The story of the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle
Our story began some 36 years ago when a group from Killarney had an idea- to cycle the 175-kilometre ‘Ring of Kerry’ to raise money for charity.
36 years later, that vision hasn’t changed. Our story has. Today, the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle brings together 10,000 participants each year, making it Ireland’s largest one-day charity event. Together, we’ve raised almost €16 million for 150 charity organisations who make a powerful difference for people in need across our communities.
More than a One-Day Event
The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle is a more than a one-day cycling event. It’s about everyday people coming together and giving generously of their time to participate, to fundraise and to get involved. It’s this special sense of community spirit that makes the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle experience stand out.
Life Changing Impact
Every year, we open up an application process and carefully select a number of charities that will receive funds raised from the event. Much of the good work of these charities would simply not be possible without our support. To date, funds raised have contributed towards new hospital extensions, special needs facilities, care for the elderly, suicide prevention, sea and mountain rescue, cancer, kidney and end of life support and much more.
Experiencing ‘The Ring’
Cycling the Ring of Kerry is a remarkable accomplishment and a unique lifetime experience. The cycle is not competitive. It’s recreational. It’s this spirit of camaraderie, fun and friendship that makes the event stand out.
Highlights En Route
From 6am in Killarney, you’ll see people from all ages and walks of life set off in high spirits as they embark on the 175-kilometre route of spectacular scenery that is the ‘Ring of Kerry’. Set along the Wild Atlantic Way, ‘The Ring’ is a route steeped in history and lore as much as it is celebrated for its beauty.
En route, you’ll cycle through Cahirciveen, close to the birthplace of Daniel O’Connell who famously campaigned for Catholic emancipation in the 19th century.
At the seaside town of Waterville, you’ll pass through a favourite holiday location of celebrated comedian and filmmaker, Charlie Chaplin.
At Kelly’s Cross, you may pause to take in the house of Betty Breen who paints her home a different colour every year to mark this special occasion. On challenging hills, you may spot groups of people waving flags and drumming heartily to spur you on your journey.
From Killarney to Kenmare, from Sneem to Cahirciveen and home again, you’re sure to receive a hero’s welcome from the heart-warming cheers of thousands of supporters. Back in Killarney, there’s a carnival atmosphere that’s charged with emotion as tired but jubilant cyclists conquer the finish line and receive their medals.
Then there’s music, festivity and celebration as everyone becomes part of the Ring of Kerry Charity cycle experience.
Together we are the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle
Every year, it takes over 1200 volunteers and just one part-time employee to make our story possible. Preparation for the event takes months of hard work, careful planning and close community collaboration.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has participated, fundraised and volunteered over the past 36 years. This includes the teams from Traffic & Safety, Emergency Response, Stewards and Marshalls, the Gardai, the GAA and the Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle Committee to name but a few. Special thanks also goes to the people who generously hand out sandwiches and water on the day and who make the post-event clean up possible. Finally, we’d like to thank our community and the thousands of people who turn up to cheer on the cyclists and make the day extra special.
The Ring of Kerry Charity Cycle would simply not be possible without all of your continued time, support and generosity.
Thanks to you, our story continues.