Rachel Nolan muddy after a bike ride held up by 4 man

Adventure Racing

Endurance Cycling

Trail Running

From a young age I loved outdoor sport and enjoyed friendly competitions. I played a lot of Gaelic football throughout my childhood and discovered Adventure Racing and endurance sports in my 20s. Living in France I fell in love with trail running and started to compete in ultra-distance mountain running. After moving back to Ireland endurance cycling was added to my list of passions.

Taking part in events and races offers me a focus, a challenge, and often an excuse to take an exotic adventure holiday. To me Adventure Racing is the ultimate way to get off the beaten path to discover new cultures, landscapes & countries. These expedition races force you to dig deep and to surpass your limits. There is no better lesson on how to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Most importantly Adventure Racing and endurance events give me an opportunity to create amazing lifetime bonds with lots more like-minded nutters!

This blog is a collection of personal reports on Adventure Races and other ultra endurance sport events; mixed with some tips on gear, nutrition, race logistics and fun anecdotes.

The TransAtlanticWay – Cycle like a girl

2113.3km | 25,225m climbing | self-supported
My personal report about an ultra endurance cycle along the Irish West coast, following the Wild Atlantic Way.

I made the decision to sign up during the Covid19 lockdown. I struggled with the sudden interruption of my life and without a specific focus I was demotivated. Deciding to do the TransAtlanticWay 2020 was the perfect move to put a stop to this downward spiral.

Rachel at different stages of the Transatlanticway

Would you take on the World’s Toughest Race – again?

The Eco-Challenge ‘bedrock of Adventure Racing’ returned to Fiji in 2019 and Amazon Prime launched a show about the World’s Toughest Race in August 2020.

66 teams took on the World’s Toughest Race in Fiji and Team Ireland AR was one of them. This is a personal report about my experiences from the registration to the end of the World’s Toughest Race: Eco Challenge Fiji.

World's Toughest Race Eco Challenge Fiji

Cycling the Wild Atlantic Way

It all started with some guy I never met sending me a random facebook message… ‘I heard you do mad stuff, I bet this would be too much for you.. cycling  2100km along the Wild Atlantic Way in less then 7 days and 7 hours’

In this blog I’m sharing with you the ups & downs of fun and madness of cycling the Wild Atlantic Way with your best buddy.

My buddy Linda and I with our bikes

The Maya Mountain Adventure Challenge

Belize was more than just an adventure!
Bush whacking in the jungle for over 20 hours, bikes sinking with the canoe, stranded on a deserted island, rescued by the Belize military, making camp fires with maps, serious bike collisions, cave swimming, abseiling down cliffs, bike swimming down rivers, eaten alive by bugs, up close and personal with snakes, scorpions and a lot more!

The starting line of the Maya Mountain Challenge

London-Edinburgh-London cycle

An interview with the Outsider Magazine about a 1465km cycle in under 93 hours.
London-Edinburgh-London (LEL) is part of the Audax Challenge series: “It’s basically like a randonnée, it’s not a competition and that’s what I like about it. You’re racing against time and you’re self-sufficient which makes the adventure even more fun. The people doing these events are outgoing, they like to break their own personal limits and are always a bit ‘nuts’.

Rachel on her Bike


THE RACE is known ultimately as Ireland’s toughest endurance event due to the harsh unpredictable weather conditions, the relentless hills and the duration of the adventure. Participants have 24 hours to complete the unsupported course of 247km which incorporates running, biking and kayaking.

In my element bouncing down Muckish

ITERA world series expedition adventure race

Gaelforce winds and relentless rain, sleep deprivation, life threatening situations- this was a seriously hardcore 5 days of adventure and certainly not for the inexperienced!
ITERA 2016 was a 5 day non-stop 600km expedition race as part of the Adventure Racing World Series and this year it took place along the rugged coastline and peaks hugging the Wild Atlantic Way on Ireland’s western coast.

We did this in the pitch dark!

Nutrition and hydration before, during and after events

“Do you know your name? Who do you work for? Where are you from?”

This is what I was bombarded with when I half opened my eyes and came back into the world of the living. I laughed at Linda, my adventure buddy and spluttered out, “What are you on about? What’s happening, where the hell am I and where is our Irish coffee?”…

Rachel Nolan Ultramarathon in the Alps

1 Comment

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    […] If you fancy some light reading in the meantime feel free to check out my personal race reports. […]

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