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The HiiKER Podcast

Episode 64 - The Art O'Neill Challenge - 60km ultra event in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter.


Episode 64 - The Art O'Neill Challenge - 60km ultra event in the middle of the night, in the middle of winter.

The Art O’Neill challenge has long-been on Irish mountain-dwellers calendar. Hikers and ultra-runners gather in the depths of winter, at night to complete a grueling 60km course I say course, but there is actually no official route. Not only are participants facing into the darkness, but they also have to self-navigate over open mountains with almost no actual trails to use. Some might say those that run the route are lunatics for running in those conditions. The runners might be looking back at the walkers with awe as they continue in the bleak winter night. So why are they doing this? Why Am I doing this?? Last year, I myself took part in the challenge as a runner. Unfortunately, I dropped out early…This year, I’m going again with the sole purpose of completing it! The more time I have spent with this challenge in my head, the more fascinated I became with the history of it. Who was Art O’Neill? Why is it named after him? Normally when a race is named after a person, it usually means that person is not around anymore! Turns out Art hasn’t been around for a couple centuries. I’ve wanted to do a podcast about the Art O’Neill challenge for a while, but it wasn’t until I came across my guest, that I felt we could do a good job of it. Jane Casey is a fellow hiker and content creator from Wicklow. Over the past few months, she has been documenting her curiosity around Ireland on social media. She offers bite-sized history lessons about things that we all walk by unknowingly everyday. And in a country like Ireland that is steeped in History and folklore, she has plenty of subject matter to get through. When I introduced Jane to the subject of Art O’Neill and the challenge, she was excited to be involved. While Jane is not a historian, she does her research well and came to the show prepared! So if you’re taking part in this years challenge or you’re just a curious Casey like Jane, this is an episode you won’t want to miss.Follow Jane Casey IG: all the maps you need for the Art O'Neill challenge   Hosted on Acast. See for more information.

3400 min

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