These Irish lads conquered the 15,000km Mongol Rally in a ‘92 Toyota Starlet

Craig O’Rourke and Ronan O’Neill from Blessington, Co. Wicklow have today completed the 2016 Mongol Rally, writes Douglas Imrie.

The competition sees teams attempt to drive from London to the city of Ulan-Ude in south-eastern Russia, with many groups coming unstuck en route.

Competitors must adhere to three rules that separates this event from traditional rallies, in order to make the difficult journey even more treacherous.

Namely, the car must be small and rubbish, teams must be totally unsupported and teams need to raise at least £1000 (€1150) for charity.

View this post on Instagram

No filter needed this morning at 6am on the #transfagarasanhighway #straightsideways #ontour #mongoladventures #mongolrally2016 #rally #starlet

A post shared by Straight Sideways (@straightsideways16) on

Driving 15,030km in over 228 hours across 14 crazy countries the pair, operating under the name Straight Sideways, were the first Irish team to cross the finish line in Ulan-Ude, Russia this morning.

They arrived at the finish line at 2am after an 8 hour wait at the border between Mongolia and Russia yesterday.

Five teams had beaten them to the finish of the rally with no set route, just start and end points.

It has been suggested they were the only team to come through Mongolia as the quicker teams opted to go straight through Russia, which has considerably better roads.

Mongolia is notorious for its poor infrastructure and cars have to traverse the majority of the country on simple tracks.

The pair have been raising funds for Aoibhinn’s Pink Tie foundation and have so far raised over €8000. You check out their idonate.ie pagehere and see more of their expedition photos on Instagram.

More in this Section

Republic of Ireland have moved on from heavy Denmark defeat – Shane DuffyRepublic of Ireland have moved on from heavy Denmark defeat – Shane Duffy

'Yet again, Ireland’s hero' - Darren Randolph stands out despite disappointing defeat in Geneva'Yet again, Ireland’s hero' - Darren Randolph stands out despite disappointing defeat in Geneva

A closer look at the Republic of Ireland’s past meetings with DenmarkA closer look at the Republic of Ireland’s past meetings with Denmark

Cheslin Kolbe: Dynamite comes in small packagesCheslin Kolbe: Dynamite comes in small packages


Lifestyle

Can you imagine Spanish churros, Moroccan tagines or even Christmas cakes without its fragrant taste?MIchelle Darmody: Warm smells of cinnamon

Rachel Howard visits the South Moravia region to sample this eastern European country’s finest tipples.They’re big on beer but could the Czech Republic be raising a glass to wine tourism too?

Lisa Salmon catches up with a cardiologist, who explains how a patient’s own stem cells can repair damage from heart disease and heart failure.How stem cells are mending broken hearts

Hannah Stephenson discovers America’s dark past and Martin Luther King’s vision for its future by following the civil rights trail.Charting America’s path to freedom on a road trip through the Deep South

More From The Irish Examiner