Adventure Race 2020

race collage


Now in its 8th year, the Clare Island Adventure Race 2020 is set to take place on Saturday,  3rd October.

We are dedicating the 2020 race to the memory of Alan Mahon, who has taken part in the race for the past four years. Alan died on mount Elbrus in Russia in 2019 and we want to commemorate him on this occasion.

Given the island setting, this is a coastal race featuring varied topography. Combining running, cycling, hill running (for the longer course) and a beach obstacle course, this is a challenging race with a light-hearted spirit.

The race starts at Go Explore Hostel & Sailor’s Bar, venue for the after-party and offers single beds in en-suite dorms or rooms of 6 or 8 which can be booked by groups. The bed night rate is €30 per person including a light self-service breakfast. Visit for more info or call 098 26307/087 4108706 to make a reservation.

This is a boutique adventure race, limited to 120 participants. So early registration is recommended to avoid disappointment.

Click here to register. 

Clare Island Adventure racerun with cottage & bay 640x480Clare Island Adventure race

This event will appeal to both experienced and novice adventure racers. There are two options. First for the experienced racer. The full course will be the perfect warm-up race for a busy season ahead. With the climb of Knockmore, this race is no picnic and will present a serious challenge even to seasoned adventurers. For those who might not be back in shape after the winter – or for beginners – the Spirit Race omits the climb of Knockmore, and has a shorter cycle, making it very doable although still reasonably challenging.

THE COURSE  (Start time: 12.15pm)

Breakdown of Full Race distances:

  • Run – 5 km
  • Cycle – 13.6 km
  • Run / Climb – 5 km
  • Dash to finish – 0.5 km (incl. beach obstacle course)
  • Total – 24.10 km

Breakdown of Spirit Race distances:

  • Run – 5 km
  • Cycle – 9.5 km
  • Dash to finish – 0.5 km (incl. beach obstacle course)
  • Total – 15 km

Stage 1 – Capnagower / Fawnglass loop run (5 km)

Start at Go Explore Hostel & run along tarmac road with a small piece of green road, wet in areas, and back to hostel.

Stage 2 – The Gravel Pit cycle (5.5 km)

Start at Go Explore Hostel & cycle along tarmac / rough road to the gravel pit situated at the foot of Knockmore.

Stage 3 – The Knockmore Mountain climb (5 km)

Start at Gravel Pit & run along green road for 1km before beginning the mountain climb from circa 100m to 460m and back down the same way to the Gravel Pit.

Stage 4 – The Church Gate cycle (8.1 km)

Start at Gravel Pit & cycle along tarmac roads through the Church Gate and along the westerly side of the island to complete the Clare Island circuit & back to the harbour.

Stage 5 – Beach Challenge / Dash to the Finish (0.5 km)  

Run from the bike drop off at the pier and navigate through the beach activities before the final 200m dash to the hostel and the finish.

Adventure Race 2015 (Run)Clare Island Adventure raceHappy to finishPirate Queen Adventure Race

Click here to register. 


  • Guide Map (provided by organisers at registration)
  • Energy food and drink
  • Cycle gear: bike (recommend mountain bike), bike tool kit, puncture repair kit and cycle helmet*
  • Windproof / waterproof jacket
  • Sturdy walking / running shoes with good grip essential

* This is the mandatory cycling kit and can be left with your bike in the transition. ALL other mandatory kit MUST be carried with you during the race.

Clare Island Adventure race Pirate Queen Adventure Race Clare Island Adventure race Pirate Queen Adventure Race 0

Ferry Departs Roonagh Pier for Clare Island

  • Friday the 2nd October at 5.30pm
  • Saturday the 3rd October at 11:00am

Ferry Departs Clare Island Pier for Roonagh

  • Saturday the 3rd October at 4.45pm


Covid-19 Information

·  Please adhere to the Government Covid-19 recommendations on the following link

·  Facemasks must be worn on board the ferry, pre / post race at the staging area

·  Hand sanitizer will be available at the ferry before boarding and at the staging area. Please use. You are also asked to bring your own.

·  Race start will be staged to allow for social distancing. Please follow instructions.

·  There will be changing facilities and bag storage at Go Explore Hostel. Only use if you have no alternative options to reduce demand.

·  On completion, there will be post race food available in outside tent. Please do not hang around after the race if possible. Sailors Bar and the Community Centre Bar will be open on a table service basis only. There is plenty of outside seating at both venues also. 

·  There will be no prize giving gathering this year. Winners will be given prizes independently and race info will be published on Core Timing web-site and social media. 


Directions to Roonagh Pier: 

From Westport, head towards Louisburgh (coast road heading west – if Croagh Patrick is on your left and the sea to your right, you’re on the right road!!).  Drive through Louisburgh, past the GAA Club to your left and after you’ve climbed a small hill, take the next road to the right (signposted for Clare Island and Roonagh Pier).  Follow this straight road until you get to the carpark of Roonagh Pier.  The carpark has 24-hour security cameras.


·  Ferry crossing is included in your entry fee, if pre-registered. Just give your name to the ferry operator at Roonagh and they will let you on.

·  Registration at Go Explore Hostel on Saturday morning the 28th April from 10:30am to 12.00 noon (The hostel is a short walk from the pier – you’ll see the blue building with flags out the front as you come in on the ferry)

·  Safety briefing at the hostel at 12.00pm / Race starts 12.15pm



  • Timing carried out by Core Timing
  • BIKE – Most of the bike section of the race is on tarmac roads however some of the roads are in disrepair with some areas having grass growing on the road. There are some very steep ascents and descents on route with some sharp turns immediately at the foot of some steep descents. It is an absolute necessity to have excellent brakes and tyres with excellent grip. Off road bike is reccomended for this course. (There is some bike rental available on the island. Contact Bridget O’Leary on 098 25640.)
  • The run / climb sections of the race bring you through some of the most beautiful countryside in the country with spectacular views spanning the entire Clew Bay area from the Killary Fjord, Mweelrea Mountain, Croagh Patrick, Westport, Mulranny and Achill Island.
  • Any person found littering will be immediately disqualified.
  • Caution: Always obey the rules of the road. Watch the road for markings of areas of special risk (please note that these markings do not identify all areas of risk). Wear suitable shoes for downhill, wet, off road conditions.
  • Competitors must check in with the marshal at each transition point identified on the map.
  • This event will become part of a calendar of race events throughout the year on Clare Island. Please remain up to date on upcoming events by liking Clare Island Adventures on Facebook.
  • There will be no prize-giving ceremony this year.  Winners will be given their prizes independently and the race info will be published on Core Timing website and social media.   

Clare Island Adventure race Beach obstacle course 4Pirate Queen Adventure Race DSC_2141

Entry Fee:

  • Full Race:  €60 (10% Early Bird discount available until January 31st)
  • Spirit Race: €45 (10% Early Bird discount available until January 31st)

Fee includes:

  • Return ferry transfer including bike (for pre-registered entrants only)
  • Race entrance fee
  • Race prizes
  • Map with pre-marked transition areas
  • Post event food
  • Race safety cover & stewards

Registration on the day opens at 10.30am, but pre-registration is advised – save time, stress and ferry fare!

Click here to register. 


  • Male winner of Full Race    =   Voucher for family room at Go Explore Hostel / return ferry crossing with Clare Island Ferry Co (O’Grady’s) / €20 off evening meal at Sailor’s Bar – all to the value of €150
  • Female winner of Full Race    =    Voucher for family room at Go Explore Hostel / return ferry crossing with Clare Island Ferry Co (O’Grady’s) / €20 off evening meal at Sailor’s Bar – all to the value of €150
  • Male winner of Spirit Race    =    €50 Cash
  • Female winner of Spirit Race    =    €50 Cash

Note – Voucher for 2 adults and up to 4 kids and must be used in 2020 season. Family rooms can only be offered from Sunday to Thursday 0