The Brooks Caldera 6 is an ultra-devouring monster
My absolute favourite trail running shoe for Irish conditions
My entire history with Brooks until a few months ago was one pair of Adrenaline 19s which did not suit me at all. I always associated the brand with big reliable heavy running shoes for conservative joggers. The Caldera 6 takes that reputation and shreds it, in the best possible sense.
The perfect shoe doesn’t exist I’ve been on the hunt for the ultimate ultra-distance trail running shoe since I started going longer in 2017.
Posted by Conor O'Neill on Monday, May 22, 2023
Having a WTF moment at the Waterville Trail Running Festival
WTF could be our UTMB week if more people knew how doable it is
Waterville To my shame I had never been in Waterville until early 2022 when my Kerry Way Ultra recces began. Despite its remoteness, its position on the Ring of Kerry means it’s always busy and buzzing. And as an absolute bonus, all the tourist traffic means that vegans are very well catered for everywhere in the town!
Last year I also learned about the Waterville Trail Running Festival from Yvonne Walsh and vowed to give it a go this year.
Posted by Conor O'Neill on Monday, May 22, 2023
The Columbia OutDry Extreme Mesh is the running jacket I've been dreaming of
It is possible to have a waterproof running jacket. But it's not cheap
For someone who runs a lot in bad weather, I’ve bought very few running jackets since I started back in 2009. But once I started running trails, I had to up my game. They can be summarised as:
2009-2017 Various cheap generic windcheaters 2017 - Decathlon heavy running jacket. Not very breathable. Still use it. 2018 - The classic Ronhill Infinity Torrent Running Jacket with the chest pocket square. Still great.
Posted by Conor O'Neill on Monday, February 13, 2023
Conor's Top Tips for DNFing The Kerry Way Ultra
Everything I learned whilst failing to finish The Kery Way Ultra
DNF? For non-runners reading this, DNF means Did Not Finish. In my preview post I ended with “Let’s see how I do. Particularly when the rain comes in at night.”
On the plus side, the rain came in during daylight hours. But I’m getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back to the start.
Nope, nope, let’s thank some people first.
Thank Yous Elieen - The woman, the legend. Words like “community” and “culture” have become overused and devalued.
Posted by Conor O'Neill on Friday, September 9, 2022
Watch your first Ultramarathon online with the Kerry Way Ultra
Ireland's legendary Ultra, the KWU, will be covered live this year. 120+ miles in < 40 hours.
The Kerry Way Whilst millions of people have completed marathons over the past few decades, ultramarathons are still pretty niche. Ireland has a bunch of fantastic ultrarunners and a handful of amazing ultramarathons.
The big kahuna of them all is the Kerry Way Ultra, which is about to have its tenth outing on September 2nd and 3rd. The Kerry Way is a wonderful trail that traverses the entire Iveragh peninsula. Many people travel from the US and mainland Europe to do multi-day hikes of the route.
Posted by Conor O'Neill on Thursday, September 1, 2022
Mirch Masala - Best vegan menu in Ireland?
Incredible range of vegan and vegetarian dishes in Clonakilty
We are spending two weeks in Clon whilst our kitchen gets rebuilt and decided to treat ourselves to an Indian takeaway on the first night. A bit of googling revealed that there was a new place called Mirch Masala, so I loaded up their website on my phone and my jaw hit the floor as I started browsing the menu.
The range of vegan and vegetarian options is almost beyond belief.
Posted by Conor O'Neill on Wednesday, January 26, 2022
How Flahavan's Oat Milk can out-market the big brands
There are a few areas Flahavans could dominate quickly
I was so pleased when I heard Flahavan’s was getting into the oat milk market. As the most famous porridge brand in Ireland, it seemed like an obvious move.
I only turned plant-based in January 2020 and switched to oat milk pretty quickly as I preferred, and still prefer, its taste to all the other plant milks. Having Flahavans as an option along with the usual Oatly, Califia, Minor Figures and Alpro means I can now finally support Irish farmers again with my cuppa tea and coffee.
Posted by Conor O'Neill on Sunday, October 17, 2021
Tre Cime di Lavaredo - A European wonder hiding in plain sight
One positive pandemic outcome - From LMFF 2020 to a hike in the Dolomites
I got those Pandemic City Blues Four weeks ago I’d never heard of Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Last weekend we hiked around it and I’m still struggling to find the English to describe the beauty of what we saw. How we got there is kind of a funny story.
We humans have an ability to let trauma fade, which helps us in countless ways from childbirth and broken limbs to the death of loved ones.
Posted by Conor O'Neill on Friday, October 15, 2021
The Kerry Way Ultra Lite 2021 - Beyond Words
No you're not doing it some day, you're doing it today
This post will not do The Kerry Way Ultra Lite justice but I’ll do my best to decribe a wonderful race.
Some Day I had been vaguely aware of the Kerry Way Ultra for quite a few years and I even heard an elite US ultra runner list it as their top bucket list race on a podcast. But it was so far out of reach for me as to be almost mythical.
Posted by Conor O'Neill on Sunday, October 3, 2021
Hoka Speedgoat 4 - The perfect trail running shoe?
Why the hell did I wait so long to buy the Speedgoat?
I’ve been having mixed success with trail runners in 2021 which you can read about in previous mini-reviews:
Hoka Challenger ATR 5 GTX - Love the comfort and waterproofedness. Great for road-to-trail. Did 50-60 mile Sheeps’s Head Way twice in them. But very little grip in the wet. Saucony Peregrine 10 - Killed my heel. Unwearable. Great grip. Inov-8 TrailFly Ultra G 300 Max - Heavy, blister-inducing on rough ground, lethal on wet rocks.
Posted by Conor O'Neill on Wednesday, September 22, 2021