Last year was the first year of the Slieve Croob Hill Challenge which would see the very best hill climbers go head to head as well as young and old challenging themselves to complete the 3.3 mile time trial to the top of Slieve Croob. This year with the help from Phoenix Natural Gas, Dromara CC will be putting on a Children’s Gymkhana on the morning of the 16th September. This cycling event is for the local youth at Finnis Primary School and starts from 10 am and finishes around 12:30. If you have children or grandchildren of primary school age bring them along with their bikes so they can take part.

Geri Wright, Communications Manager at Phoenix Natural Gas, said, “We are delighted to sponsor this event which is a key highlight in the sporting calendar for Dromara Cycle Club, and support the local cycling communities across our newly expanded licence area of County Down in what promises to be a memorable event.”
“Phoenix Natural Gas is actively engaged in supporting community events and in raising money for the Energy for Children Charitable Trust which has helped over 6,000 local disadvantaged children since its was established in 2005. Proceeds from the event will go towards helping even more local disadvantaged children and I would like to thank Dromara Cycle Club and all participants for supporting our charity. I would encourage all local cyclists and those from further afield to come along and get set for a fantastic day for all the family.”
“In addition to the main hill climb challenge, Phoenix Natural Gas is actively supporting the children’s gymkhana event by linking up with Dromara Cycling Club to bring a safety road show to the schools participating in the event. As a construction company, safety is our number one priority and I am delighted to bring the ‘Play Safe, Stay Safe’ programme to local schools as we work to extend the natural gas network in the area.

The programme is designed to be interactive, fun and engaging, whilst delivering a serious safety message which will help protect children in our local communities, and Dromara Cycling Club will also be on hand to offer advice on biking safe.”

In the afternoon the riders will be setting off for their challenge to cycle to the top of Slieve Croob from 2pm with the sign on at Peter Morgan Cottage on Dree Hill from Noon. Once they have completed the cycle they will be able to enjoy the downhill cycle back to the James King Pub where there will be a BBQ put on to replenish the energy. The first prize for the event is £100 with an extra £50 to anyone who breaks the current record which is 15mins 2 seconds held by Craig McAuley with the womens record standing at 20mins 18seconds held by Shalene McMurray. With over £200 worth of Spot prizes available, a free burger and finally a T-Shirt it should hopefully encourage everyone to pay the £10 entry fee (£5 of which goes straight to the Energy for Children Charity) to see if they can make it to the top. More details can be found here.

With such an epic event happening and you feel that you may not be ready to take on the highest tarmac’d road in Ireland then you are welcome to come up the Dree Hill Car Park to cheer on the other cyclists on their way to the top.

Many Thanks to Phoenix Natural Gas, Mourne Cycles, Velo Cafe Magasin, Dave Kane Cycles, SeeSense, Karen Flowers, Protamino Nutrition, Bike7 & Abernethy Butter Fudge for supplying the prizes for the event.