"Can you go the distance?"
The Joe Barr 500 is a non-stop 500-mile (800KMs) World Ultra-Cycling Association (WUCA) accredited race.
We strongly encourage riders to become a member of this global organization.
Once a member, your race result can be logged as part of the 2024 WUCA 500-mile Challenge and/or logged as part of the World Ultra-Cycling Association's annual World Cup.
Every rider, both supported and unsupported, will carry a GPS tracker at all times.
The Joe Barr 500 is a Race Across America qualifier. Race Across America is the most prestigious endurance cycling race in the world with an unparalleled history of epic performances.
Joe has redesigned his signature race, The Joe Barr 500, to blend in seamlessly with the best 500 mile courses in the world.
This is a route that passes through 9 of Ireland’s counties. If the heart of ultra-cycling is to explore new terrain and then this race will surely call to you.
In 2024, we’re delighted to offer the category of unsupported, with the opportunity of two designated bag drops. In line with the World Ultra-Cycling Association, both supported and unsupported categories can be used to participate in the 2024 world ultra-distance challenge.
Of note, both the supported and unsupported categories are Race Across America qualifiers.
We’re also delighted to offer a 50+ age category for both supported and unsupported riders, again in line with the World Ultra-Cycling Association.
The race starts close to the village of Eglinton, on the banks of the river Foyle, in the County of Derry/Londonderry.
It quickly makes it way into County Donegal where it transverses rugged, open and hilly terrain, passing by picturesque lakes towards the coastline of Donegal Bay.
You then make your first visit to Fermanagh, touching the shores of Lough Erne briefly before arriving in the Wild Rose County of Leitrim - a gem that you’ll be grateful to see more of on the way home.
County Sligo turns you firmly west, where you travel on one of Joe’s most favourite sections of road by the magnificent Lough Eske.
Continuing west into the County of Mayo we couldn’t leave out another favourite section of the Wild Atlantic Way. But rest assured, we won’t take you to the cliff edge, we turn you at Belmullet towards the shores of Lough Conn.
Once we slingshot you around this lough back into County Sligo, we slip between Lough Arrow and Lough Key, which is in County Roscommon our first and only visit to this hidden heartland.
The vertical miles accumulate.
We pass into County Leitrim once again and but it’s time to go North now. North is through County Cavan, where the terrain may surprise your eyes and your legs.
Fermanagh awaits for the second time. This is where the climbing that has been done already starts to impact and there is much more to do as we crest into County Tyrone.
Joe has put a sting in the tail in the enchanted Sperrin mountains. A sting that will fell those who fail to pace themselves.
You’ll be grateful to see the downhill that awaits in Country Derry/Londonderry towards the banks of the Foyle and the finish line.
Please note: the PROVISIONAL ROUTE is available below. The final route will be shared in 2024.
What the Riders say...
Definitely recommend this event to anyone wanting to get into endurance racing. The course has everything, all on our doorstep too.