Culbert First Home After Two Full Days in the Saddle
Record Setting Performance for Dubliner
After a dominant and, outwardly at least, drama-free performance, Philip Culbert has won the Irish Ultra Challenge 2018.
The 48-year-old Dubliner rode to the finish Trim GAA Club in record speed after 1075 kms of riding and 47 hours and seven minutes in the saddle to scoop his first individual success in the Race Around Ireland partner event.
Culbert’s average speed of 22.81kmh is a new record speed for the Irish Ultra Challenge, eclipsing the old mark by 0.7kmh.
The Dublin-based computer consultant is a highly experienced marathon runner and adventure cyclist who first rode Race Around Ireland in 2016 as a member of the Indreni Thinkbike team. Success in his first solo foray on the event has never been in doubt since the riders set off from Trim Castle on Sunday afternoon.
Having led throughout, Culbert was some 115km ahead of his nearest opponent, Seán Hernon by the time he made it to the finish.
For Culbert, who has two team-mates from his forays in Race Around Ireland’s 2016 and 2017 with Team Indreni currently battling for honours in Race Around Ireland, the victory is another important step in his ultracycling odyssey.
“I went in to learn endurance here I am hours ahead of the next competitor and with a new course record,” he said.
“I thought I wouldn’t need any sleep, and in the end I managed it with two 15-minute sleeps.
“It’s a fantastic event, I was out there in 2016 and 2017 with the four-man team and the weather was good but this time the weather was atrocious with wind and rain. It was really energy sapping in the north and up around Donegal.
“In a long event there are always positives and negatives that go through your head.
“I got to the point where I had to take sleep. Cycling through Linnane at 5am I realised I just couldn’t go any further so I stopped for a 15-minute power nap. I stopped again about 60km later for another 15-minute sleep.
“The crew were fantastic. We decided to keep it simple so we had just one van with three lads alternating with two on duty all the time and one resting in the back.”
Barely off the bike and before he could even consider sleep, Culbert was already planning his next project.
“With events like this the training is a massive part of it. I have a family and a business and it’s a big commitment but absolutely, I don’t see why we won’t go again.”