Other Side Of The Race

Words & Pictures by Rupert Hartley.

I’d been part of the ‘media’ team on both previous editions of the Pan Celtic Race.

Travelling alone or with the race crew, making photographs.

In 2019 I was pretty new to this scene, and to be frank it blew my mind.

The distance seemed absurd.

The self-supported need to look after yourself on the fly seemed so hardcore.

The idea of me riding it was beyond my wildest imagination.

Fast forward to the finishers party in 2021 and after a few beers I am shaking hands with race director Mally Ryan in agreement to ride it in 2022.

I’ve historically struggled with combining riding my bike and taking photographs, in a way I’m happy with.

Always feeling I was doing two things poorly.

I rarely take a camera with me when I ride, and I don’t like wearing one round my body.

However, more recently I have found a recipe I am happy with.

I’ve found on trips the ability to stop and take a photo actually engages a different part of my brain, and keeps me entertained.

Being on the ‘other side’ of the race seemed an interesting new angle on my relationship with the Pan Celtic photographically.

If you asked me to tell you where some of these pictures were from, I’d probably struggle.

Ireland is so beautiful that if I stopped to take a picture every time I saw something, it would take forever to get round.

A lot of the time I simply didn’t.

Too tired, or I just didn’t want to stop.

These images are a small snapshot from my point-of-view of a mad and life-enriching eight days of my life.

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