What is The Long Weekend 2020?
Disappointed that the 40th Great North Run was postponed subsequently postponing the planned Rugby ‘Try’, another challenge was born. There will be a group of ten making up the peloton who will be cycling 410 miles round Northern Ireland over three days, now called ‘The Long Weekend’.
THE LONG WAY! Around Northern Ireland
Leaving the Royal Belfast Golf Club at 6am on Friday 16th October the peloton will cover 161 miles on day one by following the coast until Londonderry / Derry before heading south along the Irish border to Castlederg.
The peloton will then cover 149 miles on Saturday 17th October from Castlederg again following the border as much as possible before resting up in Warrenpoint for the night.
Sunday 18th October is a gentle 100 miles along the coast to Strangford before crossing Strangford Lough and continuing from Portaferry. The peloton will continue along the outside of the Ards Peninsula before arriving back before dark at the Royal Belfast Golf club where a couple of Guinness will be waiting.
My Name’5 Doddie Foundation
Who setup the Charity??
Age 50. From Edinburgh, Scotland but living in Belfast since 2015.
Occupation: Chief Executive of Royal Belfast Golf Club
Cycling & Rugby. Walking or running with our two dogs. Reading sporting autobiographies.
I have been a supporter of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation since 2018. Originally from Melrose in the Borders hence the connection with Doddie.
Always like to push the boundaries for the events I plan. This will be a great way of seeing more of Ireland and enjoying the ‘craic’ along the way.
Where you live: Comber, Co Down
Interests: Sport, particularly Soccer, Golf and Cycling
Other info: Past Chairman of Ballinamallard United Football Club, Past Captain of Donaghadee Golf Club, presently a member of Killinchy Cycling Club and a Axa Community Volunteer Bike Leader
Age 51 From Bangor, Co. Down
An enthusiastic BMX Racer in my early teens, I took a 25-year sabbatical to explore remarkably mediocre pursuits in rugby, golf, and laser dinghy sailing. Back cycling and racing bikes again for the past 12 years (this time mainly on the road).
Chartered Accountant. Principal of Webb and Co. Forensic Accountancy.
MND is unfortunately a subject close to my heart with my lifelong friend and cycling buddy Steve Bell having recently lost a massively brave fight against this cruel disease.
Interests: Cycling (member of NDCC), running.
(Member of NDAC), swimming and sport in general. Played competitive golf for many years before taking up triathlons.
Occupation: Retired in 2018 to allow for triathlon training!
I previously trained as a nurse in general and paediatric nursing. After a break to raise the family, I then worked as a Practice Manager in General Practice for 15 years.
Qualified and successfully competed in the Ironman World Championships in Kona, Hawaii in 2019.
Really enjoyed the ‘Long Weekend’ in 2020 cycling around Northern Ireland. This was a previous event organised by Stu.
I love challenges - I think this cycle around Ireland is going to be a big one! Really looking forward to it.
Also enjoy doing anything to help athletes or sports people who no longer can participate through injury or illness.
Age 53. From Ballymena, via Orkney and Melrose.
Occupation. Dentist at Galgorm Dental
Any form of fitness - Cycling, Running, Gym & Boxing being the main ones. Coaching Youth Rugby at Ballymena and Athletics (Hurdles) at Ballymena & Antrim Athletic Club
Stu’s brother, and like him, I have been a supporter of the My Name’5 Doddie Foundation for three years. Lived most of my childhood in Melrose, hence the connection with Doddie.
Did the last two legs of the first Great Rugby Cycle and the Mizen to Malin Challenge.
Competed Internationally for Scotland & N. Ireland at Athletics (400m Hurdles). Played rugby for Ballymena & Melrose.
Aged 57 from Belfast. Scotland, Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Ulster, Malone, and the variety of other clubs in England, Scotland and Ireland who would have me or let coach.
I had the pleasure of touring New Zealand with Doddie and subsequently playing with and against him. In recent years I have also sadly learnt of others, including friends, suffering from, and dealing with MND. It is a privilege to be part of this peloton, taking up this challenge and both personally and on behalf of others, helping to raise awareness and funds into MND research.
The day job is providing: Secure document storage, management, scanning and destruction. Promoting BIG heat pumps delivering zero carbon district heating and cooling solutions and ISO Standards consultancy and auditing services – therefore plenty to discuss if having any difficulty sleeping.
On a lighter note I help coach at Campbell College, I am still playing for The Perennials R.F.C a veteran’s team, focused on fun and enjoyment, in raising funds for local causes – with the motto:
“rich in decaying matter”.
I am also part of a recently established Mixed Ability Rugby Team the “Malone Tornadoes” providing adults, with varying degrees of physical, mental or learning differences, the opportunity of playing full contact rugby, being part of the club a team and treated as just another rugby match.
Excitingly both The Great Doddie Cycle around Ireland and the Mixed Ability World Cup have been rearranged for 2021
Com’n the Doddie
I am a very enthusiastic cyclist and have been involved with NDCC for 10 years. I am also a keen endurance runner and open water swimmer.
I am currently training my body to train for an endurance triathlon of note.
I am currently between jobs having sold my business earlier this year. So, I should not have any excuses for being unprepared.
I have been motivated to get involved in this event for 2 reasons.
My good friend and fellow cyclist / golfer / rugby teammate Steve Bell sadly passed away last year having succumbed to MND.
Having played rugby for Bangor during the 90’s I watched in awe as Doddie Weir ran rampantly through meagre Irish defences for the best part of a decade.
Age 43 from Helen's Bay
Anything sports related. Mostly Golf, Rugby, Football and Triathlon. (in reverse order).
Proprietor of Asap Cargo Ltd.
A committed juggler of time! Which involves raising 4 active young boys. Managing an ever-growing business and fulfilling an unhealthy addiction to long distance triathlon racing. Oh, and throw in some golf. If that is not enough; why not drop in 410 miles of cycling in 3 days. Loving life and would not have it any other way.
Very happy to be raising funds and awareness for Motor Neurone Disease.
Age 41. From Edinburgh, Scotland (but raised in Cheltenham and via Oxford and Bath ending up in
Being active, playing / watching most sports
Private equity fund
I have had 2 injury related false starts at joining Stu on these amazing endeavours over the last few
years so ‘looking forward’ to this one. My legs and backside might not be as enthusiastic given I have
done less miles on the bike over the last 3 years than we are now doing in 3 days but should be a good
challenge and for an incredible cause. I never played a rugby match with Doddie but have had the
good fortune of being in his company on a number of occasions, most recently sharing a lot of pints at a
Borders reunion in 2019; an incredible human being whose courage and outlook on life is truly
Age 51. From Bangor Co Down
Cycling, road biking and mountain biking member of North Down cycling club. I love spending time doing all sorts of exercise which could be a trip to the gym or swimming in the cold sea around the Ards Peninsula. I don't mind as long as I get my fix! We have to recently brought a renovation project and this has meant that I have spent a lot of time recently on bringing our Old Victorian property up to the twenty first century, and it’s always good to spend some quality time with my family and our dog.
I am currently a regional manager for Arcadia overseeing stores in both NI and Eire, which involves a lot of car time travelling around Ireland. I enjoy seeing this fantastic country at a slower pace on the bike rather than speeding around in a car.
I participtaed in the Mizen to Mallen challenge last year which I thoroughly enjoyed although the legs told me a different story for a few days after. Always up for a challenge and keen to meet new people whilst doing what I love.
Aged 61 from Bangor Co Down
Cycling, MTB/Road. Rugby. Keeping Fit.
Retired. Work part time as a fitness instructor.
Started cycling approximately 5 years ago. Completed a couple of challenges including Edinburgh to London. Looking forward to the challenge that the Long weekend represents and getting to know the rest of the Peloton.
THE LONG WAY! Timings and Schedule
Friday 16th October:
6am Leave Royal Belfast Golf Club
06:00 – 09:00 Royal Belfast GC to Carnlough Harbour 48 miles
09:45 – 12:45 Carnlough Harbour to Royal Portrush GC 45 miles
Lunch stop at Royal Portrush GC.
13:45 – 16:45 Royal Portrush GC to Derry / Londonderry 40 miles
17:30 – 19:30 Derry / Londonderry to Castlederg 28 miles
Day total 161 miles
Saturday 17th October:
7am Leave Castlederg
07:00 – 09:00 Castlederg to Belleek 31 miles
09:45 – 12:45 Belleek to Teemore 40 miles
13:30 – 15:30 Teemore to Monaghan 32 miles
16:15 – 19:30 Monaghan to Warrenpoint 46 miles
Day total 149 miles
Sunday 18th October:
7am Leave Warrenpoint
07:00 – 10:15 Warrenpoint to Ardglass GC 45 miles
Coffee & Scones stop at Ardglass GC
11:00 – 11:45 Ardglass GC to Strangford 10 miles
12:45 – 15:45 Portaferry to Royal Belfast GC 45 miles
Day total 100 miles