Ultra-Cyclists Dig Deep in Wild Mayo

ByEmma Porter |

Fifty ultra-cyclists from around the country arrived in Westport to take on the routes of the Wild Mayo Ultra on the 13th and 14th of May.

With a choice of three routes, most of the participants opted for the shorter distances of 300KM and 200KM. However, five toughened Ultra men took on the notoriously hard 650k route.

Ultra-cycling is an event where participants have to navigate a set route using either the route map or the route downloaded onto a GPS device. The aim is to get around on your own steam as best as possible. Starting three minutes apart, participants may catch a glance of a fellow participant as they catch or pass each other.  There are two categories, supported (having a backup car stocked with everything one might need) and unsupported (on your own).

Planning and pacing are crucial for Ultra racing, the last thing any endurance athlete wants is the dreaded bonk where you run out of energy. Ultra-cycling events will take you to places that you never knew existed; on the bike you take the road less travelled and in your head you go to places never experienced before.

When each of the cyclists left the start line outside of the Mariner hotel, Westport, they began a journey of self-exploration. Ultra-cycling can be a day, or days, of toing and froing, struggling with that non-stop chatterbox voice in your head, the body responds to the mind’s thoughts, when you feel good you are motoring, when you feel poor the speed drops. At the start, you are full of positivity with no fear, a few hours in, all sorts of wild thoughts go through your head. You start to realise how far you have to go and how slow you are moving, this is going to take ages. There is always a friendly face and a shout-out from the locals to keep one going. You eventually come around and the positivity starts to kick in, now you realise that you can do this!

With the wind in your sails, you head for the finish with pride, joy, and relief; emotional thoughts fill your head during the last few kilometres. The finish line is a huge release, hearing the words “Congratulations you are an Ultra-Finisher” the torture, the emotion, the pains and aches gone in an instant, euphoria takes over, loved ones congratulate you, then and only then do you know it has been worth it all as you will have memories that last a lifetime. 



650k route


Tony Keane Achill in 30:47:43



1st Sean Hernon Galway bay CC in 25:16:24

2nd Michael Hall Cavan in 26:33:28

3rd Hughie Gallagher Donegal in 29:26

650k –


Unsupported 300k 

1st Martin Divilly Galway Bay CC in9:56

2nd Darragh Byrne Bray in 11:15:39

3rd Donncha Cuttriss Cork in 11:25:58


1st Local

Michael Brady Westport Covey Wheelers 12:38:27



1st Jerry Mc Carthy Tralee in 9:58:33

300k here


200k open 

1st Adam Speer Donegal in 6:45:18

2nd Mark Skeath Emyvale in 6:59:40

3rd Darragh Coyle Emyvale in 7:03:10


1st Local

Noel Brady Westport covey wheelers 7:41:25

200 –

Share this post
Share this post