Moire’s amazing tale of mud, sweat and tears

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Derry woman Moire O’ Sullivan is one of the few people to have completed the Wicklow Round. That’s a mountain-race across 26 peaks including over 6,000m of climbing and more than 100km, all to be done in a day.

Derry woman Moire O’ Sullivan is one of the few people to have completed the Wicklow Round. That’s a mountain-race across 26 peaks including over 6,000m of climbing and more than 100km, all to be done in a day.

Moire has just published a book ‘Mud, sweat and tears’ on her mountain adventures on the mountains and how she tried the keep the challenge secret from her parents ‘on the other side of the country’.

The book gives readers an insight into the pain of bloody blisters, the beauty of a mountain at midnight and why anyone would ever want to run up a mountain.

Moire first took on the challenge in 2008 but was unable to finish.

Now she says she’s glad that happened as it makes the finish so much sweeter. “I feel proud for getting back out there after that difficult first attempt. I’m proud that I learnt from my mistakes.”

And she adds: “I’m a girl who was the first person to complete the Wicklow Round.”

A self-confessed ‘mountain addict’, Moire has won the Irish Mountain Running Championship twice, and was the first woman to win the IMRA 50km Irish Mountain Navigational Challenge Series.

She says her first mountain race in 2006 was almost her last because “the wind blew me off my feet. The mist nearly made me get lost on top.

“The bog and heather tripped me up again and again. I hated it.”

But a day later, the pain was forgotten and she started serious training.

Moire lives in Cambodia now, working for Concern, with her Waterford-born husband Pete.

Although she has competed in marathons and ultra-marathons of 71kms all over the world, she says running in the snow outside Derry is one of her favourite memories.

“I had to get out of the house and feel the winter for myself. I headed in the direction of Foyle Bridge, spanning the freezing waters of the river,” she said, describing her Christmas Day run last year.

And she jokes that she jogged across the border at Bridgend to make some phone calls to Dublin and avoid international phone charges.

Moire’s book on mountain racing ‘Mud, sweat and tears’ is available online from Amazon Books and Smashbooks and is for sale at outdoor shops Basecamp and The Great Outdoors in Dublin.

And she writes about her adventures in Ireland and Asia on her blog:http://moireosullivan.com