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100km Big Dog - What to expect

The Big Dog Challenge has been expertly designed by our experienced event team in order to challenge participants physically and mentally over a demanding 100 kilometre route with stunning views across County Fermanagh and beyond.

A rolling start from the village of Belcoo will take riders to the entrance of Ballintempo Forest to begin their Big Dog challenge. With 1,880m elevation ahead expect tough climbs, fast sweeping downhills and rolling countryside passing loughs, stunning vistas and even a few Game of Thrones filming locations. A tough but enjoyable day in the saddle and all in the fine company of like-minded gravel cyclists from all over Ireland and further afield.

Lakelander Big Dog – 100km Distance – 84% Gravel Roads – 16% B-Roads & Tracks – 1,880m Elevation…Irelands toughest gravel cycling challenge!

Event Summary

Challenge - A 100 kilometre gravel grinder through seven forest sectors with unrivalled views and testing climbs.

Terrain – 84km of gravel at varying depths and grip. 16km of minor roads and tracks.

Food – Food & water at the Little Dog Station (41km), followed by Lough Navar Station (62km) at the furthermost point of the route, then return back through Little Dog Station (80km) to return home.

Medical – First aid located at Little Dog Station and at Lough Navar Station plus roving medics on the course.

Mechanics – Team of roving bike mechanics available throughout the duration of the Big Dog Challenge.

TIps for first visit

Where is the event located? – Lakelander Gravel Grinder will start and finish in the village of Belcoo in County Fermanagh, Northern Ireland. Belcoo is 1h 45m by road from Belfast, 2h 5m from Dublin, 2h 40m from Galway City and 4h from Cork City.

When is the event? – Registration for the event is 4.30pm to 8.30pm on Friday 4th October 2024 with on-the-day registration from 7.00am to 10.00am the following morning. Big Dog cyclists will leave the start line in Belcoo at 10.30am on Saturday 5th October 2024. Location for both the registration and start/finish is Belcoo Community Centre, Lattone Road, Belcoo (BT93 5DS).

Registration 4.30pm – 8.30pm Friday 4th October 2024 – Registration will take place at Belcoo Community Centre (BT93 5DS). There will be parking on the main road outside the centre. At registration you will get – Race Number, Emergency Number Tag, Food Voucher, T-Shirt, GPS Tracker. Bike/Kit not needed at registration.

Registration 7.00am – 10.00am Saturday 5th October 2024 – Registration will take place at Belcoo Community Centre for those who cannot arrive the night before. There will be NO parking on the main road outside the centre. At registration you will get – Race Number, Emergency Number Tag, Food Voucher, T-Shirt, GPS Tracker. Bike/Kit not needed at registration.
Parking on Saturday morning 5th October 2024 will be available next to Belcoo Community Centre at Belcoo O’Rahillys GFC.

10.00am registration closes. Safety Briefing 10.20am. Rolling Start 10.30am.

Route Fully Marshalled. 3 Food & Water Stations. 2 Aid Stations. Roving Mechanics. Roving Medics.

Finish Line – Big Dog participants will finish at the entrance of Ballintempo Forest and will receive: PDA Scanned Finish Time. Result Online Within Minutes. Finishers Medal. Official Finisher Photo. GPS Tracker Collection. Hot Gourmet Food. A Drink On Us. Post-Event Craic With All Riders

What are the costs? – Early Bird entry until 30th June 2024 – £55.00

Regular Entry price 1 July 2024 to 20 September 2024 – £60.00

Does the price include the cost of GPS tracker hire? – Yes. We felt that GPS tracking would be essential to ensuring participant safety and welfare as they traverse the wilderness of the Geopark, so we have included a subsidised cost into the entry price. This will allow event control to monitor the location of each rider and correct any off-route issues. Each tracker also includes an SOS button for anyone in difficulty. The live tracking will be available on the day for friends and family to follow your progress live online using a mobile phone, tablet, laptop or PC. Each participant will have a profile picture and split times/finish time on the live tracking site. Spectators can anticipate your arrival at any point around the course so they can be ready in time to greet you at a spectator area.

Are there any age restrictions? – All participants must be 16 years of age or over.

What type of bike can I enter with? – You can enter with the following bike types: Gravel bike / Cyclocross bike / Mountain bike / E-bike. Got a question? Send a message to

What are the approximate times for Big Dog? Are there any cut-off times? – The Big Dog Challenge is a tough course and finishing times will be varied for riders. We expect the early finishers home around 4 hours with the last finishers across the line in approximately 8 hours. There will be a cut off at the Little Dog food station (44km) at 2.00pm. After this time you WILL NOT be permitted to proceed along the route of the Big Dog Challenge and will be redirected onto the Little Dog Route.

Anyone in the Big Dog route who misses the 2.00pm cut-off will automatically be transferred to the “Mongrel Class” for results purposes.

What kit do I need to have? – Mandatory kit: GPS tracker (provided), appropriate cycle helmet, waterproof jacket, spare inner tube and lever, pump, mobile phone (fully charged) with a number entered for event control, suitable front and back lights, 1L of water (can be refilled at food stations), whistle. Recommended kit: GPS navigation (eg. Garmin) – GPX will be provided prior to event, Gels and nutrition bars if needed between food stations, bike accessories if preferred (lubricant, links etc).

What should I expect on the course?- The route is fully way-marked and marshals will attend major junctions and checkpoints. Otherwise you’ll be on your own to experience the wilderness of the Geopark. Pay attention to track conditions and look out for potholes especially those that may be under water due to inclement weather. There may also be hazards to look out for including errant timber (it’s a working timber site), local wildlife / livestock and filming crew operators (Game of Thrones Prequel is filming there at the moment). Several sectors on the route will be 2-way for cyclists. Signs warning ‘stay left’ will be situated on these sectors. Otherwise expect a variety of challenges due to the undulations of the course with some long climbs and some fast sweeping downhills. Please be alert on bends and look after the welfare both of yourself and other riders on the course.

Why do I have to sign an indemnity form? – We have designed a course that is challenging for participants with health and safety in mind. However, we do expect all riders to respect the challenge and expect you to keep your own welfare in mind at all times. The indemnity form will request that you participate in the event with your own welfare as a priority and we expect you to follow our safety rules before you set out on the course. By entering the event the form is treated as digitally signed and that you will accept that we are not responsible for any actions you may carry out that would endanger your health and safety in the event.

Is there parking at the start/finish line? – Yes. Official parking is 100m from start/finish line at Belcoo O’Rahillys GFC. However, parking is limited to around 300 spaces and will be available on a first come-first served basis. A parking marshal will advise you at the car park entrance if spaces are still available. There will be a £5.00 charge for parking at the GAA Grounds.

We may have additional field parking on the day (weather dependent) which will be well signposted on the day of
the event. There is no charge for parking in the field but we would ask for an optional charitable donation. All
funds collected will then be distributed to local charities.

We cannot be responsible for your parking but we’ll do our best to accommodate you on the day.

Are there any facilities at the start/finish line? – There are toilet facilities at both Belcoo Community Centre and Belcoo O’Rahillys GFC.

I have special requirements. Can you help? – We endeavour to accommodate all participants when we can. Please get in touch for a chat at

Where can I stay? – Fermanagh is packed with accommodation options. Hotels, B&Bs, Activity Centres, Caravan Parks, Guest Houses, Camping Sites… you’ll be spoiled for choice. Our wonderful friends at Fermanagh Lakelands have their finger on the pulse when it comes to where to stay and what to do. No matter where you go in the Lakeland County you’ll enjoy a famous Fermanagh welcome.

Can I fundraise? – Yes. Participants can fundraise for any registered charity through their Lakelander challenge.

I have a question. How can I contact you? – We welcome all enquiries. Give us a shout at

Enter Online today!

Ireland’s Premier gravel cycling event, The Lakelander Gravel Grinder returns again to Co Fermanagh on 5th October 2024. This ultimate gravel event is open to gravel, cyclocross, adventure bike, MTB and even e-MTB riders will see riders traverse through relatively unexplored areas of forest wilderness. The routes – Big Dog 100k, Mongrel 60k and the Little Dog 50k – will sweep through seven UNESCO heritage forests with up to 1880 metres of elevation, while providing stunning views of countryside and even a Game of Thrones film set.

Please note: All entries must be registered with Si Entries. Click the ‘Enter Now’ button then click ‘Enter Online’ on the Si Entries page.

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