Galway Triathlon Club member and Galway Baybe Karen Cassidy took on the inaugural Mondello 24 Cycle last month, winning the solo female category she finished 5th overall amidst a stacked field of solo male riders. The Mondello 24 Cycle was Karen’s first foray into solo endurance racing, she faced and embraced the unknown in terms of time, distance and experience taking on the 24 hour race as an individual rather than as part of a team.
Having originally planned to participate in the Race Around Ireland Ultra in 2021, when this event fell victim to Covid she jumped at the chance to race in Mondello. No stranger to endurance racing events she has completed multiple, sprint, olympic and middle distance triathlons and has also completed IRONMAN Barcelona. In recent years she has been fascinated with endurance cycling and has been chomping at the bit to complete a solo endurance cycling race.
The catalyst and driving force behind the set up of our Galway Baybes cycling team with myself, Bríd Neachtain and Marie Boyle she has embraced endurance cycling in the past few years and has really focused on going solo and going long since our Race Around Ireland and Donegal Ultra success in 2017 and 2018.
Balancing her home, work and training life in a busy household, to get to the startline in great shape was as much a challenge as getting around the 24 hour race. But, her meticulous planning, dedication and focus on her goal along with the unrelenting support of her husband Noel, her sons Cormac, Dylan and Jack along with her colleagues at Fat Tony’s and fellow Galway Tri Club members saw her in the shape of her life to fly solo in Mondello and successfully soar to be crowned the queen of the track.
Rounding up her crew of Padraic Benson, Pat Dirrane, Damien Moloney, Brid Neachtain and myself she was in great hands for her first solo adventure and we had plenty of fun during the Mondello 24 Cycle. I know that we are all incredibly proud of what Karen has achieved and are looking forward to finally getting together to celebrate her success.
Karen is fundraising for the RNLI a part of her challenge if you would like to make a donation please click HERE.