The determination was strong tonight in the final of Ireland’s Fittest Family as the Ryans from Donegal battled it out for the prize and title.
The fit Donegal team, Danny Ryan (44) Alanna (16), Jordan (17), and Keane (22) put up an impressive fight in three incredibly difficult rounds but were defeated before the final hurdle, coming third place overall in the competition.
The gruelling Hanging Tough Challenge we saw a few weeks ago was back as the first challenge in the final tournament at the Dublin Docklands. Keane Ryan was selected to compete against members from the other two families – the Cummins from Tipperary and the McCarthys from Clare.
Keane showed fierce determination to stay up on the bar while suspended over the Irish Sea. He held on for three minutes to come second.
The weather conditions during the final made tasks all the more difficult and dangerous. But the Ryans were well prepared for everything they faced.
Then the Arena challenge required a brilliant show of teamwork from the families as they hauled 5kilo sand bags, balanced on slippery beams and worked together to climb huge containers. The Kilmacrennan family came second once more here, and were neck and neck with the McCarthys before round three.
The Ryans’ last fight saw them pulling a 10 and a half tonne trailer down a track. The quartet showed a brilliant effort of sheer strength and it looked as though they were on the way to the last stand, but in a shock result they missed out to the Munster families.
There was much pride and modesty as the Ryans accepted defeat.
“It means a lot for us to get to the final, but it’s very disappointing to not be in the final race,” Alanna said.
“We’re gracious in defeat and wish the other families the best of luck,” said Keane.
The Cummins from Clare went on to win the nail-biting final round, taking the €15,000 prize and title.
The Ryans are winners in all of Donegal’s eyes, and have been doing great work to inspire young and old to get fit. The eight weeks of challenges have had us all at the edge of our seats cheering on the family. There’s no doubt that they will be full of pride tonight.