The inaugural Carrickmacross Lions Club North East Cycle Challenge took place on Sunday 6th May and attracted 300 cyclists from throughout the country. The event earned huge praise from the participating cyclists for the professional way it was organised and for the two routes selected.
Two hundred and sixteen experienced cyclists set off at 9.30am on the 100km Drumlin Challenge which passed through Shercock, Cootehill, Newbliss, Ballybay, Lough Egish and Castleblaney before returning to Carrickmacross. Mayor of Carrickmacross Noel Keelan had the honour of being the official starter before he himself got on his bike and rode the Oriel Route.
Eighty four cyclists signed up for the 30km Oriel Route which started at 10am and took them on a flat quiet route to the picturesque village of Tallanstown. Refreshments for the participants were kindly provided by the Tallanstown Tidy Towns Committee before the cyclists embarked on the return journey to Carrickmacross.
Carrickmacross Alzheimer’s Society representative Mrs. Alice Deery was the official Oriel Route starter. All proceeds from The North East Cycle Challenge will go towards the provision of a weekly bus service for Alzheimer’s patients taking them to the Drumkill Daycare Centre in Threemilehouse.
The Carrickmacross Lions Club members and volunteers provided refreshments and showers for the returning cyclists in The Phoenix Sports Centre. Some weary participants availed of a complimentary massage whilst others tucked into soup, sandwiches, savoury pies, brack and scones donated by local businesses.
Everyone who raised over €100 in sponsorship for the event were entered into a draw for a BOSE Wave Music System worth €696. Anthony and Breege Brennan from Kilnamaddy, Monaghan were the winners of this fantastic prize, which was kindly donated by locally based company BOSE Ireland Ltd.
Carrickmacross Lions Club President Andrew Spare was overwhelmed by the level of support and generosity that the first North East Cycle Challenge generated. He felt that ”the success of the event and the positive reaction from the cyclists means that The North East Cycle Challenge will become a permanent fixture in the cyclists’ diaries in the future”. He expressed thanks to Michael Clarke of Carrick Cycle Centre and to members of the Carrickmacross Cycling Club for their input into the organisation of the event. Special thanks went to Cycle Coach Valerie Campion who acted as Head Safety Steward and whose invaluable experience guided the event organisers throughout. The Carrickmacross Lions Club would also like to thank all local businesses who contributed to the running of the event, to the volunteers who helped out on the day but most of all to the 300 participating cyclists who completed both the Oriel and Drumlin Routes and whose efforts helped generate funds for Alzheimer’s Support.