The Island Braces Itself for ‘HercOileán Challenge’

‘HercOileán’ The Island Warrior Challenge which is being organised as a joint venture between An Ríocht Athletic Club and its closest sporting neighbour, Castleisland RFC is nearly all set for October 11th 2014. The idea is based on a military style challenge course of 7.5km in distance.

“Think military boot-camp meets childhood fantasy of taking on the world and getting pretty messed up doing so. “This style of event has become all the rage now and it’s time that we in Castleisland took it on,” said co-organisers, Kate McSweeney, An Riocht AC and Bill Horgan, Castleisland RFC. Competitors will be faced with a variety of obstacles as they make their way around the course. Obstacles that will test the body and mind and while doing so are sure to make you laugh out loud and leave you with a feel good factor. An Riocht AC member and well known fitness figure, Joe O’Connor is working on the design of the course – including obstacles and route. Joe O’Connor has worked in the fitness industry since 1998 including a stint as fitness instructor at An Riocht AC and he has been a lecturer in Exercise Physiology, Advanced Performance Training and Resistance Training in the Institute of Technology, Tralee since 2006. A competitive runner since childhood, Joe has  raced every distance from the 400m to the Marathon and also has competed in many Triathlons & Adventure Races. He has working with the producers and creators of ‘Ireland’s Fittest Family’ and featured on the show each week as the Fitness and Performance Expert. He also left his print on that memorable Clare All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship winning side of 2013.

“It is sure to be a truly unique event and makes a great change from the regular five or 10k runs. HercOileán can, and will be, a competition for many of the participating teams or individuals. On the other hand it can be just a matter of completion for those who prefer  putting aside the competitive aspect for the sake of simply having the craic. And that’s also very important to us,” according to the organisers. “It’s true, strength comes in numbers and HercOileán can be done as an individual test but is also a perfect opportunity for some team bonding. Put together a team of three and take on the course together.

“It will mean tackling each and every obstacle as a team as well as having someone to curse your way around the course with!! Once completed, it’s the perfect excuse to get together for a celebration of your athleticism, toughness and heroism on the day….or simply a time to revel in your combined ability to look ridiculous whilst overcoming obstacles,” the organisers urged.

Once the physical side of the event is over there is a fantastic after party planned. Hermitage Green will take to the stage at An Riocht at around 10pm that night and will be followed by a disco. Tickets to the after party are included in entry or can be bought separately for €10.

Entry includes a free ticket to the after party with Hermitage Green. For those not taking part in the HercOileán Challenge, the post event party tickets can also be bought separately on registration night. For details see: or contact: 066-71 43370 for more information. See also: For more information on Hermitage Green check out: