Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Maracycle challenge: Cyclists urged to saddle up for big cross-border run

Belfast Telegraph news editor Colin O'Carroll picks up his new bike from Halfords in Newtownabbey ahead of the Maracycle from Belfast to Dublin and back. Colin is pictured with store manager Jonathan Revill and Cooperation Ireland's Janet Brennan.

Cross-border charity Co-operation Ireland, in partnership with the Belfast Telegraph, is calling for all keen cyclists to join this year's Maracycle challenge.

The event will be run on the weekend of June 29-30 and will see around 1,000 keen pedallers making their way from Belfast to Dublin and back – a distance of more than 200 miles.

For those not so saddle-hardened, shorter stages are also available to suit riders of all ages and abilities.

This year's Maracycle offers one and two-day options of cycling as little as 40 miles or as much as 108 miles between the two cities.

The event avoids busy main roads as far as is possible and all necessary back-up is available to complete shorter distances..

If you are not able for the full challenge you can take on one of the shorter distances from Belfast to Newry, Newry to Dublin, Dublin to Newry or Newry to Belfast, or a one-way only Belfast to Dublin or Dublin to Belfast.

The event was launched in 1984 at the height of the Troubles as a means for people to counteract sectarianism and show their support for peace.

After three decades it remains a must-do challenge for the cycling community and a badge of honour for all keen bike riders.

Participants are encouraged to raise money for charity, but can take part purely by paying the entrance fee.

Belfast Telegraph journalist Colin O'Carroll will be representing the paper at the event.

Factfile

The two-day Maracycle entry fee of £50 covers registration, baggage transportation, support and repair vehicles and marshalling. The highlight of the weekend will see cyclists join with overseas visitors at Dublin City University on the Saturday night for a celebration of their achievements. For further information, contact 028 9032 1462 or email events@cooperationreland.org

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