10 March, 2011

Cork GAA stars finding (Bike) Rás race preparations harder than expected:

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Former sports stars launch Rás (Race) at Croke Park
33 kilometres into the first training session for the Cork leg of the Rás charity cycle, former Cork hurling stars Seán Óg Ó hAilpín and Seánie McGrath looked more than a little overwhelmed. The pair have signed up with Joe Deane, Mark Landers and Brian Corcoran for the event which will see them cycle from Castletownbere to Blarney to raise funds for a host of cancer charities and GOAL.
The ever entertaining Seánie McGrath (centre of photo)
Both Seánie and Seán Óg admitted to being very much outside their comfort zone in trying to master the mechanics of cycling and that the prospect of a 160km cycle was a daunting one. McGrath has no experience of cycling at such an intense level. "I did the white-collar boxing a few years ago which was also completely new to me at the time and I really enjoyed it, so I figured it would be a challenge. I didn't expect it to be so hard though. I feel like one of those Junior B hurlers who comes on to the field and has all the gear and you look at him and think this guy will be handy and then he is rubbish!"
"I'm kitted out from head to toe, in the best gear and have a top of the range bike but it feels completely alien doing it. We are going to train now together at least twice a week and I'm going to try and cycle to work a couple of days just to try and get myself familiar with the bike and more comfortable at stopping, changing gears etc."
Seán Óg helped to launch the Race; the Rás in Croke Park on February 17th and admitted he didn't expect to be so tired from the cycle. 
Seán Óg in a more familiar environment
"It's completely different to what I had expected. I could run around a pitch all day, but this is a completely different work-out, much tougher than I thought it would be. You are also using different muscles to what you use when you run, so it will be interesting to see how the training fits in with the club training, whether it will have a positive or negative effect. I have a completely new respect for cyclists after this morning, there is so much that you have to consider and learn about the bike and the road, it's not just a case of hopping on and away you go! I'm looking forward to the challenge and obviously it is a great cause, so we are hoping to raise lots of money in the process."
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