Sports

Record breaking quad return for McQuaid

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Record breaking quad return for McQuaid thumbnailEMMA McQuaid

EMMA McQuaid is in off season, this is her quiet time, yet she currently is in the third week of competing for the Cross Fit challenge in Dubai.

However, Dubai isn't her first choice, it is London in May 2018 that matters but in the meantime the Damolly woman has rediscovered her passion for quad racing.

And McQuaid never does things by halves, so it was no surprise or any less impressive that she broke records again in on the four-wheels.

Indeed the 27-year-old became the first female to win an Ulster Championship race and on her team was the highest finishers on record at the internationally renowned Pond de Vaux.

"If I was going to go back at it, I was going to have to go back at it big." said McQuaid.

"It feels even better now because I am stronger and fitter than I have ever been.

"I put a lot of effort into training for Cross Fit so then I can transfer that to my quad racing, which means I can give it everything."

McQuaid competed in the British Championship and two Ulster Championship races as well as a beach race, which took place earlier this month.

"The British Championship was one of my first races back and I finished tenth overall, which I was really happy with, because I think my best placed finish was seventh and I had a ninth and a tenth," said McQuaid.

"My bike fitness let me down because it had been a while from riding the quad. They were nearly 25-minute races and I just wasn't able to hold on for the last ten minutes. But then I started practising and I got my bike fitness back first and then I went out and competed in the Ulster Championship where I took my first ever Ulster Championship win."

This included a first, third and fifth and overall winner of the day.

"That was pretty awesome to make history twice in one day. I was the first ever female to win an Ulster Championship race and the first ever female to win an overall at Seaford in August," said McQuaid.

The former Newry and Mourne Sports awards category nominee competed in the 24-hour endurance race in France for her eighth time and remarkably recorded her dream finish.

"From the first time I competed in the Pond de Vaux, I wanted to finish in the top ten and the closest I had gotten to was 12th and I had a 13th, 15th, 16th finish before. But never before scratched into the top ten," McQuaid said.

"We were sitting in 13th position going into the last day and one of the girls Justine [Lesselingue] started and she had us running in 30th, so I knew I had to pull something out of the bag.

"So I rode for over two hours and got us into ninth place and then I had to pit for fuel and one of the other girls Kelly [Verbraeken] finished and all she had to do was stay was stick within the top ten and she crossed the line in tenth, which gave us tenth overall.

"We won the female category and made history again by being the highest female finishers in the history of the race."

It was an amazing feat and the sixth time she reached the French podium but typically McQuaid has finished her quad season in a blaze of glory and she insists her focus is on reaching the Cross Fit Finals next May.

"My intentions are the same for next year as from now that is my quad completely parked up and stripped down so I don't be tempted to get back on it again," said McQuaid.

"So I am basically now in full-time training for Cross Fit for next year. I just finished a Qualifier for the Dubai Championships (which takes place in December). There are only 30 in the world that get to go to it and the Qualifiers are really hard.

"I have another week to go, out of three. I am off Cross Fit season, so I am not at peak strength or peak fitness, so if I don't qualify I am not too worried because if I am at peak now then I will not be where I need to be come May.

"My goal is to be at 100 per cent at the Regionals in May, so I have to allow my fitness to drop, which is sometimes hard, but I have to do it."

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