Overnight Karen Cassidy, the Galway Ultra Cyclist recorded a time of 21:43:03 for cycling from Ireland’s most southerly point, Mizen Head to Ireland’s most northerly point, Malin Head setting the very first women’s Cycling Ireland record for the 570km traverse of the country.
The record which is yet to be ratified officially by the Board of Cycling Ireland will see Karen enter the history books with a standard that will be extremely difficult for other women to achieve in the future.
Winner of the 300k Solo Unsupported Wild Mayo Ultra this year and two time Solo Women’s Champion of Mondello 24 Cycle in 2021 and 2022, Karen is no stranger to setting cycling records having set two with the Galway Babyes who hold the Irish Race Around Ireland record (2017) for a four person female team and the Donegal Atlantic Way Ultra 555k (2018) in the same category, this solo effort however is the result of many years of endurance cycling, hours in the saddle pedalling through all sorts of conditions.
Starting at 06:00 yesterday morning in Mizen Head she reached Malin Head shortly before 03:45 this morning. With an initial target of going sub 24 hours, she really wanted to finish in under 23 hours so to get to the finish in 21:43 was way beyond her own expectations and she was simply ‘chuffed‘ to get the epic cycling adventure completed in such a great time.
Struggling early on with her nutrition she quickly had to adapt her strategy for her fuelling to ensure she was taking on enough fluids and liquids to fuel the gruelling ride from Cork to Donegal. With the wind howling around the country the healthy tail wind at times became a gusty and detrimental cross and head wind which took its toll on Karen. Digging deep into the depths of her experience and keeping her head and mind positive when the going got tough were key to reaching the finish line, Mother Nature nearly having the last laugh in the final 100m to the finish line when the winds gusting and swirling around her on the very exposed Malin Head almost stopped her in her tracks, it took every ounce of grit, determination and pure stubbornness to make it to the finish line on the bike.
Supported by Padraic Benson and Robert Conneely as her crew they had the difficult task of not only keeping Karen safe on the road but also navigating her through the many roads taken from Mizen to Malin Head, from bike change to gear changes to ensuring Karen was fuelled properly, their support was essential to Karen’s efforts in delivering such a super record setting performance.
In addition to Karen’s success on the road, she is raising funds for the RNLI, Galway Lifeboats, you can support her fundraising efforts on the link HERE
Karen was a guest on the Tri Talking Sport podcast back in 2021 after winning Mondello24 for the first time, you can listen back to this episode (61) on the link HERE
Well done Karen, we are all so proud of you and can’t wait to hear more about this epic adventure!!