Killarney Cycling Festival

Cycle the Ring of Kerry The Wrong Way Round OR The Hard Way Round for the Killarney Cycling Festival on Saturday, 26th August 2017.

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Now in its fourth year there are two tantalizing routes are on offer. Depart from Killarney on the Wrong Way Round and tackle Molls Gap before heading for the scenic South West via Sneem. From there on the route is familiar passing Waterville, Cahersiveen, Glenbeigh and Killorglin.

Or take the challenge and cycle The Hard Way Round taking a right for Ballaghbeama through the heart of Kerry to Ballaghoisin, a detour around the stunning Skellig Ring before rejoining the main troop on the road to Cahersiveen.

Cross the finish line at the festival headquarters – The Gleneagle Hotel Killarney, where a barbecue and live entertainment will be ready and waiting.

There will be food stops dotted along the 160km & 180km routes and official festival road captains to accompany and guide you along the way.

Early bird registration open for a limited time only, with an optional extra donation which will go directly to the Donal Walsh LiveLife Foundation.

The registration fees will be used to finance the running of the event and any surplus made will also be donated to the Donal Walsh LiveLife Foundation.

Whether you’re a veteran on wheels or well and truly hooked round of your summer with a bang the last Saturday in August.



Cycle the famous Ring of Kerry in the opposite direction to the traditional anti-clockwise route for the Wrong Way Round Killarney Cycling Festival on Saturday, 26th August 2017.


An optional donation will go directly to the Donal Walsh #LiveLife Foundation as well as any surplus generated from the event.


At 188km, the Ring of Kerry is no “spin around the block”. Do you have what it takes to complete this World-famous route, THE WRONG WAY ROUND!





An optional charitable donation per Registration will go directly to the Donal Walsh #LiveLife Foundation, as well as any surplus money generated by the event.






Early BirdJan 31st€45 (non-refundable)€100 (x2 Entries – non refundable)€250 (Team of 5 – non refundable)
Standard EntryFeb 1st – August 25th€55 (non-refundable)€100 (x2 Entries – non refundable)€250 (Team of 5 – non refundable )
On the Day26 August 2017€60 (non-refundable)N/AN/A



*PLEASE NOTE: All Registrations are NON-REFUNDABLE


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Killarney has no shortage when it comes to accommodation. Why not stay at one of the Gleneagle Hotel Groups Award Winning Hotels



An optional charitable donation per Registration will go directly to the Donal Walsh #LiveLife Foundation including any surplus money generated by the event

Donal Walsh, the Kerry teenager who touched so many lives when he came to prominence through his writings and subsequent appearance on Brendan O’Connor’s ‘The Saturday Night Show’ is being honoured by his native county. Donal who fundraised tirelessly while battling Cancer has now had the Donal Walsh #Livelife Foundation set up by his family in order to bring forward his causes of providing age appropriate teenage facilities in hospital and hospice centres as well as promoting his anti-suicide message. #Livelife message.

The foundation will also assist in his other causes of providing age appropriate teenage facilities in hospital and hospice care centers.

All fundraising proceeds from The Killarney Cycling Festival will go to the Donal Walsh #Livelife Foundation. This charity was set up by the family of Donal Walsh, whose tireless fundraising for Suicide awareness while battling Cancer touched the lives of many. Donals campaign highlighted the need to provide better facilities and age appropriate teenage facilities in hospitals and hospice centers as well as promoting an anti-suicide message.

When registering there is an optional charitable donation that will go directly toward the Donal Walsh #Livelife Foundation.

EVERY day people say I’m brave, that I’m courageous and I hate that. I’m just doing what I have to do to survive, to live another day.

— Donal Walsh —

The Route

Cycle the Ring of Kerry The Wrong Way Round OR the Hard Way Round

The cyclists will head off from Killarney, before taking a right at Molls Gap and heading to Sneem.

From there on the 158.4km route is familiar, albeit backwards, and takes in Waterville, Cahersiveen, Glenbeigh and Killorglin. Then it’s the homeward stretch along the foothills of the McGuillycuddy Reeks through Beaufort.Cross the finish line at the festival headquarters – The Gleneagle Hotel in Killarney, where a BBQ and Live Entertainment will be ready and waiting.

The official start time is 7.30am from The Gleneagle Hotel

View Map

If the Wrong way round isn’t much of a challenge for you then we can promise the 181.1km Hard Way Round will rise to the occasion! Taking in the famous Skellig Ring this route located on the Wild Atlantic Way has been named one of the world’s top regions to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet.

Spectacular views await you while you navigate the category 4 climbs of Ballaghbeama 10% average gradient and Ballaghsheen 9% gradient. After scaling these 2 climbs “The Hard Way Round” really lives up to its name with a welcome to this fishing village of Portmagee via the infamous Coomaneaspaig Climb, a category 3 climb. Coomaneaspaig spikes to 18% in some sections. Not for the faint hearted but a serious achievement all the same. From there the Skellig Ring brings you back on route to Cahirsiveen where you will meet up with fellow cyclists from The Wrong Way Round.

The official start time is 7.30am from The Gleneagle Hotel

Download the “The Ultimate Sportive Riding Survival Guide” PDF by clicking HERE.

View Map

Gear and Equipment

We can’t predict the weather but planning for four seasons in one day is a good start!

A rain jacket, or wind breaker, appropriate cycling gear including cycling shorts/pants, long-sleeved jersey, a helmet (compulsory). Extra little snacks to keep you going between food stations, a water bottle (there will be opportunity to refill along the route), a basic repair kit to include a spare tube, pump and bike levers. Don’t forget to bring a change of clothes so that you can enjoy the after party!

***PLEASE NOTE: Cycling helmets are compulsory and must be worn at all time when cycling.


Parking is available at the festival headquarters, The Gleneagle Hotel, located on Muckross Road, Killarney. Parking will be complimentary as part of the Cycling Festival.

After Cycle Fun

The finish line is the festival headquarters, The Gleneagle Hotel. You are welcome to use the showering facilities at The Gleneagle Hotel where towels can be hired. There will be a celebration BBQ (please ensure you have your wrist bands to avail of this) and your supporters, family or friends are more than welcome to purchase items at the BBQ if they so wish. Entertainment will continue long into the night with live band followed by D.J Donal.


Training Plan

Follow our 5 week training plan designed to help you comfortably complete the Killarney Cycling Festival

Try to organise a 12 week plan for yourself that can work around your own schedule. Anytime you have free time or a few hours to spare, build up those extra miles by adding them into your afternoon or early morning route. Putting in the effort now while the weather is good (!) and the evenings long gives you a good platform to improve on 4 weeks before the day.

For the last week it is important to ease off the training. The night before get plenty of sleep, eat well, plenty of carbs…which shouldn’t be a problem, drink plenty water, hydration is the key and will stand to you on the day. Remember this is not a race; there will be plenty to eat and drink on the day for everybody to enjoy and take in the atmosphere.

Cycle the 180km in 5 weeks (beginner)

*H.I = High Intensity.










1Rest30k H.I.Rest20k HillsRest20 Easy50k
2Rest30k H.I.Rest20k HillsRest30k Easy70k
3Rest40k H.I.Rest30k HillsRest30k Easy90k
4Rest50k H.I.Rest40k HillsRest20k Easy110k
5Rest60k EasyRest20k EasyRestWrong Way Around – 160k / Hard Way Round – 180K


The Killarney Cycling Festival returns August 26th and registration is from €55. A twist on the traditional Ring of Kerry, The 160 KM Wrong Way Round has a few surprises up its sleeve or challenge yourself on the scenic 180KM Hard Way Round that circles the dramatic Skellig Ring.

With an optional charitable donation to the Donal Walsh #LiveLife Foundation registration includes access to the Festival after party, a barbecue and live entertainment, ready and waiting in The Gleneagle Hotel.

*Fee includes all operational costs, live entertainment & BBQ
**Fee is non-refundable
*** See Terms and Conditions for more details


Wild Atlantic Way

Have you ever dreamed of embarking on a journey of discovery to hidden places and secret worlds where all kinds of enchantments lay waiting for you? Well now you can, along the wildest, most captivating, coastal driving route in the world –Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way!

The Skellig Ring located on the Wild Atlantic Way has been named one of the world’s top regions to visit in 2017 by Lonely Planet.

There’s a distinctly edge-of-the-world feel to the Skellig Ring and this majestic location lays claim to the rising peaks of the awe-inspiring Skellig Rock.

Magical, mythical and incredibly tranquil place Skellig Michel has been uninhabited since the 12th century. Follow in the footsteps of the monks who once lived there, and enjoy a sense of peaceful solitude as you gaze back across the ocean to the mainland 12km away. Small Skellig, meanwhile, is famous in the world of ornithology, as it is home to some 27,000 pairs of gannets, making it the world’s second-largest colony of these sea birds.

These two remote islands off the coast of County Kerry eternally echo with the voices of ancient Ireland!

Wherever you go along the Wild Atlantic Way, you will encounter moments of magic, moments to treasure and experiences that will want to return to again and again.

Check out the official Wild Atlantic Way website HERE

Frequently Asked Questions

Most frequently asked questions about the Killarney Cycling Festival

Is this for charity?

There is an optional charitable donation to our nominated charity The Donal Walsh #LiveLife Foundation.

How much does it cost?

€55 + optional charitable donation.
*Fee is non-refundable

When does the Killarney Cycling Festival take place?

Date: 26th August 2017

Time: 7:30am

Do I need to be an experienced cyclist?

No, there will be support and guidance before, during and after the event.

How much training will I need?

5 weeks minimum training is required in order to have a good level of fitness for the cycle. See our “Training Plan” for a detailed 5 week training guide that will aid you in completing the Killarney cycling Festival comfortably

When does the Killarney Cycling Festival take place?

Date: 26th August 2017

Time: 7:30am

Where is event sign in?

All cyclists must sign in and collect their event information pack. This will take place in the INEC, Muckross Road, Killarney.

Event Sign in Times

• Friday 25th 1-2pm | 5pm-9pm
• Saturday 26th 6.30am-7.30am

What do I need to bring to sign in?

Please present your registration confirmation when you are signing in.

What do you get at sign in?

You will receive an event information pack which includes:
• Detailed event information and route map
• Cycling number – to be attached to your seat post . Without this ID you will not be able to enter the start area or avail or on route services / supports and food stops.
• Wristband- You will need to wear your wristband to access the food and refuel stops on the routes

What time does the cycle start?

7.30am in the INEC car park on Saturday 26th August. If you wish to leave earlier you may do so, but you may not have the support of stewards, mechanical or medical cover on the route.

What facilities are on the day?

On both routes the water facilities will be located as follows:
160km Route (Wrong Way Round)
• Molls Gap (30km)
• Sneem* (66km)
• Waterville* (102Km)
• Glenbeigh* (154km)
180km Route (Hard Way Round)
• Molls Gap (30km)
• Ballaghbeama (50km)
• Waterville* (102km)
• Glenbeigh* (154Km)
*Toilet facilities located here

Main Feed Stations

  • Waterville – Dalys Shops, Spunkane Waterville. 2.5km from Waterville Village on the N70 to Cahersiveen (located directly across from the Church).
  • Glenbeigh – Sheehans Centra.

Please place all your rubbish in the bins provided at each feeding station. Feel free to report to our marshals if you see anyone littering.

Are the roads closed?

There are no road closures for this event. Participants must obey the rules of the road at all times.


The 180km and 160km routes are marked out with distinctive Killarney Cycling Festival directional signage as well as stewards.


Please familiarise yourself with the two routes by visiting the route section here on the website. 

What do I need to bring on the cycle?

• Your bike must be road worthy and in good working order
• Helmet (every cyclist is required the wear a helmet)
• Water and snacks
• Spare tubes and pump
• Mobile phone and emergency phone number (provided on racing number).
• Emergency money & ID
• Wind / Rainproof top – Participants must be aware that weather conditions in Kerry can change quickly and you should bring appropriate clothing to keep warm in any adverse weather.
• Sun block – because you never know!

Where will the cycle finish?

The cycle will finish in the INEC Killarney

Is there designated car parks for this event?

The INEC and Gleneagle Hotel car parks are available for all participants as well as a secure bike area.

After the Event

After you cross the finish line you will receive your well earned 2017 Killarney Cycling Festival finishers’ medal! There will be an area for some pictures as well a Live DJ and BBQ. You will have to present your event wristband in order to avail of the BBQ. Remember No ID band might mean no burger!


Showers are available in the Aquila Club located onsite in The Gleneagle Hotel. Towels are available to rent at €1.

Need more info about the Killarney Cycling Festival? Please contact us using the form below.

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The Gleneagle Hotel
Muckross Road
Co. Kerry

General Enquiries
Tel: + 353 064 667 1533
Fax: + 353 064 663 2646


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