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Adventure racing comprising of different sporting disciplines has become increasingly popular in recent years, with many athletes, cyclists and activity enthusiasts regularly braving the elements of Connemara each year. So what if you are more of a ‘Try Anything’ than a ‘Tri-Athlete’? Maybe you’d like to take part in a fun outdoor event without the feeling of ultra competitive pressure and have some guaranteed laughs along the way as well as getting your heart pumping and muscles working?

A new kind of homegrown adventure challenge has now been created by the Connemara Rough Diamond Adventure Race and Music Festival which will take place on Saturday August 28th, beginning at Lettergesh Beach at 12 noon and culminating on the lawns of Connemara West in Letterfrack, where the Rough Diamond Festival will party on until the small hours with music in all the bars and street entertainment.

What will make the Rough Diamond different to all other adventure races will be the element of fun achieved by participating in running, biking, hiking and various obstacle challenges throughout the course, which is designed for all levels of fitness, with the focus on pure enjoyment.

It is 60 years ago this summer since John Wayne rode the winning horse on Lettergesh beach in ‘The Quiet Man’. To commemorate this, the course features the John Wayne Steeplechase, but this time around it will be the Rough Diamond participants that will run and jump over the straw bale hurdles, water jumps, troughs and ditches over a 1 mile 4 furlongs distance! This will be a race like no other where humans take the place of horses-guaranteed to provide hilarity to both spectators and participants.

One of the Rough Diamond organiser’s Michael Laffey remembers his grandmother proudly recalling John Wayne in the family kitchen in Lettergesh, where Wayne politely asked

“Excuse me ma’am could I have another one of your black beers?” as she refilled his glass from a bucketful of Guinness!

After the beach gallop, a bike ride will take one past Lough Fee and Lough Muc, across the bottom of the Inagh Valley into magical Kylemore Woods for an obstacle course, the likes of which will have never been seen before! Over a terrain of mud, water, bogs and rivers the course will include local legends such as ‘Fear Gorta’ or the hungry grass-a supernatural legend in Connemara where locals believed in times gone and some still believe today, that certain fields and expanses of grass zap the energy from humans! Beam walks, high ropes, cargo net pyramids, tyre tricks and lots more will provide a giggle a minute and bonus points can be earned along the way with Garden Gnomes.

After the assault course the final leg of the adventure race will be a quick bike ride to Letterfrack and a jaunt up and down the majestic Diamond Mountain before retiring to Letterfrack village for refreshments and entertainment for the evening. This adventure racing event will be achievable by anyone with a modest level of fitness and is guaranteed to put a smile on both participants and spectator’s faces. The West of Ireland Cardiac Foundation Croí will also benefit from funds raised by this unique Connemara event.

For more information or to register online go to or contact Mike on 086 8222447 or join the Facebook page ‘The Connemara Rough Diamond Funventure’.