The Castle to Castles Challenge

As part of the ongoing BARF Social calendar, the June event would see 12 Barfers make a 20 mile run from Dundrum Castle to The Castles on the Southside of Commedagh in the Mournes and return, taking in the stunning scenery of Murlough, hence ‘The Castle to Castles Challenge’.

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Scottish Islands Peak Race 2016

Taryn McCoy and Brian Linton teamed up for the 2016 Scottish Islands Peaks Race – an adventure race for teams of Sailors and Fell Runners on and around the most beautiful parts of the West Coast of Bonny Scotland.
Start in Oban
Brian also sails and has taken part in this event on 4 previous years with the same sailing crew. It’s a fantastic event, a real adventure and a race so full of variables and tactics meaning teamwork and ability to adapt are absolute key. The weather has a huge impact on the outcome of this event. This year whilst it was ideal for us as runners, getting daylight for all the run sections and even blue sky and sunshine for Arran, the sailors however got a mix of everything.
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BARF Respond to NIMRA Litter Sweep of Mournes

Saturday 9th April 2016 will see NIMRA host a British Championship round fell race covering a horseshoe route taking in Slieve Donard and Commedagh.

In an effort to address the increasing litter issues within Donard Wood, and hotspots of the high cols and stiles along the race route, NIMRA requested running clubs assist with a litter sweep over the weekend of Sat-Sun 2/3 April. To this call, BARF took up the challenge and turned out in numbers over both days and assisted fellow runners with sweeps in Donard Wood on Sat morning and high cols/stiles on Sun morning. This proved to be a great success as evident by the vast amount of rubbish lifted and removed. The efforts over the 2 days were recognised by passing members of the public who praised the actions…and even joined in. 


A big thank you to all involved. Good luck to all running in the Championship race…and hopefully you will notice a great improvement in the environment!

Turkey Trot 2015 – Race Report

Record amounts of rain may have sloshed down on other parts of the British Isles, but in the corner of the Mournes where the boxing day Turkeys run, it was actually not too bad. Admittedly the underfoot conditions were of a sloshing nature following the previous day’s rains, but the air temperature was sufficiently balmy to tempt a few hardy souls to opt for singlet’s and shorts.


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BARF Club and Family members show their support for Mourne Mountain Rescue Team (MMRT)

On Friday 31st July a number of BARF members and family met at Donard carpark for a trek to the summit of Slieve Donard 852m, Northern Ireland’s highest mountain. ’OH NO, I hear you shout, not another charity event up Donard!!! But this was a walk with a difference. The plan was to start off at 10pm and reach the summit just before midnite, and experience the wonders of the Bluemoon whilst sharing a refreshment or two with like minded friends. And make a donation in the MMRT bucket at the start.
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Mumblings of a new BARFer

I used to admire those Purple People from a distance. I marvelled at the way they shone with such vibrant health. They never seemed to sweat. They were so smooth even the wettest peat refused to stick to their legs. I would end races bedraggled, puffing and drenched. If I joined the world of BARF would I too glide serenely across the Fells of Ulster ? But what if they were some strange cult ! A coven of purpley mudclaw clad witches and wizards. But I was drawn into the vortex. For years I resisted. Intimidated by words like “Ultra” and “Run”. Then the shadowy Aaron Shimmons whispered in my ear, “Just joining BARF will make you quicker.”…. “It’s magic” he said as he sat hunched and muttering over a boiling pot of frogs. I took the plunge. I even enjoyed the blood letting initiation under the full moon on the summit of Donard. As the BARF members danced naked around me I at last felt that sense of brotherhood that had been missing from my life. Continue reading

Annalong Horseshoe 2015 – Race Report

With clear blue skies and perfect visibility, it’s 11.00am on the second Saturday in May and the whistle sounded for the start of the 34th running of the annual Annalong Horseshoe fell race. This race was first run in 1982 and consists of 13 miles and over 5,000 ft of climbing over five summits in the Mourne mountains and this year counts as a long race in the NIMRA championship. 72 runners started off along the Head Road towards the first checkpoint on the summit of Chimney Rock. As we counted them off, we only counted 71 runners over the start line. 30 secs later, the 72nd entrant emerged from the nearby bushes after a ‘wardrobe adjustment’ and headed off after the rest of the pack.

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