INISHOWEN – Tourism & Innovation events

day2_0107It is well documented that Inishowen is one of Tourisms best kept secrets, a statement used more as a whinge against lack of support from the establishments rather than a boast. Extreme North believed that Inishowen had a lot to offer, hence the decision to create innovative events here.

Innovative events, from the onlooker perspective, often start their life under the banner of “Completely Daft” or “He’s lost the plot completely” and I’m certain that the Inishowen onlookers were no different in their expectations. Well, what else could I expect when the notion had often entered my head also and I had to work my arse off so as not to be proven a “Complete Eedjit”

As it turned out, I only thought I had an appreciation for Inishowen, but as the growing number of visitors started to “sing the praises” of the area, compare it to more established locations around the world, tell their friend that they must come and talk about their lasting memories of the place & event, I suddenly realised that I didn’t really have a proper appreciation for the area that I was born, breed and call home.

To the people of Inishowen I say; We first need to truly believe in this beautiful peninsula and realise it’s worth, maybe then, outsiders will “come on board” with a similar enthusiasm. Inishowen is like the best ingredient you could have when preparing a meal, so it’s up to you to simply add the trimmings and present it in a fitting manner, then you will succeed

The Wild Atlantic Way is our true road map to Inishowen, and to date we have endless untapped potential, so when WAW delivers it’s visitors let us be sure to look after them and provide a menu of activity to keep them here a while, because I can assure you that they do get completely enthralled with our Beautiful Inishowen and their lasting memories are what we have to build our future on.

#Inishowen, #running, #adventure, #events, # scenery, #hospitality


Marathon festival of running in Inishowen: 18-19 June

‘Marathon’ festival of running in Inishowen: 18-19 June

63K Ultra Marathon – Full Marathon – Half Marathon – 11k Run

Love running? Looking for a real challenge in an amazing backdrop in Donegal? Then our RocksNRollin Ultra Marathon event on Saturday 18th to Sunday 19th June might be just what you’ve been looking for.

We’ve got 4 race routes, winding along the beautiful Wild Atlantic Way and the stunning hills of Inishowen. Each route is a perfect mix of road, trail and beach- guaranteed to challenge and enthuse any runner! The new road /trail route created last year has labelled this event as one Ireland’s toughest Ultra marathon events, says organiser Harold McGuinness.

“Every twist of the course creates another challenge, mentally massaged by amazing landscapes and scenery. The four different race distances have been carefully designed to ensure everyone gets a true flavour of the challenge at their own personal fitness level.  There’s also a ‘Back 2 Back’ option on Sunday, creating the ultimate test of real endurance. And you can win a new 3D medal to boast your achievement.”

Generous Cut Off times and early starts ensure that walkers and slow runners are not left behind at the finish, says Harold. “Then everyone will be rewarded with fantastic new medals and a festival atmosphere with lots of food and banter.” A similar level of professional support and runner care exists throughout the whole event and is a trademark of Extreme North along with their amazing medals.

Event features include:

·         Spectacular coastal terrain of mountains, tracks and beaches

·         Superb hospitality / camaraderie

·         Stunning Medals

·         Single day or Back 2 Back entry options.

·         World class endurance challenge

·         Keen registration fee’s

·         We are delighted to assist runners with any needs / queries.

For more information or to register, go to

Shore2Summit numbers up 40% as sun dazzles on the day

Extreme North sends a massive congratulations to everyone who took part in the superb day of adventure that was Shore2Summit 2016. There was a huge 40% increase in participation this year and the stunning weather was the cherry on top of this year’s amazing 3-race challenge.

Extreme North director and race organiser Harold McGuinness says the sunny day and clear blue skies, coupled with the increased attendance was a great boost. “The fantastic buzz surrounding the event promises a much bigger and better event for 2017,” he added.

The Shore2Summit winners were:

Extreme Race

Male Winner: Diarmuid Meldon, Dublin – 3:56:53

Male Runner up: Peter O Donnell, Letterkenny – 4:06:27

Male Veteran O/45: Steven Linton, Magherafelt – 4:42:07

Female Winner: Abina Whelan, Laois – 5:24:16

Sprint Race

Male Winner:  Adrian Farrell, Monaghan – 2:45:10

Male Runner up: Shane Mullan, Omagh – 2:46:51

Male Veteran O/45: Billy Orr, Derry – 2:56:55

Female Winner:  Louise O Riordan, Meath – 3:14:12

Female Runner up: Amy May Lally, Omagh -3:22:51

Female Veteran O/40: Siobhan O’Hanlon, Omagh – 3:56:08


Mini  Race

Male Winner: Michael Barrett, Buncrana – 1:43:34

Male Runner up:  Padraig Bolger, Belfast – 2:01:30

Female Winner: Lisa Sweeney, Carndonagh – 2:16:41

Female Runner up: Anne McElhinney, Carndonagh – 2:19:16

Female Veteran O/40: Angela Doran, Letterkenny – 2:22:09


See the full list of results here:

Harold describes Shore2 Summit as “a true adventure-race paradise, with the snow-topped Sliabh Sneacht mountain, multiple biking and running trails, surrounding hills, lakes and all encapsulated by truly amazing scenery. The 3 race distances were chosen to reflect the correct balance of endurance for each fitness level,” and that proved true for those who took part.

“We were delighted with the feedback from participants this year, the overall message seemed to be that Shore 2 Summit has now “come of age” as the larger field of competitors has now created a completely new atmosphere as there is always other competitor near you and keeping you focused. All feed-back was absolutely positive and contestants, regardless of race distance knew that they had been properly challenged and were buzzing at the end.

Inishowen resident John Peto says Shore 2 Summit was his 8th adventure race and …”by far the best I’ve done. The course is tough and will challenge every competitor – the sense of achievement at the end is the best I’ve ever had. Its spectacular all the way round and so tranquil – I hardly saw a car all day and felt like I was really in the wilds. Sliabh Sneacht is awesome, it’s a massive wow factor, and the organisation, venue and host gave the whole day a real sense of charm – it’s a warm, personal event and makes a real change from some of the more corporate feeling events I’ve done. When can I sign up for next year?!’

Thanks for this wonderful review, John. See you at RocksNRolling UItra in June?

To check out the full gallery of pics from Shore2 Summit 2016, go to our Facebook Page – but here’s a wee selection to get you started!!

Shore2Summit 2016 - going strong...

Shore2Summit 2016 – going strong…

Shore2Summit 2016 - three in a row.

Shore2Summit 2016 – three in a row.

Shore2Summit 2016 - We are the Champions!

Shore2Summit 2016 – We are the Champions!

Shore2Summit adventure race- what participants say

Thinking about taking on our Shore2Summit 3-event adventure race on 9th April but not sure what to expect? Here are some reviews from last year’s Shore2Summit to give you a taste of the real thing!

Fergal-Dohertyshore2summit-extreme_northFantastic location, the area has everything for Adventure racing, really testing course, had thoughts I should have done sprint but delighted now. Great marshalling and organisation and hospitality, thanks to all concerned. Fergal Doherty, Derry

What a Day – Never so happy to see a finish line but loved every minute of it. Colm McDonald, Belfast

Maire Toomey Shore2summitThank you to all who took time to organise the event and great marshalling, hospitality and fantastic atmosphere. Really enjoyed the day. Maybe a little more help at transition stations. Maire Toomey, Dublin

Course was scenic & breath-taking but also difficult, a true challenge. Post event food was an excellent choice, really healthy, filling and catering staff were brilliant. Cycle Inishowen bike hire were so professional and helpful with any need catered for. Carmel Fallon, Galway

A great event and well done to all involved. I’ll definitely be back next year, to beat my time. David Cullen

Tough testing course, excellent first race of the season and well worth a look at by all standards.  Brian Maher, Carlow

Claire Kenny Shore2SummitAll staff at event were great, very encouraging and professional at all times. Cycle Inishowen were so accommodating and helpful. Maybe more assistance on the rough terrain in case of breakdown. Claire Kenny, Galway

Shore2Summit is an Inishowen, Co Donegal adventure 3-race event, which takes place on Sat 9th April 2016. It’s a race for all abilities which involves: a 62k Extreme course, a 41k Sprint course, and a 23k Mini adventure course.  The 3 race distances have been choose wisely to reflect the correct balance of endurance for each fitness level. The 61k Extreme and 42k Sprint courses have won the acclaim of regular adventurers as easily matching anything else on offer in Ireland. The 23k Mini Adventure Course is also guaranteed to challenge and excite the Novice adventurer.

Best of all….the entire course is set in a true adventure race paradise, the snow topped Sliabh Sneacht mountains, multiple biking and running trails, surrounding hills, lakes and all encapsulated by truly amazing scenery. To sign up or find out more go to:





Start your day with a sugar free fix

Diets – though not necessarily sugar free – are a major part of any runner’s performance, with the original thinking being that heaps of carbohydrates and sugar would fuel you for those long gruelling endurance runs. But that’s all changing with the recognition that protein now plays a major part in pre- as well as post-race nutrition.  There is also a general awareness that while sugar might give you a high, it also brings the low with it, so – aside from all its other dangers – it’s not what you need for marathons and extreme events.  Because sugar is now so heavily loaded into all processed foods, there’s a massive interest in sugar free diets and food. But it can be incredibly hard to find natural sugar-free foods that aren’t loaded with artificial sweeteners.  So we’ve come up with a few recipes to help you out:

Extreme North recommends you try this sugar free cereal to start your day.  It only takes about 20 minutes to make a fortnight’s supply, so it’s well worth the effort!


Melt and mix – 2 table spoons of Tahini + 2 table spoons of Coconut Oil in a pan.

Measure 4 Mugs of porridge oats into a bowl, pour in Coconut mix, mix well, place mixture in a baking tray with tin foil and bake in oven at 220c, for 20mins or until golden. (mixing up every 5-8 mins)

While waiting on mix to roast prepare:

  • 1 mug of chopped almonds – chopped
  • 1 mug of hazelnuts / walnuts – chopped
  • Half mug Sunflower seed
  • Half mug Flaxseed
  • Half mug of Coconut flake.

Mix all above together.

Remove oats from oven and add rest of ingredients and mix well.

Serve with Greek Style yogurt (5%> sugar)


So why not give this great recipe a go and let us know what you think. You can call us on +353 862374644 or email

Acknowledgement – RAW Nutrition Letterkenny for a personalised nutritional plan

Inishowen adventure race event: Shore2Summit 9th April 2016

This year’s Shore2Summit 2016 extreme adventure race is set for Saturday 9th April, and if you missed the early bird rate, then check out our Leap into February Offer – 1 in every 12 go free. It’s a race for all abilities with a 62k Extreme course, a 41k Sprint course, and a 23k Mini adventure course.

This is an Adventure Race in a paradise setting, with the snow topped Sliabh Sneacht mountains surrounded by hills, trails, lakes and amazing scenery. The 3 race distances have been chosen wisely:  they reflect the correct balance of endurance for each race type, and they offer the option to team– up. This adds to the event’s appeal to all fitness levels, from Couch to 5K right up to the elite athlete.

Shore 2 Summit’s new home at the new Sliabh Sneacht Centre in Drumfries is a perfect base, offering showers and fantastic catering facilities for race finish. All race stages are out and back courses, and transitions are conveniently located only a few miles from the start.

The addition of a 23k Mini Adventure Course in 2015 has proved very popular while the Sprint and Extreme course won the praise of challengers due to the variety and Challenge, terrain and fantastic scenery on offered.

Extreme North FINISHING REWARDS rightly acknowledge the hard work you put into achieving your goal on the day. So apart from the euphoria of having achieved something you may have previously though impossible, you have the amazing medals, T shirts, hot food, prizes and a real banter and craic with like-minded adventurer. These vital elements combine to make Shore2Summit such a unique and unmissable adventure race, and will definitely put the capon an amazing achievement in an amazing day to send you home buzzing!

RELAY OPTIONS – Single discipline athletes can team up in the relay section to get a flavour of adventure racing, but be prepared to want to come back next year as a solo participant.


Click here to register now and find out more from:

Why can’t you get motivated like the growing # of joggers and cyclist on our road – 8 tips on how to pull off a NEW YOU

Maybe an unhealthy lifestyle

Possibly an unhealthy lifestyle?

What motivates the growing number of runners and joggers on our roads and parks recently? It’s becoming obvious that these are not “Athletes” but rather ordinary individuals like you or me, they come in all shapes and sizes, some look the part and some, like myself look dodgy enough.

If your struggling to get your New Year Resolution on track through lack of motivation, cold mornings etc., just think if you could match each negative response with a positive one you’d be half way on your way. Always focus on your Goal, recall the circumstances that prompted this change and dream about the excitement you’ll feel when you achieve you Goal.

In the vast majority of cases HEALTH and MENTAL WELLBEING are the driving force, you’ll never improve these by being the observer, so stop dreaming up excuses, get stuck in and experience the FEEL GOOD FACTOR. A local song writer Patsy Cavanagh penned a song “You can’t hold the years back” ? As the observer maybe not but as the activist you can give it a damned good try.

You’ll never start a new chapter in your life if you keep reliving the last chapter, also change and success seldom happen within your comfort zone, so initially you will have to make that extra effort but that will soon be swamped by the feel good benefits that you’ll experience. He’s my tips

  1. Goals -Set realistic Goals and a sensible timeframe be it diet or exercise
  2. Records -Write it down and keep records of progress
  3. Diet -Choose a Diet that suits, ideally with natural fresh food.
  4. Cravings -Fight cravings not hunger, starving does not get results
  5. Support -Join a weight loss group or get an exercise partner.
  6. Flexibility -Allow flexibility in your plan and bounce back each time.
  7. Motivation -Surround yourself with things and thoughts that motivate you.
  8. Positive -Remind yourself why you started and remember success stories

(NEXT – CASE STUDY At age of 39 I was 4-5 stone overweight, no training and generally unhealthy – I was stuck in      my own comfort zone, then I went blind and life changed. – My Story next)

Believe in yourself – Don’t be afraid to fail – But be afraid not to try.

Tip – Get a team of 4 and compete in short single stages in Shore 2 Summit – A doable target for 12 weeks

#running, #donegal, #Inishowen, # adventure, #wildatlanticway, #marathons

Imagine if a voucher could change someone’s life?

22 years ago I was 60lbs overweight with the occasional fad diet, no training and feeling down in the dumps – I was stuck in my own comfort zone.

Someone gave me a sports shop GIFT VOUCHER for my 40th birthday. Runners and kit were purchased and for some reason it didn’t stop there. The new kit, a bit of support and a challenge all added up to creating the kickstart that lead to completely changed my life.

22 years later I’ve run 36 Marathons, competed in charity cycle challenges all over the world plus a multitude of other stuff and more importantly I’m 10 times healthier and organise adventure challenges in Inishowen Donegal for a living.

Do you know someone who could do with that little push, that might prove to be the almighty step towards a healthier life?

Our gift vouchers starts at just €30. Book on line now and receive by post before Christmas. I’ll even give them a pep talk if you think they need it.

All the best.

Harold McGuinness

#running, #donegal, #Inishowen, # adventure, #wildatlanticway, #marathons



Training for Ultra / Multi Marathon Running

Completed a number of marathons! what next? Many runners look to Multi Marathon and Ultra running for a new challenge. Completing an endurance race or ultra challenge is demanding on body and training regime. At this stage many will have identified the type of training schedule that suits them and adapted it using principals that have worked for them.

DSC_3383Itching to do an Ultra

Before entering this arena make it is best that you have ample marathon distances under your belt to avoid unnecessary injury. As was the rule for marathon training, weekly long runs are now an even more important part of your training regime. Adapt a slower pace for your long runs as these are all about getting your body used to distance / endurance, so save you faster pace / speed work for shorter mid week sessions.

Back 2 Back distance training

This is an excellent technique for multi marathon or Ultra’s in excess of 60k. This consists of – 3 days of shorter / speed training – 1 rest day – 1 long run – 1 long run – 1 rest day. The first day long run builds endurance and the second day, ideally about 15% shorter, acclimatizes the body to having to keep going even when tired.

Run / Walk

Venturing beyond marathon distance where the whole emphasis may have been keep running, now you must revisit that strategy as pacing is even more important and virtually all endurance runners adopt a run-walk strategy at some point during the race. It is important to train you body to be able to run again after a walking break, so build walk breaks into your distance runs and judge for yourself the correct ratio of run : walk

Listen to your body

Get to know your body and listen to it, while a group of runners may stick together during training your recovery is personal to you, no 2 bodies are the same, weight, physique, wellbeing, age etc. all play a part in your recovery. If your body hasn’t fully recovered from the previous long distance then shorten, or scrap, your next distance run to aid recovery. Running on a fatigued / over trained body leaves a high risk of injury.

Emulate your training to your race

Check out your race for elevation, road, trail, mountain, beach etc. and emulate your training to reflect the challenge that you are training for. Weather conditions, day light, running at darkness with headlamps etc are all factors and should be likewise adapted into you training schedule if applicable.

Race day looming

Most runners are tapering their training 2 – 3 weeks before the race, it is important that your body is starting the race rested to increase your chances of finishing. Proper hydration and a well fuelled body play a major part also to make sure to experiment with these factors during training so that your confident of what works and makes you most efficient on race day.

Set your GOAL and make your goal work for you

When you decide to take that “Leap of Faith” then get focused on your chosen challenge, register now if that helps to motivate and drive you towards your Goal, get a training plan in place that mimics most aspects of the challenge and get started. Choose an event that you can really look forward to for the challenge, camaraderie hospitality and something that will leave you going home fulfilled, with a smile and lasting memories. Donegal is an ideal venue to tick all those boxes, so check our Rocks N Rollin Ultra or the iconic Quadrathon when searching for your ideal challenge.

LIFE AFTER 10K -Venturing into Distance running or Adventure racing

Now that you have achieved your all-time Goal of completing a 10k, you are probably bitten by the adrenalin bug and wondering what’s possible?, whats’s next?. Remember one very important fact, regardless of how you “raise the bar” you’ll only have to give it “your all” the same as you had to do to get to 10k.

Getting all fired up by enthusiast sports mates over a few pints and signing up for Half Marathon, full Marathon or Adventure Race was the easy part. Now the real training begins and even the nip of the wintry Donegal air or the odd injury niggle will be overshadowed by the enormity of the challenge that you have commitment to and the ever looming start line that summons you in your minds horizon.


The first simple rule, you can’t train if your lethargic or ill and you want to avoid unnecessary injury. Make sure your suitably attired for the weather conditions, your muscles benefit from being kept warm during training and you want to avoid Flu’s and Colds.

A healthy balanced diet is essential in providing the extra energy you’ll need for training and bolstering your immune system. Because of the extra exposure many find it difficult to avoid the odd Flu / Virus so make sure your intake of vitamins is sufficient.


Adopt a training plan that works for you and amount of time you can devote to training. It is important that you train consistently, week in week out as opposed to spurts of training which will be more injury prone. If you are introducing muscles that have been seldom used in the past then keep that part of training light initially to avoid injury.


Sometimes it just unavoidable, life as a habit of dictating the pace. Listen to your body and if your lethargic or have injury niggles then review your training plan / diet / lifestyle and adjust accordingly. Look back and celebrate how far you have come, don’t cling onto a training regime that’s not working, have a rethink and reschedule. Depending on where you are at in your training plan you could choose to still compete and drop your pace to a walk/run strategy or take extra breaks at transitions. Sometimes these races turn out to be the most enjoyable and race-day atmosphere will help get you through. Worst case scenario is there will always be another race coming along soon.


Tapering back your training before race day is essential and this varies but is mostly for a 2-3 week period. Cut out long training periods but continue with shorter, less frequent sessions. Your body will feel like it should be doing more but this period will help build a store of energy in your body for race-day. You may also feel like your losing your fitness level and inherited every niggle and pain possible, that OK, as those notions are all guaranteed to disappeared after race day.

Pre race nutrition for endurance events is as important as the training, make sure your body is properly fuelled and hydrated for the entire week leading up to race day. Get well rested during the week as your pre-race nerves will see to it that you only get a few hours sleep on the last night


TRAINING – Enjoy the whole process, make sure that your training regime is enduring but also enjoyable. Train with someone else as part of your weekly routine, even for just 1 day /week. Allow some variation / flexibility to suit moods or conditions on occasional days.

RACE-DAY – On race-day get your rest, nutrition and pace right and your guaranteed to enjoy the Event. If you go out too fast you’ll suffer and lose all enjoyment which is against every reason that you decided to sign up for the event in the first place.


Now have a good look back and celebrate this major turnaround in your Health, wellbeing and general fitness that you have gained in this journey of a lifetime. You will probably go onto bigger and better achievement but the physiological and mental efforts and gains to get you here are the most important of your sporting career because if you hadn’t started you’d always have been a Couch Potato and unhealthy one at that.


Depending on the individual, you may select goals that you identify as achievable or alternatively “push out the boat” which is good put not so far that you can’t achieve it. Extreme North events are structure to include all levels of fitness, which allows Adventure racers or Distance runners the opportunity to drop down a level, before race day, if training hasn’t gone to plan for one reason or another. Use your GOAL as your incentive, so set it and sign up TODAY which will help force you out training on those lazy days.

Best of Luck in your venture and make 2016 YOUR YEAR.