Thanks & epilogue

That I was able to ride in and complete the Wild Atlantic Way Audax is, of course, down to the effort of so many others. From day one I was bowled over by the generosity of spirit of all those who gave up their time and sleep to support the dreams of fifty-six riders. I always made a point of thanking them whenever I could, whether they were in the kitchen, showing us to our beds or giving us wise advice. They were there for us, always with a smile, whatever the time of day or night.

Audax Ireland legends Paul O'Donoghue and Noel Moloney manned the shelter control at Oranmore

Audax Ireland legends Paul O’Donoghue and Noel Moloney manned the shelter control at Oranmore

Audax Ireland members turned out in force to help make this event the success that it was, and my thanks must also go to those cycle clubs around the country who were swept up by the vision of this monumental event and who came to man a shelter control for the night.

Those who we saw day after day, in the camper van, at each control, I don’t know how you did it. I’m sure that we got more sleep than some of you did!

And then there are Seamus and Eamon. What a pair! What a vision to come up with this ridiculous event in the first place! If it weren’t for them, I would have given up the day I was ill. I may only have known them for seven days, but they both have a very special place in my heart.

I must also thank all those who kept me in their thoughts and prayers during the week, especially when I became ill. That I stayed safe on the roads, despite extreme tiredness at times, I accredit to your petitions on my behalf. That I finished this crazy ride is as much down to your prayers as my stubborn determination. Above all, I must acknowledge and thank my Heavenly Father, whose constant love and presence sustained me.

Through my ride, I was able to raise over £3,800 for a school in Onialeku, Urua Province, Uganda, that my church is supporting.

So the ride is ridden, and the riders have dispersed, some perhaps basking in glory, others maybe licking their wounds, but all, I suspect, changed by this unique event.

If I hadn’t had the misfortune of getting food poisoning, my boundaries wouldn’t have been expanded nearly as much. My eyes wouldn’t have been opened to what this body and mind of mine is capable of. And I wouldn’t have discovered the fun (yes, fun!) of sleeping outside, something I thought distinctly odd only a few weeks ago, but which now I can’t wait to do again! In this way, as well as in others, I know that the ride has changed me. Somewhere along my journey, perhaps in enduring the suffering, I became a Randonneur.

I think I was also changed in quite a profound way. Long after the aches, bruises, cuts and callouses have disappeared, I will now bear myself with a quiet confidence that I lacked before. And I will carry with me memories of the savage beauty of the Wild Atlantic Way.

For the record, I, Richard Guthrie, cycled the Wild Atlantic Way Audax in 173 hours 25 minutes and 25 seconds.

Update September 2017

I finally received my brevet card back from Eamon in the Spring of 2017, homologated by Les Randonneurs Mondiaux.

The money that I raised helped to fund the purchase and erection of a fence round the school in Uganda, and this was officially ‘opened’ in July 2017, and named ‘Richard’!

My other cycling adventures:

Making Ends Meet
Irish and Scottish end to ends in 2012

Highlands & Islands
Cycle touring in Scotland in 2013

11 Responses to Thanks & epilogue

  1. Eamon says:

    Very nice .all I can say to you Richard don’t ever believe a word I tell ya , but one thing I do applaud are achievers , so with that Congrats superman a legend of the 1st WAWA .. See you in 2020 The Journey Home

  2. Sean says:

    Great journal, thanks for writing it! I hope to do this someday, maybe over a much longer time frame tho!

  3. SimonM says:

    A great read Richard; a fitting description of what is, and will always be, a fantastic achievement,

  4. JoeK says:

    A very enjoyable read Richard, really captured the atmosphere of what was a great achievement – respect!

  5. Michael McMorrow says:

    Unbelievable achievement Richard and a fantastic read. Taking the body to places its not supposed to go!

  6. Cian Landers says:

    An inspiring and motivating read about your experience. Well done Richard, an amazing achievement .

  7. Stephen Rolston says:

    Hi Richard. Thanks for documenting your WAWA . A great record of an incredible achievement ! Superhuman.

  8. Sven-Erik Olsson says:

    Inspiring and amazing, thanks for writing.

  9. Brendan McCartan says:

    A very well written piece, that spells out the extreme trials and tribulations of riding such an event; and that’s without having to cope with illness on the way!
    Very well done Richard – you can cope with anything in life now

  10. David Noone says:

    Fantastic achievement and a great write up, Chapeau

  11. George Mullan says:

    Hi Richard
    Have just read your amazing account of this 7 day marathon. It is fitting that I have read this at the same time as the Olympics are taking place. So many of them have stories of pain, endurance, determination and fighting on against the odds. Your story sits very comfortably along side theirs. Well done Richard you too deserve a Gold Medal not only in completing the course, but in raising so much money for the fence for the Primary School at Onialeku. Thank you.


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