In a change to the calendar for many cycling enthusiasts, this year’s Fort2Fort Charity Cycle will take place on Saturday, 29th July, starting at Camden Fort Meagher, with a choice of distances around Cork Harbour to suit cyclists of all abilities. Ireland rugby legend Rory Best was on hand to launch the popular sportive that will, this year, raise vital funds for the Mercy University Hospital Foundation and four Cork City and County Lions Clubs (Cork, Carrigaline, Cobh and Bishopstown).
For the last two years, Fort2Fort took place in October; but to take advantage of fairer weather conditions, the summer date has been chosen for this year’s cycle which has routes covering 40km, 60km, 85km and 120km. “Couch to 40km” is an ideal option for budding cyclists and groups of friends newer to the sport who are looking for a fun summer challenge.
Now in its 12th year, the annual fundraiser has been hugely successful since it began, welcoming cyclists from 14 different counties across Ireland over the years. In 2022 Fort2Fort raised €21,675; and since its inception, over 4,000 cyclists have participated, raising €356,325 for the local beneficiaries.
Speaking at the launch of this year’s cycle, Martin Adams, Chairman of Fort2Fort said “The new July date for this year’s Fort2Fort gives the event a fresh boost, with more favourable conditions anticipated for cyclists. We look forward to welcoming back many of the participants who have supported the event in the past, and hope to see many new faces taking to the roads this year - whether it be their first group cycle, or they are veterans on the roads. The success of Fort2Fort is largely down to the support we receive from our cyclists, so I’d encourage anyone considering participating to come join us for what promises to be a very enjoyable day out; as regardless of your level, there are routes for all abilities!”
This year, Fort2Fort organisers have collaborated with OCEANR and made a sustainable choice for their souvenir merchandise for participants, opting for an eco-friendly neck gaiter, preventing up to 800 plastic bottles making their way into Cork Harbour and beyond. OCEANR’s main goal is ocean conservancy, which it achieves through sustainable clothing that reclaims and prevents plastic waste from entering our oceans.
Martin Adams explained “As our event is focussed around Cork Harbour, collaborating with OCEANR was an obvious choice for us; and choosing a sustainable souvenir neck gaiter for Fort2Fort participants is a sign of our commitment to ocean clean-up and climate action. We recognise our duty to implement change to preserve our planet, to be environmental stewards, and to respect where we work and play; and to help positively influence our impact on the planet and reclaim our oceans for a better future.”
Louise O’Brien, Community Fundraiser at the Mercy University Hospital Foundation, one of the beneficiaries of Fort2Fort, said “We are honoured to, once again, be a beneficiary of Fort2Fort, and funds raised will once again go towards the new Mercy Cancer CARE Centre, which is due for completion by the end of this year. The Cancer CARE Centre will provide a quiet and safe place for patients and their families to access an increasingly necessary range of services to support those affected both directly and indirectly by a cancer diagnosis; and will be home to our flagship Psycho-oncology service which is delivered by Clinical Psychologists. Bringing this project to fruition would not be possible without the support of those who have cycled Fort2Fort over the last number of years, and of course all the sponsors; and for that we sincerely thank them.”
Sponsors of 2023 Fort2Fort are Cork County Council, Arachas, Ronan Daly Jermyn, MSL, Carbon Group, Radisson Blu, and MCK EI.
The entry fee for Fort2Fort is €50 for those that register in advance; while the entry fee on the day will be €55, so early registration is recommended. For those taking on the challenge of the 65km, 85km or 120km routes, a food stop will be available at Bramley Lodge before the return cycle back to Camden Fort Meagher.
For full route and registration details see details HERE