The Maamturks Challenge, an annual event run by the NUI Galway Mountaineering Club, has
taken home the title of best Outdoor/Adventure Event for 2016 from the Outsider Magazine
Awards. The award was presented last night (Thursday 2nd February) at the Outsider Awards
in the Sugar Club on Dublin’s Leeson Street.
The Maamturks Challenge is organised on a non-profit basis by volunteer students from NUI
Galway, who take time out of their studies to organise and staff this event for the benefit of the
hillwalking community in Ireland, as well as for the local community.
The aim of the Challenge is to complete a traverse of the mountain range of the same name.
Two hundred members of the public line up to complete the 25km walk with an ascent gain of
2500m. The terrain is notoriously rocky and barren, and navigating the ridge in anything less
than ideal conditions can be a gruelling experience. Despite the challenge of the event, it is rare
to only ever participate once. Many participants are drawn back each year as an annual
pilgrimage to meet with friends from around the country.
The Challenge has been running since the 1970’s and celebrated its 40th Anniversary in 2015
with a special commemorative documentary being produced. The event is run with help from
the Galway Radio Club and the Galway Mountain Rescue Team and brings much business to
the local community in Maam and Leenane.
Many other events competed for the title of Best Event and the club is delighted to be the
recipient of this award. It is a recognition of all the hard work that has gone into the event over
the years. With the growing participation in outdoor events in recent years, popularity for the
Maamturks Challenge has also grown. The demand for places is higher than ever and this year’s
event sold out in about three minutes, faster than either U2 or Ed Sheeran. New improvements
are always being made and the club is determined to continue the hard work for years to come
to hold strong the tradition of this unique event.
This year’s challenge takes place on Saturday 8th April, find put more information on