Everybody home safe and sound from The Run Of The Country 2018, thank goodness. We had a great day out on the motorbikes. There were three outstanding parts to the day. The beginning the middle and the end. That was the whole day. The breakfast was super the route was awesome and the food at the dinner was beautiful. It was a perfect day. The weather cooperated too.
The Run Of The Country 2018 was a resounding success. The event raised over €10,000 for Malta Services Drogheda. The money will make a real difference to peoples lives. Funds raised from this event will go directly towards assisting people to work towards and achieve specific personal goals.
After the formalities of registration the 39 riders sat down to a hearty cooked breakfast. Prize winning sausages rashers and puddings were provided by our sponsor Eddie Tuite of Tuites Butchers. Top class fare for the bikers.
The final destination, the Cavan Crystal Hotel was not revealed until the penultimate check point in Grange Co. Sligo. The first leg of the trip was to Cootehill. Although the suggested route to Cootehill was straight forward for some, It presented monumental difficulties to one rider.. As a result of reading glasses on another motorbike and mobile phone out of power one rider got it all wrong. At a roundabout 3 kilometres out of Drogheda he took a wrong turn and the rest is history.
Cootehill was jam packed with farmers and tractors. They were taking advantage of a “Tyre Amnesty”. Farmers were able to get rid of all the old tyres around the farms to be recycled without charge. Fortunately the bikers were able to filter through the mayhem to make the check point on time. The check point was manned by Mark McCormick who stepped into the breach at very short notice.
Next stop was Glenfarn in County Leitrim. Home of the ‘Ballroom of Romance”. To get there they had to pass over the Ballyvarry Gap. This is one of the best motorcycling roads in Ireland although in times past it was a smuggling and gun running route. It passes the Shannon pot too.
The arrival of 39 bikers for lunch created a bit of a stir in Clancies Of Glenfarn, the only eating house around. Locals were a little discommoded at the delays for their dinner caused by bikers who should have been somewhere else as far as they were concerned. Mark Tobin had set off early to administer the check point.
Grange., Sligo in 2012 was briefly featured in the national news when someone discovered early 20th century Mills type 36 grenades at a private residence in the village. An army team descended on the locale and exploded the grenades. The arrival of 39 bikers was of no significance at all at all. This leg of the run was over the Lough Melvin Drive. It is an outstanding drive along the western shore of Lough Melvin..The road crosses high ground which provides wonderful views of the lake and the leisure fishing boats. The lake is famous for its early run of Atlantic salmon.
The last leg to The Run Of The Country was through Sligo, Blacklion and on to Cavan. Outside Sligo is Glencar Lough and Glencar Waterfall. A large number of the bikers stopped here for a Kodak moment. The winning photograph from the run was taken here by Elaine Leavy.
At dinner that evening the Kennedy Motorcycle / Height for Hire Poker Run results were awarded. Dereck O’Connor was the fortunate winner of the top prize of an Arai helmet. He pulled 4 jacks at the various checkpoints.
Colm Byrne from Dundalk remarked “who ever picked them roads for motorcycling gets 10 out of 10. They were fantastic.”
Sincere thanks to all the principal sponsors including: Height for Hire, Kennedy Motor Cycles, Tuites Butchers and other sponsors TRM, BWG The Value Centre, Centra McDonnells, Wincanton, Bru, Dunnes Stores, Marks & Spencers, Michael Briscoe Electric, Woodies, Scholars Townhouse, Lidl, The Blackbull, Eurospar Morans and Bike World.