This year’s Annalong Horseshoe Fell Race will forsake its base for the last 37 years at Dunnywater and will now start and finish at Silent Valley Reservoir, within the NI Water complex.
The number of entrants last year put severe pressure on the existing facilities at Dunnywater and it’s felt that rather than limit the number of entrants, a move to a new location would solve the current issues with the Dunnywater venue. Last year we had a record entry of 100 runners, which meant that we struggled to accommodate parking for the number of competitors vehicles along the Dunnywater avenue, causing complaints from the residents on the avenue regarding access. With an increase in competitors, the lack of toilet facilities and the health and safety risks associated with the road section also raising concerns, therefore it’s a logical move to Silent Valley, which will address all of these issues for this year and years to come. Continue reading
View the full race results here > http://bit.ly/barfturkeytrot2018
Mild Weather, Hot pace.
This must have been the mildest weather ever for the annual Turkey Trot race, in total contrast to the pace at the front end of the race which was seriously hot. Five runners broke away, almost from the starting gun and were already well clear by the time they reached Parnell’s Bridge. After racing to the Trassey Track and climbing to the high point of the course at the style on Slievenaglogh it was Edinburgh based, Carnethy Hill Runner Eoin Lennon who had developed a 30m lead over last year’s winner Seamus Lynch with the other three runners just a short distance behind. The descent from the Hares gap turned out to be the decisive moment of the race where Seamus local knowledge provided him with the better line back down onto the Trassey Track to gain the lead which he held all the way back to the Mountain Centre finish line. East Downs Aaron Mc Grady was just two minutes shy of the winning time with former winner Paul Pruzina and Mark Stephens just a handful of seconds further behind. Continue reading
On Sunday 2nd December, members descended on Castlewellan Forest Park for a Last One Standing format social event. Starting at 7 am, runners would start an undulating 7Km (4.4m) figure-of-eight lap around the forest and lake. With a total of 10 official laps, the event would finish at 5pm!
The day started with Aaron arriving 30 minutes early and me (Gerry) 2 minutes before the off. Aaron and I were the only two on the first lap needing headtorches until about 7.30am. Continue reading
Heaven for Hell – and Hicks as well.
I had thought that the weather was going to be good for the runners this year with light winds forecast, no rain and mild temperatures, but in the event it was the humidity which sapped the competitors strength. Many a challenge floundered on the slopes of the Meels, as cramp set into legs fatigued by the long slog up from the dam over rough ground, without hardly a breath of wind to disturb the stifling air. It was a long day for many but for me it was actually a short day, as there was no associated walking event to provide late finishing weary walkers, stumbling through the Donard woods as darkness descended.
Once again Christmas is nearly upon us and the annual Boxing day migration of mountain runners to the Trassey Track car park for the Turkey Trot race will be occurring. It would be a big help if as many competitors as possible could share lifts as car parking space is restricted. The race start time is 12.00am.
The Turkey Trot may be regarded as a bit of a fun event, and indeed we want to keep it as light
hearted as possible, but please remember that the mountains in winter can be a dangerous place so please heed the rules and come prepared. You should choose your running clothing to suit the expected conditions and footwear which will give you grip in the potentially icy conditions which often occurs on the high sections of the course. Full waterproof body cover must be carried along with a hat and gloves. The other mandatory items of kit are a map, whistle, and compass and although not mandatory, I would recommend runners carry a foil space blanket or bag which can be a lifesaver if you become immobilised in the wilds. There will be a kit check before the race. Unfortunately, you cannot enter this race if you are under the age of 18 years. Also, dogs are not allowed. If the weather forecast turns bad please check this site in the days preceding the event for more information.
Following the race, there will be mince pies, mulled wine and other goodies at the Northern Ireland Mountain Centre and a selection of prizes of dubious nature supplied by members of BARF.
Thank you to all who supported our charity event. We raised £1120 for the Irish Napelese Education Trust (INET).
Thanks to our speakers, Paddy Mallon, Ian Taylor and Dawson Stelfox for such an entertaining evening. Massive thank you to all who supported the event.