Moire turned up to her first mountain race with the wrong shoes, wearing too many clothes, and with a body verging on obese. Though tempted to pull out and go home, she reluctantly runs.
Little did she know the race up Corrig Mountain would inflict such physical blows: Her lungs catch fire, her legs explode, her heart hits record speeds. And though it’s a gentle summer’s evening back in Dublin, on top of Corrig Mountain the wind screeches and the mist swirls as she lurches and lunges over grass, rocks, and rutted bog.
The next morning, everything hurts. But still she perseveres. Every week, she’s battling it out with the other mountain runners, adversaries on the hill. But by 9 pm, she’s joining her new found friends in the pub, discovering the wonderful healing powers of a proper pint.
Over the next three years, Moire competes in every mountain race she can find, whatever its shape or form: everything from ten kilometre sprints up summits, to one hundred kilometre runs requiring map and compass. She even dabbles in adventure racing, doing multi-day multi-sport races in teams of four in the barren wastelands of Ireland and Scotland. But it is not until she sets her sights on the still unconquered Wicklow Round that she finally finds her nemesis.
In July 2008, Moire made a solo attempt on the Wicklow Round, a gruelling endurance run spanning a hundred kilometres over twenty six of Ireland’s remotest mountain peaks. After twenty one and a half hours she collapsed, two summits from the end. Battered and bruised yet undeterred, she returned a year later to become the first person ever to complete the challenge.
This is her story.