run Ragley Run, Davagh Forest Mountain Bike Trails

 

Visited these trails before? Have some epic footage or pictures of you on any of the mountain bike trails in Northern Ireland? We'd love to see them! Send them to us by emailing info@mountainbikeni.com. You can also check us out on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The national MTB trails are sponsored by Chain Reaction Cycles. For more information on any of the mountain bike trails in Northern Ireland, please visit MountainBikeNI.com.

Ethan Loughrey
Ethan Loughrey  Mountain Bike Officer

Hardest thing about Mountain Biking? Definitely the trees.

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