2022 Mondello 24 Hrs – Report


If you told me last year that I would be part of a team doing a 24-hr relay around Mondello Park, I would have thought you were mad. But on Saturday 11th June Kildare Cycling Club lined up 2 teams, one 8-person mixed team and one 2-person mixed team.

8-Person mixed team

(Back row, left to right) John Murray, Ed. Byrne, Eamonn Quirke, Michael McWey.

(Front row, left to right) Declan Power, Maria Dunne, Bernard Ryan, Eamon Kirwan.

2-Person mixed team Emma and John O’Loughlin.

Two days before the start, Thursday the 9th, was the team’s 3rd and final practice session that we duly took up and on Friday night, our teams began to get set up by unloading our essentials for the weekend.

Declan Power being one of the more organised of us, sourcing a Marquee for us to sleep and change, a collapsible Table, Display board for the Teams times and a special mention to Declan’s very comfortable Chair that we all wanted to sit in. Maria Dunne also brought her Campervan which was a real luxury to have for the event.

At midday on Saturday a Le Mans style start with Eamon Kirwan (a nod to the motor racing hosts) kicked off 24 hours of cycling for people of all abilities.

Throughout the whole experience the atmosphere amongst our crews was amazing. Everyone supporting everyone else, even people who were not in your team got support in one way or another.

The atmosphere on the starting line and along the pit wall was fantastic as was the atmosphere in the garages – “Go on Mick (McWey)” going along the pits like a Mexican wave of support for one of our cyclists.

Our 8-person team started out doing 30-minute sections during the daylight hours and then increased to an hour during the night.

It was amazing with all the support you were given and the roles each team members performed from cycling to being the person on the wall to being the person warming up for your stint meant that the 24 hours passed so quickly.

Then it came to the moment that the chequered flag came out and the final 10 seconds were called out over Mondello’s speaker system. Maria and Emma were elected to finish the 24hrs out of our 8 and 2 person teams & both came around the final bend & onto the home straight…it was then I got something in my eye…. as they and everyone else crossed the finishing line hands raised in the air in celebration at finishing something that was amazing.

To Ed, Declan, Mick, Maria, Eamonn, John, Eamon, Bernard it was a pleasure to be part of this experience. To John and Emma, it was a pleasure to watch your endeavour as you each cycled 12 hrs each (I am not saying anything that was highlighted at awards ceremony) and a pleasure to watch you collect your prize for finishing in second place in the two person mixed team competition- a great achievement.

And thanks to all the club riders from the A, B and C group spins that went out on the usual Sunday morning spin and arrived at Mondello Park to cheer on the teams at the finish of the 24 hours cycle.

So, here’s to next year and maybe a 4-person team?

We must be mad…