August 24, 2022

Ultimate Guide to the Best Adventure Races in Ireland 2024

Ireland boasts some of the most exciting and best adventure races you can do.

They will challenge you mentally and physically, but you will have some great fun, meet some great people and take in some of the most amazing sights Ireland has to offer as well.

So it’s a win-win.

And because of their rise in popularity in recent years, most adventure races in Ireland cater for people of all levels and abilities.

This guide is going to list some of our favourite Adventure Races in Ireland for you to try.

What is an Adventure Race?

A multi-discipline race, adventure racing (also known as multi-sport racing) typically comprises trail running/hiking, cycling, and kayaking.

However, any outdoor sport can be a part of an adventure race!

Most, but not all, of the races in Ireland have predetermined courses, so you may enter knowing what to expect.

List of the Best Adventure Races in Ireland

So, in no particular order.

1 Westport Sea2Summit

Date: November 2024

adventure races ireland

Westport in County Mayo is known as the Adventure capital of the West of Ireland and there is no better way to sign off the Adventure Race season than the Sea2Summit.

You can take the name by face value too, as you literally start the race at sea level and climb to the very top of Croagh Patrick if you choose the Supreme category.

There is also the ‘Spirit’ race, which is a shorter and easier run aimed for runners who may never have done an adventure race before, but also challenging enough for those seeking that.

While the staggered run, split into Beginner, Intermediate and Advance, means you won’t get caught up in the wrong bunch!

Find more information here:

Format: Spirit – 4k run, 8k cycle, 3k Mountain run up Croagh Patrick at half distance (1.5k) and at bottom (3k), 11k cycle, 4k run = total distance 30km

Supreme – 4k run, 8k cycle, 5k Mountain run up Croagh Patrick at half distance(2.5k) and at bottom (5k), 35k cycle hilly cycle at (14K) and end of cycle, 4k run – total distance 56km

2 Gaelforce West

Date: 15 June 2024

adventure races ireland

One of the most iconic adventure races in Ireland, this will take you through the wildly beautiful rural landscape of Galway and Mayo.

This 66km race will see you traverse through the rugged Wild Atlantic Way, Killary Fjord and the Connemara mountains and give you a serious challenge. They are also hoping to be back on Croagh Patrick for 2024!

There are 6 stages to the 66km route, where you will run, cycle and even kayak for the ultimate experience.

There are specific routes for Expert, Intermediate and Introductory adventure racers, but be warned that all are quite challenging.

Get the full breakdown here:

Format: Run 18.5 x 3km, cycle 48.5km and kayak 1km along sealed roads, beach, bog, grassland tracks, open mountain and open water – total distance 66km.

3 Quest Killarney

Date: October 12, 2024

adventure races ireland

This year the organisers are planning Quest Killarney to be ‘bigger, better and more awesome than ever’.

This epic adventure involves racers running and cycling through the Gap of Dunloe, Molls Gap, Black Valley, Ring of Kerry, Torc Waterfall, Devil’s Punchbowl, Mangerton Mountain and Muckross House as well as kayaking across the Muckross Lake in Killarney National Park.

The real beauty of Quest Killarney is more than just the amazing scenery the Kingdom offers, it’s the range of difficulty levels it offers.

You can choose from 5 distances, starting from the basic 32km challenging up to the 85km Expert.

You can choose routes that will road run, trail run, cycle and kayak (optional) and test you at all levels.

Check it out here:


Cycle Run Kayak New Total Distance Previous Distance Difference
Expert 54.9 29.5 1 85.4 83.2 2.2
Pro 54.9 22.2 1 78.1 73 5.1
Dual 55.8 14.3 0 70.1 65 5.1
Sport 45.3 15.7 1 62 55.6 6.4
Challenge 21.1 10 1 32.1 25.7 6.4


4 Coast to Coast

Date: Currently not scheduled for 2024

This is as tough and extreme as Adventure Races come in Ireland.

You start in the seaside town of Enniscrone in Sligo and finish in Newcastle, Down, covering a total of on foot, nike and kayak.

Described as ‘Ireland’s toughest multisport race’, the Coast to Coast adventure race requires a support crew for entries and can be difficult to do, so this isn’t designed for your everyday racer.

Unfortunately, the Coast-To-Coast is not currently scheduled for 2024.

Format: Stage 1 Bike Enniscrone to Ballinamore – 108km Stage 2 Kayak Ballinamore to Ballyconnell – 26.5km Stage 4 Run Rostrevor to Newcastle – 40km Stage 3 Bike Ballyconnell to Rostrevor – 141km

5 Quest Glendalough

Date: April 6 2024

You will run, cycle and kayak around the beautiful Wicklow Mountains while taking in the amazing Glendalough Valley and monastic Round Tower.

It’s ideally suited for beginner runners, as well as those higher-level racers seeking a tough challenge.

Three stages that will challenge and entertain in equal measure:


21km Challenge

Stage Distance Elevation
Stage 1 Cycle 13 216
Stage 2 Run 4 55
Stage 3 Kayak 1 0
Stage 4 Run 4 46
Total 22 317

43km Sports 

Stage Distance KM Elevation M
State 1 Cycle 6 257
Stage 2 Run 6 225
Stage 3 Cycle 20 227
Stage 4 Run 6 182
Stage 5 Kayak 1 0
Stage 6 Run 4 46
Total 43 937

59km Expert 

Stage Type Distance KM Elevation M
State 1 Cycle 6.00 257
Stage 2 Run 6 225
Stage 3 Cycle 13 522
Stage 4 Run 5 271
Stage 5 Cycle 18 232
Stage 6 Run 6 182
Stage 7 Kayak 1 0
Stage 8 Run 4 46
Total 59.00 1735

Check out the route information here.

6 Quest Kenmare

Date: March 9 2024 (subject to change)

The breath-taking Beara Peninsula mountains and the quaint boutiques of Kenmare Town are both included in Quest Kenmare.

Moreover, you can test yourself by cycling and kayaking across the breath-taking mountains and valleys.

Suitable for all levels of adventurers, Quest Kenmare is generally the first race of the year and we can’t think of a better one to start off on.

Check it out here:


28km Challenge 

Stage 1 CYCLE 7.00 195
Stage 2 RUN 8.00 297
Stage 3 CYCLE 10.00 60
Stage 4 Run 1.00 1
Stage 5 Kayak 1.00 0
Stage 6 Run 1.10 10
Total 28.10 563

43km Sport 

Stage 1 CYCLE 18.00 324
Stage 2 RUN 8.00 371
Stage 3 CYCLE 14.20 72
Stage 4 RUN 1.00 1
Stage 5 KAYAK 1.00 0
Stage 6 RUN 1.10 10
Total 43.30 778

46km Dual 

Stage 1 CYCLE 26.00 447
Stage 2 RUN 7.50 300
Stage 3 CYCLE 10.00 237
Stage 4 RUN 2.10 11
Total 45.60 995

78km Expert

Stage 1 CYCLE 26.00 460
Stage 2 RUN 7.50 288
Stage 3 CYCLE 19.00 268
Stage 4 RUN 8.00 371
Stage 5 CYCLE 14.20 72
Stage 6 RUN 1.00 1
Stage 7 KAYAK 1.00 0
Stage 8 RUN 1.10 10
Total 77.80 1470


7 Wild Atlantic Adventure Race

Date: May 11 2024

Go to WAAR!

For both seasoned and experienced competitors to compete and challenge their own times and goals, there is the WAAR (Wild Atlantic Adventure Race).

The purpose of the event is to encourage everyone to engage in physical activity that promotes better mental health as well as to enhance the local economy by drawing visitors to the area throughout the weekend.

Check it out here:

Format: There are four main categories offered by WAAR: Individual WAAR Route, Team (4 people or 2 people), and Sprint.


We know we’ve left out some really popular Adventure Races in this list, so feel free to let us know your favourites.

If you’re not up for an Adventure Race just yet, why not try trail running?
We’ve a blog on some of the best trails in Ireland right here?

Otherwise, check out our running category for some great deals.

Enjoy the adventure!

adventure races ireland

TAGS: #adventure race ireland#trail running