Brendan Walshe crests the Loughglenbridge climb during last year's event.
Following the success of the inaugural ‘Knock ME Down Challenge’ in September 2016, the 2017 event has been much anticipated. This year’s Challenge will take place on Saturday September 16th.
This multi-disciplinary event is organised by Knockmealdown Active which promotes of all types of activity based events along the foot of the Knockmealdown Mountsins in south Tipperary into Cork and Waterford. The event involves cycling, running, (or walking) and Kayaking. As multi-sport challenge events go, it is well suited to anybody with a reasonable level of fitness. The entire course is on marked roads and forestry tracks so getting lost is not an issue. The start and finish of the challenge is at the GAA field in Newcastle village.
All-Star All-Ireland hurling winner John Leahy, who took part in the 2016 event, says: “I’m really looking forward to the Challenge again this year. A brilliant time was had at last year’s event. I’m looking forward to the challenge of the three disciplines adding to the enjoyment of being in the beautiful Vee countryside.” John enjoyed it so much he’s included his brother Noel in the 2017 event.
The Challenge starts with a 15km Cycle from Newcastle, outside Clonmel, to Kilballyboy Wood car park/picnic site on the Vee Road outside Clogheen. Bikes are parked here and participants take a beautiful scenic 2.5km run (or walk if they wish) from Kilballyboy Wood to Baylough lake. This is followed by a 0.5km sit-on kayak trip around Baylough (there is no need for prior experience and all equipment is provided). Once completed participants then take a different running route back to Kilballyboy Wood and a (thankfully mainly downhill) 15km return cycle journey to Newcastle.
Starting time slots are available in 15 minute intervals from 10.30am to 12.30pm. There are changing and shower facilities available at the GAA grounds. 90 participants took part in the 2016 event, there are 180 spaces this year, although more than half of these spots have already been booked.
If you are interested, don’t delay, bookings and further information are currently available online at http://www.kmdact.com.