Congratulations to Laura Grehan for setting the Ireland W-E record in this category: Women, 18-49 – Standard bike

Laura competed the 239.9 miles in 13 hr 27 min for an average speed of 17.84 mph


Here is Laura’s account of her attempt:

Record Attempt: Ireland Cross-Country (West Coast to East Coast)

Name of Rider: Laura Grehan

Start Date and Time: 5th September 2020, 04:45

Start Location: End of parking area at public access to beach at Garruan Point

Conditions: A mild, mostly dry day with a prevailing wind

As a novice ultracyclist, this record attempt provided me with the exciting opportunity to become Ireland’s first solo female World Ultra Cycling Association record holder. If successful, I would also become the first person – male or female – to establish a solo cross-country record for the west coast to the east coast of Ireland. Additionally, the challenge enabled me to raise awareness and funds for the Irish Lung Fibrosis Association – an organisation close to my heart.

The entire attempt, from start to finish, was an incredible experience. Seeing my months of training and preparation with my crew pay off was so exciting. Children cheering from the side of the road, cars tooting in support as we passed by, and the welcome from friends and family at the finish was very special.

The hardest part was managing the logistics of the various elements of the attempt, including route planning, on-road communication, fuelling strategy, media relations and fundraising. Only one of my crew members had any real previous experience of ultracycling, so we had to do lots of research. We were also fortunate to receive advice from many members of Ireland’s ultracycling community. The dedication and expertise of the crew paid off and the attempt ran very smoothly.

I used a Canyon Ultimate bike with Zipp 30 Course wheelset for the attempt. I fuelled on a combination of “real food” (mostly sandwiches), energy bars and some chocolate. For hydration, I took a mix of electrolyte and carbohydrate bottle mix.

The most unusual element of the day was undoubtedly getting stuck behind a herd of cattle moving slowly along the road just after daybreak. While we actually lost only a couple of minutes waiting to get by, it seemed like an eternity at the time!

At 18:12, after 13 hours 27 minutes of pure adventure, my crew and I arrived at our final destination: the viewpoint at the end of the public road to Wicklow Head Lighthouse. It was certainly a day that we’ll never forget!

Thanks to those who made this attempt possible:
Crew members: Aidan O’Neill, Martina Duignan, Ian McNally, Don Samway
WUCA Official: Marie Moran
Sponsors: Jones Engineering, Opinions, Windsor Motors, Clontarf Cycling Club, Naomh Barróg Cycling Club