Name: Philip Culbert
Meet the Crew
My race crew for The Joe Barr 500 is Jerome, John, Cormac and Declan. An endurance racer is no-one without crew and how privileged I am to have these people by my side.
I started endurance racing in 2016 and John and Jerome have been by my side for every race (two college friends from many years ago). Declan, an experienced cyclist who has raced many an endurance event, came into the crew for Race Around Ireland 2019. Cormac came onto the crew for The Joe Barr 500 2019 and Race Around Ireland 2019.
I am privileged to have these people as my crew. The time, committment, support and advice that comes from these lads pre-race, race-time and post-race is of such value to me. I am indebted to them for life.
As a team we talk and plan endurance racing from one end of the year to the other. As a team the gel, bond and friendship we have developed on and off the road will take us where we want to be in the coming years.
What inspires me about these people is that they are so eager to learn, improve and strengthen what we do. They wholeheartedly take on the role as team players and allow me to focus on the bike.
Deirdre, my wife, supports me throughout the year to ensure that I can focus on training. Last year she concentrated on my nutritional requirements and joined us on the road for the Race Around Ireland. Having a dedicated person looking after my nutritional needs gives me strength at the right time throughout the season. This is phenomenal support to have and could not do it without her.
I have to mention Paul (another college buddy) who has been crewing 2018 and 2019, another key person in supporting what I do. Paul has stepped out for The Joe Barr 500 this year.
Meet the Rider
I have always been a sporty person and enjoyed activity from a very young age. In my thirties I enjoyed the Sunday “coffee and bun spins” while dipping into the odd sportive here and there. Nothing too serious. At the age of 39 I put away the bike and for the next 7 years, went into the world of marathon and endurance running, putting some respectable times on the clock.
In early 2016 I happened to get involved in a conversation where a four man team was being created to race Race Around Ireland 2016. Before I knew it I was on the team and racing. The same team raced again in 2017. I was now truly in the depths of endurance cycle racing knowing this was for me. I was still marathon running these years but it became time to focus. Throughout the 2016 and 2017 races my body was telling me I could take a lot more. This led to a solo event in 2018, the Irish Ultra Challenge. I had done other endurance events solo in preparation that year, my mind and body just kept looking for more and bigger challenges. The next big challenge led me to the Race Around Ireland 2019 as a solo rider. What an experience! As a team this event truly led us into the depths of endurance cycling. Did it put me or the team off; absolutely not. The strength and bond as a team we had for these 5 days to see us to the finish line was inspirational. My marathon running years allowed me to see the world and if we as an endurance cycling team can make it possible we will pursue many years of what we are doing globally. This is our aspiration.
Why I go the distance
I very much get motivated in setting goals and this inspires me as I want to achieve the best position I can in what I do. I love training for these events and having the commitment to myself to be at the start line in good shape is very important to me. With any sport I have ever pursued but mainly marathon running and endurance cycling, I have always seen the event itself as the smaller part. Certainly, with endurance cycling you cannot fool the sport. Arrive at the start line unprepared and the event will destroy you. You have to make mistakes to learn and strengthen and we as a team have taken mistakes as a positive to build our future on.
My family motivate me, in that they support what I do and this is so important to me. Getting to the start line of any event is the hardest part and having my family backing me all the way, makes getting there easier.
Health and fitness is very important to me and I know I am a better person as an outcome. This motivates me and keeps me in a positive place.