The Tour Video

Cycling in the Snow
Some of the harsh conditions that were endured in New Zealand

For a glimpse of the highs (witnessing Ireland destroy Australia and Italy) and the lows (Hypothermia) that Andy went through on his tour of New Zealand, watch the video below.

A massive thank you to everyone who helped out with the Digino Challenge. Don’t forget you can still . The have also launched the jersey worn by the team on the tour to help raise funds for seriously injured Rugby Players.

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The Green Army in Dunedin

Chris, Brian, Andy & Gary after the Kangaroo CourtChris, Brian, Peter, Andy & Gary celebrating in the Octagon in Dunedin after the Kangaroo Court

Dunedin had been completely infiltrated by the Irish for the Italian match. However, before we could rejoin the festivities there was the small matter of the ‘Kangaroo Court’ to contend with. This Kangaroo court was set up to individually trial each of us for our crimes on tour. Nobody escaped humiliation.

The Cycling Irish at Ireland v ItalyThe “Cycling Irish” at Ireland v Italy

The octagon in the centre of the city was the perfect setting for the party.There was a sea of green. I have never seen so much face paint, green wigs and flags before. The traveling army were in great spirits and as we marched to the stadium it seemed inevitable that we would beat the Italians that night. The men on the field did the business and the the stadium atmosphere was electric well after the final whistle. It was the perfect ending to an amazing journey.

Irish v ItalyThe Irish after their win against the Italians

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The Final Dash

Sat 1st October: Naseby to Middlemarch via MacCrae’s – 139km

Our tenth day on the road was to be our final one. The early wake up calls and the constant struggle to uniform up in our Lycra attire, the dehydration and constant hunger would all be a memory in only a few hill climb filled hours. My body thankfully had held up to this point and other than a complete lack of appetite for electrolyte drinks and energy bars I really didn’t want this incredible journey to come to an end.

Everyone had a spring in their step as we saddled up in Middlemarch. The climbs to Dunedin varied from the usual drags to the now also very family sheer ascents. The cycling terrain was our most challenging since before Queenstown but with the finishing line in sight we had that extra imputes to scale our final set of hills. Considering the amount of kilometers we had clocked up it was a credit to the whole pack of cyclists that we were still able to reach Outram, our last stop off point before Dunedin in great time.

The Final Train to DunedinThe Final Train to Dunedin

As we set off for Dunedin at a more reserved pace on the coast road it really did feel like we were part of a team. The final train worked seamlessly. It must have been an impressive sight for any passers by. The hours and hours of quite literally blood sweat and tears were about to come to an end. The group was at its tightest at that point. We all had a mutual respect for what each other had achieved. For some, this journey had started almost a year ago. Fundraising and planning, leading to charity events through to tough training and finally a far more difficult few weeks on the road and it was all going to be finished in only a few kilometers.

The full cycle crew having just reached DunedinThe full cycle crew having just reached Dunedin

As soon as we crossed the finish line in Dunedin the bottles of bubbly were passed around. I could barely put down my bike before I was handed a glass of champagne. The party had well and truly begun with everyone hugging and singing. The support crew had their car radio at full blast pumping out all the cheesy celebration numbers. Forgetting the time difference I rang a few numbers in my phonebook to share my illusion. Needless to say they all rang out… I might have been a little disheartened if I wasn’t on cloud nine.

DJ Gaillimh blasted out the tunes on our bus from the beach to our hotel. My voice was nearly gone by the time we arrived at our hotel after we roared out the likes of ‘Horse Outside’ and ‘Don’t Stop Believing’. At the hotel we donned our glad-rags and dancing shoes before being greeted by none other than Declan Kidney. He had taken time out of his hectic schedule the day before an international to congratulate us on our efforts and genuinely seemed impressed. I wished him best of luck against the Italians!

Declan Kidney Greeting the IRFU Charitable Trust Cyclists in DunedinDeclan Kidney greeting the IRFU Charitable Trust Cyclists in Dunedin before our celebration dinner with the president of the IRFU, John Hussey

We had a congratulatory dinner on the harbour with the player’s parents and other travelling dignitaries hosted by John Hussy, the president of the IRFU. Everyone was given a chance to take the stage and sing as the wine flowed. It was a late night! The celebrations continued into the next day.

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A Pleasant Day in Otago

Fri 30th September: Naseby to Middlemarch direct – 79 km

The ride to Middlemarch was nothing short of a joy. Rolling landscape, light winds and sunshine made the day pass without a hitch. There were a few tough climbs early in the morning and some long drags after our break but most of us were well able for the route. The day on the road flew so we had plenty of time to chill out in the afternoon sun in Middlemarch.

Digino's Andy and Mick Galwey in MiddlemarchDigino’s Andy and Mick Galwey in Middlemarch

Although we cycled as far as Middlemarch we stayed in the rejuvenated Hyde. Hyde was a gold mining boom town of the 1860′s Otago gold rush and with more and more people enjoying the recently restored Otago cycling trail the town is experiencing a rebirth. Our final meal on the road was served up to us in a newly refurbished school house. The food on the trip was really great but everyone agreed that our best meal of the tour was in Hyde.

Our final night on the road was spent at Otago Central Hotel in HydeOur final night on the road was spent at Otago Central Hotel in Hyde

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Curling in Naseby

Thurs 29th September: Alexandra to Naseby – 89 km

We were warned in our morning briefing in Alexandria that there would be one or two long hills to contend with on our way to Naseby, but compared to what we had encountered to date we’d be well able for them. Now the countryside seemed much more like Ireland. It felt like we could have been in Wicklow or Connemara for long stretches. In fact after only a few hours into our cycle we came across a suspended bridge named after none other than our own Daniel O’Connell.

The Irish on the Daniel O'Connell Suspended BridgeThe Irish on the Daniel O’Connell Suspended Bridge

With very little traffic we were able to cycle in a train of pairs. In our train each one of us would take a turn at the front to act as a wind breaker for everyone following behind. This rotation would mean you had a different person to chat to every two minutes or so. This worked like speed dating on bikes and it was a great way for all of us to get to know each other. Everyone remarked how beautiful the weather was on our two minute chats.

The cycle to NasebyFlying to to Naseby

The rolling hills were perfect for cycling. If you managed to build enough speed on the way down one hill you could almost freewheel up the next. When the tougher hills came we knew all about it. There wasn’t a hope we could free wheel up them but sure enough, the experience of pacing ourselves up the mountains before did make it far more manageable and nearly all of us were able get through them.

Curling in Naseby, New ZealandCurling in Naseby, New Zealand

We arrived in the sleepy town of Naseby by mid afternoon. The accommodation was dodgy to say the least. Poorly decorated porto-cabins from the sixties would have to do as there was no real other spot for miles. The less said about it the better. At least we did get to try our hand at Curling, a sport not too many Clare men can say they have attempted. Basically curling is bowls on ice. Although some of the crew seemed to be really enjoying it, other than roaring sweep I wasn’t able to see the attraction.

Mick and Joanne CurlingMick and Joanne Curling in Naseby

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A Gentle Introduction for Gaillimh

Wed 28th September: Queenstown to Alexandra – 93 km

The Irish Lads At FergburgerThe IRFU Charitable Trust Lads at Fergburger

Queenstown was great but if we were to watch our lads do the business against the Italians in Dunedin we had to get back on the saddle. We said our goodbyes to FergBurger, Lake Wakitipu and our luxury hotel but I know I will return some day.

Christ and Andy Leaving QueenstownChris and Andy leaving Queenstown

The two full days rest for the legs really did the trick and everyone was back on the bike for what proved to be the easiest day of the whole tour. I’m sure Gaillimh was asking himself what all the talk of our hardship was up to that point. With traffic being quite busy we were afforded the luxury a bus trip just outside the town itself. This cut a few climbs out of our day and left us with a beautiful spin along the Kawarau Gorge. The slight drags now and then were hardly noticeable before lunch as we passed some old shacks on the far side of the the Kawarau River from New Zealand’s historic gold rush.

Kawarau GorgeThe very impressive Kawarau Gorge

The whole morning was beyond pleasant with little traffic to worry about and a gentle pace that saw all of the tour remain in a single train. We arrived in Cromwell for our lunch break earlier than was planned so we were able to relax in the sun outside the quaint roadside cafés. The local radio station had announced that we would be on the roads that day so everyone we met had questions for us. There was even time for a photo for yet another local newspaper.

The IRFU Charitable Trust Lads at CromwellThe IRFU Charitable Trust Lads at Cromwell

After lunch the group split into two. Anyone who wanted to pick up the pace for the rest of the cycle could go ahead. I was in my element bombing up hills with the pack of stronger cyclist. We really did make incredible time and arrived in Clyde by early afternoon. With its relaxed one horse town vibe, Clyde was the perfect rest stop. We chilled out in the warm sun with a beer at an old tavern before heading off to our motel in Alexandra for an early shower.

The IRFU Charitable Trust Lads at ClydeThe IRFU Charitable Trust Lads enjoying a few pitchers outside a Clyde Tavern

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Lake Wakitipu - QueenstownBoats on the shore of Lake Wakitipu

Queenstown has to be seen to be believed. There is a real energy about the place that makes it really hard to leave. We were staying in a great hotel and everyone was receiving some much needed treatment in the spa. A few of us even dived into the ice cold Lake Wakitipu to sooth our aching muscles. It turned out to be more of a painful experience than a refreshing dip.

Lake WakitipuHilary, Peter, Chris, Aisling & Andy braving the ice cold Lake Wakitipu

The views from the gondola that takes you up to the Skyline restaurant of the Remarkables and the lake is breathtaking. It’s the extreme capital of the southern hemisphere so I felt completely at home. The last time I was here I did my first bungee and on this occasion I had hoped to try my hand at paragliding, but it was too windy, so I’ll have to wait ’til the next time! Instead, I had to settle for going on a ridiculously high-speed jet boat through canyons. That was a great laugh.

Jet-Boat - QueenstownJet Boating in Queenstown

It was such a relief not to be waking up at first light to be briefed for another torturous day of peddling up hills. Most of the crew had at least one Fergburger and a bungee during the two full days spent there and I think we made an appearance in every single pub in the town.

Brian bungeeBrian doing a bungee in Queenstown

We met up with Irish Rugby legend, Mick Galwey and found out that he would be cycling with us the rest of the way to Dunedin. It was nice to have another Munster man on board but I’m not sure he really knew what he was letting himself in for. We were all delighted to have him on board. Everyone had a smile on their face in Queenstown.

Queenstown, New ZealandQueenstown, Lake Wakitipu and the Remarkables

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A Final Push to Ferg!

Sun 25th September: Wanaka to Queenstown – 68 km

As nice as it was to be hot-tubbing it on the shores of Lake Wananka, enjoying the world renowned Ferg Burger in Queenstown was literally something I had dreamed of since I last visited in 2008. Between us and Queenstown was the task of climbing through the Crown Range up the highest paved road in New Zealand!

The Lads at WanakaThe lads in Wanaka, all set for Crown Range

The morning we left Wananka there was a very harsh cold head wind. We all worked as a team, taking turns to lead the train to the foot of the mountain up the toughest drag of the tour. If it wasn’t for the hard work of everyone in that train, getting to our first break of the day would have been nearly impossible, not to mention making it up the 1091 meters above sea level that would follow.

The climb after the break was a real slog. Around every corner there was an even steeper incline that would have to be attacked. The support crew were perfectly placed halfway up the climb to shout on encouragement and provide a banana – an absolute godsend at that stage of the climb! By the time we had reached the snow it really didn’t feel like the road was ever going to level off. The sense of achievement at the top wouldn’t be surpassed for the rest of the cycle.

Crown RangeThe first view of Queenstown from Crown Range

The descent to Arrowtown was probably a spectacular sight but there was no opportunity to take your eyes off the gravelly road. The zigzagging and fast tight corners were great fun to negotiate but it was a miracle that only one person came off their bike (nothing too serious) that day. From Arrowtown we had a very hilly cycle to Queenstown. Before we would meet the support vehicles again we would have one final short but sheer climb. So sheer in fact, that I was lifting my front wheel off the road as I tried to force my pedels to turn. If you were to stop there was no hope of getting back on the saddle.

On ariving in Queenstown we posed for photos for a local newspaper. Before I knew it we were slugging back Guinness, watching Ireland make light work of a hardy Russian team in Póg Mahone’s. That night, after a huge dinner and with a few more pubs visited, I wandered off from our singing crew for my first Fergburger in four years… and it didn’t disappoint. I was back for another two more giant burgers before we would leave.

Ferg BurgerMy first Fergburger in four years

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Mountains, Waterfalls, Blue Pools, Valleys, Rivers and Lakes

Sat 24th September: Haast to Wanaka – 141 km

Waterfall Haast PassOne of the many waterfalls at Haast Pass

The journey from Haast to Wanaka began with freezing cold rain that just got heavier and heavier as the morning progressed. This rain fed the giant waterfalls that pounded down the steep mountains on both sides of the road. It was sensational. Despite the loss of feelings in my fingers and being soaked through I wouldn’t have wanted to be anywhere else.

Andy and Aisling in Full Wet GearAndy and Aisling in Full Wet Gear

Before lunch we had to climb the steepest ascent to date. On our way up Haast Pass through ‘Hell’s Gate’ we were flagged by sheer drops to the amazing blue mountain pools. It was a real test of endurance to the snow-capped top and I don’t know would I have been able to keep in the saddle if it wasn’t for the musings of Tommy Tiernan in my earphones. On the other side of the mountain we had a quick rest for a cup of tea at a roaring fire. The weather had dramatically improved, but with a severe headwind promised, we were in a race to get to Wanaka.

Paul and Brian at the firePaul and Brian drying off with our gear after the Haast Pass climb

New Zealand has an unrivaled landscape and this route epitomised its magnificence. No sooner were we leaving the rugged terrain of the Southern Alps when we were greeted with rolling valleys with meandering rivers and deep blue lakes.

Andy at lake HaweaDigino’s Andy at lake Hawea

The last time I took the trip from Haast to Wanaka it took me only a few relaxing hours in a warm automatic car. This time, after a very long day on the bike I arrived at the lakeshore town, dizzy with exhaustion. Wanaka was every bit as beautiful as I remembered from my previous visit. After posing for a few photos for the local press a few of us enjoyed a beer in our motel’s outdoor hot tub. That night we were treated to an amazing BBQ, full of carbs and protein. A brilliant finish to the greatest day of cycling in my life.

irfu charitable trust wanakaA very tired team on the shores of Lake Wanaka

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Three Sisters, One Andy

Fri 23rd September: Franz Joseph Glacier to Haast – 145 km

Franz Josef was the perfect place to rest. Saying that, three days of hard cycling were beginning to take their toll and our team was riddled with injuries. Thankfully, other than a longing for a softer saddle, I managed to keep injury free. This was such a blessing considering I had the Three Sisters to tame before lunch.

The-Kings-of-The-MountainRobbie, Andy and Paul at the top of the third sister

The Three Sisters were three mountains that we would have to climb, one directly after the other, only a few kilometers into our longest day of the whole tour. They were a very intimidating prospect and anyone with any sort of niggle would know all about it by the top for the third sister. Although on paper, the rest of the route was quite flat, it wouldn’t be long before the sweeping undulations would turn in to one final fierce climb. Half way up the climb was a beautiful cliff top view of the Tasman sea. This was to be our final view of the west coast.

Tasman ViewThe final view of the Tasman sea before we headed onto Haast

Any other day this type of climb would be quite doable, but with 120 kilometers and the Three Sisters completed already that day, it really was a tough slog. By the time we had arrived at Haast there was a lot of very defeated looking characters.

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A Trip to the Glacier

Wed 21st September:Hokitika to Franz Joseph Glacier – 132 km

Bikes laid out at at HokitikaOur bikes laid out for us at our motel in Hokitika before a tough day on the saddle

Day three, from Hokitika to Franz Josef, turned out to be our hilliest day in the saddle. Cycling though the rain forests was amazing and helped to distract from the long drags. The aches and pains were starting to settle in but any thoughts of feeling sorry for myself would have to be wiped clear if I was to conquer Mount Hercules!

IRFU Charitable Trust Team with English Rugby FansMixing with English Rugby Fans on our lunch break before the climb up Mount Hercules

Thankfully, the months of training up the Cork-Screw Hill in the Burren had me well prepared for this obstacle. Before I knew it I had zigzagged my way up to the imposing summit and could look forward to traversing all the way down the other side. There was still a lot of cycling to be done but our reward for the hard slog would be our first rest day at the foot of the incredible Franz Josef Glacier.

Franz Josef Glacier Franz Josef Glacier

After a night of partying a few of us decided the best way to shake off our hangover would be to go kayaking in Lake Mapourika. Most people in our tour took a heli-hike up the glacier itself but as I was lucky enough to have visited it before I decided to try something a little different. We had a nice relaxing day in the shadow of the incredible glacier but the highlight of the day was listening to former Irish out-half, Mick Quin tell us his hilarious stories from his time touring New Zealand and playing the All Blacks. None of which could be repeated on this blog!

Lake MapourikaKayakaing on Lake Mapourika

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Arthur’s Pass to the Coast

Tues 20th September: Flock Hill to Hokitika – 137 km

Despite having just survived some of the ‘gnarliest’ conditions our guides had ever seen there was no time to reflect as the next morning we were up at first light to get our bikes serviced. Thankfully the weather system had passed and although it felt bitterly cold the skies were bright blue. I wrapped up in every layer I had and probably looked a little like the Michelin Man but after the previous days events I was taking absolutely no chances.

Andy in all his LayersClimbing in my layers this time!

We had been briefed about the descents the night before. We were warned to concentrate and were shown how to brake in a manner that would avoid our tires from blowing out. Cyclists had died on this route before so we needed to be very careful. I did my best to be as cautious as I could but I had no idea just how fast the roads down Arthur’s Pass would be. I clocked up speeds I had never come close to before on my way to ‘Death Corner’. It was spectacular.

Arthur's Pass, New ZealandCycling down the spectacular Arthur’s Pass

There were a few short steep climbs to the coast but all in all it was an enjoyable 130km. The views were incredible and the promised head wind never materialised. We even got to see the cheeky Kea, a large alpine parrot, found only in New Zealand’s mountains. By the time we made it to our Motel in Hokitika I was completely energised and was already looking forward to another day on the west coast.

A Kea on the roof of one of the support trucksA Kea on the roof of one of the support trucks

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From High Spirits to Hypothermia

Mon 19th September: Christchurch to Flock Hill – 112km

Day one, Christchurch to Flockhill, began with a slight drag and little drizzle before our lunch break. We seemed to be making great pace and everyone was in great spirits, if not a little apprehensive with the mountain climb ahead of us. I had worked out that this would be one of the tougher days on the bike and although seeing the Irish Rugby team destroy Australia was a real motivator, nothing could have prepared us for what was about to unfold.

Rain on Flockhill, New ZealandPeter, Garry, Andy, Aisling and Chris in the rain on Flockhill

Just as the drag began turn to a climb the weather changed and the skies opened. First heavy rain, then hail and finally came the blizzard! Soon the roads were covered in snow making them treacherous. Everyone was struggling with the conditions and the field had spread out over a few kilometers after the sheer climb. Earlier I decided to take my layers off as we approached the climb. I had planned to put them back on again when we would meet our support crew at the top of the mountain.

Snow on FlockhillPhoto of the blizzard conditions taken from inside one of the support vans

With the conditions worsening cyclists were forced to retire and the support vans were busy picking people up futher back down the route. A few of us were a good bit ahead of any help. I was dehydrated and cramping up but it was far too cold to stop. The only way I could generate any body heat was to do my best to keep control of the bike and battle on against the elements. I had lost feeling in both my feet and hands. My gloves had become frozen to the handlebars and one of my cleats had become jammed with ice, only allowing me to clip in one foot in to the pedals.

Scary skys and blizzard conditions Scary skys and blizzard conditions on Flockhill

Some how we managed to reach our accommodation for the night, shook but safe. When I arrived in doors I was blue and shivering out of control. Baz, our Dutch veteran tour guide, immediately worked on getting feeling back into my extremities. I didn’t know it at the time but I was experiencing stage one hypothermia and he was worried I might have gotten frost bite. We needed to act fast. It was only after I stripped off the wet gear, changed into dry thermals and eventually warmed up with a a few hot ports at the huge open fire that I began to realise how lucky I was. We had gone through hell already and it was only the first day. Later we would learn that our experienced tour guides had never led cyclists through conditions as harsh as these. We really were earning the money we had raised for the IRFU Charitable trust.

Andy at the ranch, the morning after the night before, a little shaken up but safe and dry

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Witnessing The Historic Ireland V Australia Match

IRFU Charitable Trust in New Zealand
Garry, Chris, Andy, Peter and Alan at Edin Park for Ireland V Australia

On the 13th of September thirty of us representing the IRFU Charitable Trust, set off from Dublin on our trip of a lifetime. What felt like a never ending journey to New Zealand, took us via London, Dubai, and Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunai. We arrived in New Zealand’s capital Auckland just in time to witness one of our country’s greatest sporting occasions in Edin Park.

Ireland line out for Ireland's CallIreland line out for Ireland’s Call in Edin PArk

The atmosphere at the game was as intense as anything I had felt since Clare last won the All Ireland in 1997. Turning the odds on their head’s, everyone at this stage knows the incredible events that took place on the pitch that night. The ferocious hits and the commitment of every man in green for the full eighty minutes was an incredibly inspirational spectacle. By the final whistle the thousands of Irish at the match were all on their feet hugging, singing and dancing. Nobody wanted to leave the ground.

Paul O'Connell Ireland v Australia Paul O’Connell celebrates at the final whistle

Eventually we made our way to the IRFU team hotel, where we were lucky enough to meet up with our heroes, before a long night of celebration.

Paul O'Connell with IRFUCT Breifne, Alan, Paul, Joanne, Andy & Maureen after the Australia match

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Digino Challenge Sponsored Jersey

The official Digino Challenge cycling jersey (above) arrived just in time for Andy to pack for his epic trip to New Zealand. Andy will be wearing the sponsored jersey throughout his 1000km cycle of New Zealand. The jersey, designed in Italy, features the logos of our proud supporters. A massive thank you has to go to , , , ,, , , and .

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We’ve Reached Our Target!

Ireland’s Donncha O’Callaghan celebrating in Dublin Airport on hearing the news we had reached our target!

Digino’s Niall celebrating after he heard the news we had reached our target!

We’re there! €6000 Raised! A massive thank you to everyone involved in the Digino Challenge to date. From the Fundraising at Féile Brian Ború to Swanky Friday, everyone has played their part. Andy will be leaving for New Zealand on the 12th of September to cycle the massive 1000km for the and will keep this blog up to date throughout the adventure!

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A Very Glam Digino!

Swanky Friday DiginoFrom left to right: Niamh, Shellie, Emily, Niall, Ed, Dave, Emma, Fergal and Andy

There was a certain swagger to the proceedings in last Friday as the crew dressed up for Swanky Friday. The success of the this stylish fundraiser means we are edging even closer to our target.

To help us get over the line please to the .

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Training in the Wicklow Mountains

Wicklow Training
Pictured above, Marguerite from and ‘s Andy climbing the Sally Gap.

This weekend ‘s Andy joined up with fellow participants in the cycling tour of New Zealand for training in the Wicklow Mountains. Saturday saw the cyclists take on some of the most challenging climbs in the country in preparation for the Southern Alps down under.

The trip is only a matter of weeks away now and also is the closing date for your chance to Win a Signed Irish Rugby Jersey. So please for your chance to win.

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Swanky Friday!

Swanky Friday

At we like to do things with style – that’s why this coming friday, as part of the Digino Challenge, we will be playing host to ‘Swanky Friday’. Essentially, instead of the same old, same old ‘Dress-down Friday’ the Digino crew will be donning their glad-rags and top-hats to work, to raise money of the .

Don’t forget, for your chance to win the a Signed Irish Rugby Jersey, all you have to do is now. The prize draw will be taking place on Wednesday, August 31st, so make sure enter as soon as you can. Thank you very much for all the support to date!

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The New Zealand Climb

Last weekend, during our public fundraising for the , there was quite a bit of interest as to the nature of Andy’s 1000km route. So having previously posted the Route Map of the South Island Cycle we decided to include a break down of the elevation of each stage of the journey below. Not only will Andy have to cycle 1000km from sea level up to heights of 1076m in the Southern Alps but there will also be head-winds, sheer drops and steep descents to be tackled.

Don’t forget you can now to support the Digino Challenge.

Elevation view of the the full cycle of the Southern Island
New Zealand South Island Full Journey

Mon 19th September: Christchurch to Flock Hill – 112km

Tues 20th September: Flock Hill to Hokitika – 137 km

Wed 21st September:Hokitika to Franz Joseph Glacier – 132 km

Fri 23rd September: Franz Joseph Glacier to Haast – 145 km

Sat 24th September: Haast to Wanaka – 141 km

Sun 25th September: Wanaka to Queenstown – 68 km

Wed 28th September: Cycle Queenstown to Alexandra – 93 km

Thurs 29th September: Alexandra to Naseby – 89 km

Fri 30th September: Naseby to Middlemarch direct – 79 km

Sat 1st October: Naseby to Middlemarch via MacCrae’s – 139km

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David Moore Claims Ború’s Best Bicyclist 2011

Digino’s Andy Warner and Ború’s Best Bicyclist , David Moore

David Moore was crowned Ború’s Best Bicyclist at the weekend when he clocked up a brilliant 47 second kilometre! Brian O’Neill came out on top in the in the Under 18 division who recorded an equally impressive 52 second kilometre. The leader board was packed with local cyclist. In fact, Killaloe’s own ‘Iron Man’ Cathel Murphy, fresh from competing in the French Iron Man in Nice was the first to throw down the gauntlet on the stationary bike Time-Trial.

The early leader, Killaloe’s Cathel Murphy

The event, which took place at in last Sunday, was a massive success with contenders being cheered on by the crowds that flooded the festival on the day. This year’s Féile was probably the best attened to date with thousands turning out to enjoy wide range of the festival activities including Dragon Boat Races and Bunji Jump on the Ballina Quay.

The Dragon Boat Race Killaloe on the Ballina Quay

The crew were on hand all day to make sure the time trial went smoothly but a big thank you must go to Flanagans By The Lake for hosting the Digino Challenge event, and also for helping to set up and generously putting forward the prize on the day.

Andy Warner, one of the Digino Team who manned the Ború’s Best Bicyclist Stand on Sunday the 3rd of July

All contestants were entered into the draw for the Signed Irish Rugby Jersey which will take place on August 31st. For your chance to win the Signed Irish Rugby Jersey, to the and your name will be entered into the competition.

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A Great Day for Bucket Collecting

Fergal Collecting on the BridgeDigino’s Fergal Mohan, who collected for the whole day on the Bridge in Killaloe.

Saturday, the 2nd of July, turned out to be a fantastic day, the summer sun shined brightly and the support from the festival goers was really encouraging. We are still counting the donations but, with only the coppers left to count, Saturday’s takings have come in at an incredible €1200 Euro, 2 Rand, 3 New Zealand Dollars, 3 Pounds 45 Pence, 1 Golf Tee, a 4 euro scratchcard and 2 Fisherman’s Friends!

A special thanks goes to volunteers; Marie Hennessy, Trish Lenihan and Ger Fannin for shaking their buckets with the crew.

We are now really getting close to our target figure and the finish line is in site. To help us get over the line please to the .

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Fundraising at Féile Brian Ború, Killaloe

A team of hardy volunteers will put foot to pedal this Sunday at this year’s to raise much needed funds for the , with an innovative challenge to the sports-mad residents of the region.

Festival goers are invited to compete for the title of ‘Boru’s Best Bicyclist’ in aid of the Trust, by climbing aboard a stationary bike to cycle a kilometre, with times being recorded on the Leaderboard. The competition opens at 11am and will be running until 4pm, located beside the Bungee Jump Crane at Flanagan’s on the Lake, on the Ballina side of the Bridge.

Don’t forget you can simply click to support the Digino Challenge.

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What’s It All About?

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Win a Signed Irish Rugby Jersey!

The official Irish Rugby Jersey, signed by the whole Irish team, arrived in Digino HQ in Killaloe this morning, all the way from Landsdowne Road. This is not your average signed team shirt, the jersey includes the signatures of Magners league, Heineken Cup, Triple Crown and 6 Nations Grand Slam champions, not to mention a few Lions!

To be in with a chance of winning this incredible collection of legendary autographs, all you have to do is . The minimum donation is only €5 and you can enter as many times as you like!!! The draw for the Signed Irish Rugby Jersey will take place on August 31st, just in time for the World Cup in New Zealand! So be sure to !

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Only Three Months To Go…

Sean Kelly & Andrew Warner at the Cycle for SightIrish Cycling legend, Sean Kelly seen here with Digino’s own Andy Warner at ‘Cycle for Sight’, in Ennis on Sunday, the 6th June 2011

Three months to go and we’re almost a third of the way to our fundraising goal. Thanks again to everyone who has supported the Digino Challenge to date. Emily has been busy getting everything together for our fundraising events in the coming months and Andy’s training is also coming along really well.

So far this summer, Andy has taken part in a number of events including the 85k tour of the Burren, the Mountain Bike Challenge and a 50K ‘Cycle for Sight’ hosted by the . In fact he was lucky enough to cycle with, the legendary, Sean Kelly at the Clare event (photo above).

For more information on how to get involved with this great cause please contact Emily:
T: 1890-927-800 Ext: 204

Don’t forget you can simply click to support the Digino Challenge.

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Training Well Under Way

We’re delighted to announce that to date we have raised €1,405 for the . We’re almost a quarter of the way to our target. As ‘s fundraising is well underway, Andy has been busy preparing for his huge 1000km cycle around New Zealand’s south Island this September (see Route Map below). Since the beginning of April, Andy has clocked up over 800km training on the roads around Clare, Limerick and Galway.

A big thank you to everyone who has contributed to date!

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An Introduction to the Digino Challenge

The raises funds for seriously injured players. There are currently 36 seriously injured players registered with the Charitable Trust in Ireland, most of whom are wheelchair bound and have some form of permanent paralysis. We wanted to fundraise for the trust.  We decided on the Digino 2000 Challenge, 2000 km of cycling.

Our senior designer, has volunteered to take part in 1000km cycle across New Zealand and he’s already in training.  All his costs, flights, accommodation and extra expenses – are being paid for by himself, so every penny raised or donated will go directly to the charity. As for the rest of us here in Digino we’ve also signed up for 1000KM, but on a fundraising bike, and we’ll be supporting that challenge with volunteer fundraising like bag packing, collections and other events.

You can via credit or debit card. You can be assured that your transaction on the website is very secure. You will automatically receive an e-mail thanking you for your support, and acknowledging the amount of your donation. Any donation no matter how small is hugely appreciated.

Many thanks in advance for your support!

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