When Moire O’Sullivan was six months pregnant with her first child, she found herself emotionally and physically drained.
One reason for her downturn in mood was that she couldn’t continue with her previous pre-pregnancy successes in mountain running and adventure racing. However, Moire’s non-active lifestyle soon turned temporary, however, after receiving motivation from her mountain running friends’ social media activity.
Moire noticed how her friends had recently competed in a Quest Adventure Series race in Killarney, Ireland which Channel 4 was televising. From the comfort of her sofa, she saw the race unfold as she explains: “They were biking through the stunning Gap of Dunloe, kayaking around the tranquil waters of Muckross Lake, running up and down the awe-inspiring Mangerton Mountain. All I could think was, I want to do that too.”
Post-childbirth, Moire was quick to fight off any post-natal depression and quickly returned to training for her next Quest event. Fast forward six years and Moire continues to combine being a full-time mum with Quest racing, training while her two young sons Aran and Cahal are at playgroup or school. Signing up for a Quest race provides her with the motivation to train, which Moire discusses: “Getting some exercise in daily, whether it is biking or running, gives me time out to be just me and helps me be a better mum once I get back home. My kids see me being active, which means that it is totally natural for them to be active as well.”
Moire believes Quest organise some of the best events within Ireland and the UK. Her experiences competing on their courses are thrilling due to the outstanding outdoor scenery, yet routes are fully marked with clear signage which means participants don’t get lost. Being self-sufficient in adventure racing enables Moire to thrive, which she adds: “There are far more unknowns in adventure racing, which makes the challenge greater, all the more exciting and ultimately rewarding.”
Depending on her fitness levels, Moire can choose various race distances and locations to compete in, such as their impressive event in Snowdonia National Park, Quest Wales. From 5k mini races to the new Quest24 race that covers 253km, there is a challenge for every individual. The Quest staff and event atmospheres are an additional highlight for Moire:
“The Quest team goes out of their way to make your race as enjoyable as possible. They provide training guides and training days so that newbies are well prepared for the event. They ensure the races run as smoothly as possible, with courses that are expertly marked and marshalled with incredible supporters. They ensure the best photographers are out there to capture you in your finest hour. They provide results that are accurate and quickly online. They also give you cool bling medals that are perfect for post-race selfies.”
She concludes: “You won’t know if you like adventure racing until you try. So, if you’ve even the slightest inkling, sign up. If you don’t enjoy it, it’s no big loss. But if you do, then you’ve entered into a world where new and exciting adventures await.”
Such is Moire’s passion for adventure racing, she was inspired to write a book. ‘Bump, Bike and Baby – Mummy’s Gone Adventure Racing’ details her amazing journey and has been longlisted for the prestigious 2018 William Hill Sports Book of the Year.
If you’re inspired by Moire’s story and want to trial adventure racing, Quest Wales takes place in the stunning Snowdonia National Park on 8 June 2019. Entries start at £68.00 and you can register at https://www.questadventureseries.com/race/quest-wales/. If you’re the organiser in your friend group, share your referral link after registration and you can receive £10.00 back from one or more referrals.