Robbie Bryson showed absolutely no FEAR to retain his Fermanagh Endurance Adventure Race title following the third staging of the increasingly popular race which attracted up on 140 athletes at the weekend.

Two races within one, Robbie won the Long Course 74km race that included almost 60km of cycling, 14km of running and 2km of kayaking in a time of 3 hours 22 minutes and 05 seconds, 15 minutes ahead of nearest challenger Brian Kinsella with Fergus McGirr in third.

A shorter 35km race was also staged with the winner being Jonathan Caulfield in a time of 1 hour 40 minutes and 48 seconds. Adrian Farrell and Anthony O’Reilly completed the podium.

In the category sections Emma Kerr was first lady home ahead of Helen Flanagan and Aoibheann Bartley while Enniskillen Running Club’s Oonagh Fitzpatrick won the FV40 age section. Fergus McGirr was first home in the men’s FV40 section with overall winner Bryson taking the FV50 age category as well.

In the short race, well known athlete Gerry Murphy was first home in the MV50 age category while Tom McNicholas won the MV40 section and Chris O’Connell the MV60 group.

First home in the ladies’ short race was Sandra Caulfield ahead of Glenda Eagleson and Niamh McGowan while Heather Williams won the FV40 category and Teresa Fearon took the FV50 age category.

Robbie Bryson, overall winner and for the second year in a row, was delighted with how the race went.

He told the Impartial Reporter: “The race went unusually well. No hiccups. Although I had a good lead at the end, it’s only when I turned at the first buoy in the kayaking section that I was able to see that I had a good gap. When bikes are involved though there is always the chance of a puncture or worse so I kept working hard right to the end,” said Robbie who added.

“The hardest part is the last quarter of the kayak followed by the run back up Magho to the viewpoint. Strangely kayaking is hard on the leg muscles and it’s very hard to get going straight out of the boat. It’s like you’ve developed sea legs - it’s very easy to cramp up.” All in all, it was just reward for Robbie who was leading in 2013 when he blew a tyre and struggled into the finish riding on the wheel rim for 30th place before narrowly winning a close race with Fergus McGirr in 2014.

He feels that the race is gaining in status and popularity each year.

“It’s great to see the race gaining in popularity. Joanne Cunningham organises the event extremely well. Many events of this type are organised to make a profit. The FEAR is unusual in that it’s backed by Fermanagh and Omagh District Council with a remit to promote Fermanagh. The race relies on volunteers. Derrygonnelly Community, the Red Cross, St John Ambulance, Erne Paddlers, the North and West Mountain Rescue, the NI Ambulance Service and the PSNI were fantastic on the day and contribute to a uniquely friendly event. It’s these volunteers and emergency services that epitomise the good things that Fermanagh has to offer,” revealed Robbie.

Superfit Robbie is now looking forward to some orienteering.

“I’ve no specific targets in the near future. I just like being out and about doing activities. It’s a good time of year for orienteering now so I’ll get stuck into that,” concluded the double FEAR champion.