Offaly’s only multi-sport adventure race, the ‘Off the Bloom Adventure Race’ returns to the village of Kinnitty, this coming August and this year's race plans to be even bigger and better.
The 2017 event attracted hundreds of adventure enthusiasts from all over Ireland and some from as far as the UK and mainland Europe to the small village of Kinnitty at the foothills of the Slieve Bloom Mountains to bike, kayak and trail run in the unspoilt surrounding mountains.
Adventure racing is one of the fastest growing sports in Ireland attracting hundreds of competitors who take on the multi-sport endurance challenge that includes trail running, kayaking and cycling. There are two different categories to choose from and these distances range from a 70km elite race to a 35km sport race.
Speaking at the launch of this year’s Off the Bloom Adventure race at the Slieve Bloom Mountains in Kinnitty, race director Jonathan O’Meara of Mid Ireland Adventure said that he and fellow race director Derek Middelton, have been preparing for this year's event since last December.
“Last year's race was a huge success and we got brilliant feedback from everyone who took part in the race. We are hoping this year's Off the Bloom race will be even bigger and better.
“We made a number of changes to this year’s format including extending the Elite category from 65km to 70km. The run section is now longer with competitors climbing to top of the Blooms on the Offaly side of the mountain. The kayak section in the Elite route remains at Pallas Lake near the Blue Ball and once again would like to thank the land owners and residence for their support and assistance. We have a couple other notable changes that will make the day a more spectator family friendly event and these changes will be announced in due course.
"A race of this magnitude does not happen without the assistance of our loyal sponsors and once again we are delighted to have our main sponsors Giltraps Townhouse and Glamping, Hugo Loonam Motors, Applied Concept, Offaly Local Development, Tullamore Cycle Centre and Coillte onboard. We also would like to praise the voluntary groups including Offaly Civil Defence, Shannonside Sub Aqua Club and Kinnitty GAA for their help and assistance in staging the race.”
Local councillor and managing director at Giltraps John Clendennen welcomed the news that Off the Bloom Race returns to Kinnitty at the end of the August.
“It’s fantastic news for Kinnitty and the surrounding area and people are looking forward to welcoming the adventure racing community and their families to Kinnitty for the weekend. It brought a great buzz to the area last year and I’m sure that will be the case again this year. With the Slieve Bloom Mountain Bike Trails Development now underway, Kinnitty is fast becoming a destination for soft adventure tourism and events like the Off the Bloom Adventure race and the Slieve Bloom Half Marathon planned for September 22 is really cementing Kinnitty as a destination for people who appreciate the great outdoors."