A Brief Team History

The ‘Average Joes’ formed for the first Beast of Ballyhoura 36hr Adventure Race back in August 2007. The team then comprised of Paul McArthur, Rowan McMahon, Ivan Park and Melanie Spath. It was planned to be an one off team just brought together for this race, but after a very successful 3rd place, Paul and Rowan decided to continue with the team and the name ‘Average Joes’.

Ivan had is own AR team ‘Causeway Coast AR Team’ and Mel concentrated on her x-country MTBing (currently the top female rider in Ireland), so Paul and Rowan were on the look out for a couple of new members.

Paul soon recruited Jonny Gallier from the local orienteering club (LVO), knowing an extra navigator would be key for future races. Kate arrived on the scene from a rowing background. She was completely new to the sport of adventure racing, but showed potential of becoming very good and so we asked her to join the team.

2008 was a very successful year for the team (see results page). The only ‘blimp’ was having to pull out of the Portugal XPD in December after Kate got injured.

At the beginning of 2009 Kate moved on and Paul, Rowan and Jonny were on the look out for a new female team member. As the team had no ‘big’ plans for the year (Rowan’s wife was expecting their 3rd child in August), it was agreed to race with various ‘guest’ racers and then sit down and see if we needed a full time female member at the end of the year.

Again, 2009 has been a very successful year, especially during the Rat Race series where the team had consistently finish within the top 5 in the four races we entered, including the big one in London.

During the year the following people have joined the Average Joes and helped continue with the team’s success; Rachel Majumdar, Ivan Park, Ivan Millar, Tom Oldfield, Barry Tinnelly, Di Di Baxter, Julie Murphy, Marcus Pinker and Zanthe Wray.

Hopefully the team will continue for 2010 and, of course, continue their success as one of the top AR teams in Ireland. (updated 20/10/09)

The Core Team Members are……

Rowan McMahon

Rowan McMahon is a mountain biker turned adventure racer. He has cycled and competed in events across Ireland, Europe and America. The most notable of these events being the gruelling Transalp Challenge where, in 2006, he finished well up the rankings in a field of profesional and semi professional racers. Having turned his attention to mountain running and racing during the past few years he is now a regular at the Hill and Dales race series held weekly from April to June in the Mourne Mountains and some of the longer British Championship fell races. 2007 was his first full foray into the world of Adventure Racing. This proved to be a successful year and he was on the winning team of the Real Cycles 1 Day Adventure Race Series and came third in the Beast of Ballyhoura.

Jonny Gallier

Jonny Gallier has had much success in various sports. A budding orienteer from an early age, Jonny was also a highly successful rugby player at university. Jonny’s search for adventure has taken him on Nordic skiing expeditions to Norway as well as trips to Canada and Kenya where he spent several weeks kayaking, rock climbing, mountain biking and mountaineering. He was the Northern Ireland Services Orienteering Champion in 2004, 2005 and 2007. In 2006 Jonny competed in the O-Ringen Orienteering Championships in Sweden which renewed his enthusiasm for this sport. He subsequently joined Lagan Valley Orienteers where, in 2007 he won both the Sprint O and MTBO Championships. In 2006 and 2007, Jonny also raced in the Mourne Mountain Marathon. Since completing in his first adventure race in 2006, where his team were narrowly beaten into second place, Jonny has become a successful feature on the AR circuit, competing in many races throughout Ireland and the UK.

Paul McArthur

Paul McArthur is an experienced climber, with many first and second ascents in Ireland. He has also climbed throughout Britain, Europe (including the Alps) and Western USA. Paul is also a highly successful Irish adventure racer, with wins at the Realcycles Adventure Race Series (2006/07), 3rd place at the 24hr Beast of Ballyhoura and several top place finishes in the Irish Adventure Race Series. His international-level experience includes UK ACE Races (2nd mix), Adrenalin Rush 2003 (10th), Wilderness ARC 2005 (4th) and Wilderness ARC 2006 (5th). In 2007 Paul represented Ireland in the Adventure Racing World Championships. Other achievements include fifth-place in the High Peak Marathon 2006, a 42 mile night-time fell fun, and wins at the Wicklow 24-hour Rogaine (2003 and 2005, 2nd in 2007).


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