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All You Need to Know: Quest Lough Derg

Over 1,300 adventurer racers will descend on the Lough Derg area on Saturday 9th September to run, cycle and kayak their way around the Lakelands and the mountains for the welcome return of Quest Lough Derg 2023.

All the information on start times, finish times, road closures, pontoon access, car parking, spectator viewing and waterways navigation are listed below.

Start times

Participants start in waves of 150 people from Lakeside Drive outside Flannagan’s Bar.

Wave times Square

Finish Times

The first participants to finish at Flannagan’s Bar will be from 10.30am and the last participants are expected to arrive at 3.30pm.

Cut-off Times

Kayak – All Routes

If you do not reach the Kayak Stage by 2pm you will have to return to Transition 3 and proceed to the finish.

Expert Route Only

For those doing the Expert Route, midway through the Moylussa run (Stage 7), if you don’t get to the Sport & Challenge cut-off before 2pm you can not complete the full Expert run and must complete the Sport run.

Road Closures

There will be some road closures to allow the safe running of this event. A full list of road closures can be found here.

We would like to thank Tipperary County Council, Clare County Council and local residents for their co-operation and help in the planning and implementation of these closures.


We are building Ireland’s longest pontoon bridge to facilitate the logistical challenge of moving participants safely across the water from Ballina to Killaloe. In a joint partnership between Elite Event Management, Waterways Ireland, Tipperary and Clare County Councils, it is Ireland’s biggest temporary pontoon over the Shannon at 130 metres, and was the first time a new bridge had been built in Killaloe in 300 years. 

The pontoon takes around six days to build, with the assistance of three articulated trucks carrying specialist modular blocks, handrails and netting.

Pontoon Open to the Public

We will endeavour to allow public access to the pontoon on Friday 8th September from 7.00pm – 8.00pm.

Please note, should the bridge be open to the public, restrictions will be in place as to how many people can be on the pontoon at a given time and will be implemented by security personnel.

Navigational Closures Notice

Waterways Ireland wishes to advise masters / owners / users of the Shannon that the Shannon Navigation will be closed from 12pm on Friday 8th to 7pm on Saturday 9th September 2023 to facilitate this event and the construction of the pontoon bridge.

The slipway at Ballina will be closed while the pontoon is being constructed. Construction will take place from Wednesday 6th September to Friday 8th September and the pontoon will be dismantled on Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th September 2023.

The flow gates on the Killaloe Canal will be manned from 6am to 7.45am on Saturday 9th September 2023 to facilitate anglers and smaller vessels that wish to proceed upstream or downstream on Saturday morning while the pontoon is in place.


We encourage everyone to come out and support the adventure racing athletes at the start and finish line at the Flannagan’s Bar area.

We are asking spectators not to go along the route to support the athletes as the narrow roads are not suitable to bikes and cars. There are also a number of road closures in place which will make it difficult to navigate the route by car.


Registration/Pack Pick-up is at the following times and location:

Friday 8th September: 3pm to 9pm
The Old Barracks Coffee Roastery No 1, Birdhill, Co. Tipperary, V94 AX53

Saturday 9th September: 6.30am to 9.30am
Event HQ Marquee, Flanagan’s on the Lake, V94 F974

Car Parking

The roads will be busy and traffic will be heavy at times in the area over the weekend. Please give your self ample time for arrival.

Extensive roadworks are currently taking place in Killaloe and Ballina, and the main road (R494) is closed with diversions in place.

Full details of our car parks at Ballina and Killaloe can be found here.

You will be directed to the event specific car parks by event staff. Car parks are approximately 1km from the start.

Thank You

We would like to thank the people of Ballina and Killaloe and the surrounding areas for supporting this event. We will have over 250 volunteers along the route from 6 different sporting clubs in the area guiding the participants along the adventure.

We would also like to thank Tipperary County Council, Clare County Council, Waterways Ireland, Lough Derg Marketing Group and Failte Ireland for developing this event in the region.


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