Last weekend was the annual event of the Mourne Mountain Marathon , a gruelling two day event with several classes and distances to suit all mountain enthusiasts with a one day score event also. This year was a significant year with it being the 40th anniversary of the event and BARF members as from day one until now have been an integral part , more on this in the next report .
Saturday at the startline saw the sun shining at Shimna College and conditions stayed favourable throughout the day as our members made their way through the majestic Mournes . Sunday proved a harder day weather wise ,after Paddy Mallon had serenaded the cosy campers they made their way onto the Silent Valley Dam wall in heavy rain to mark out their maps and head for the hills once again.
The score class on Saturday saw Helen Brown and Roisin Mallon win the vet prize with Aoife Mallon also taking part .
In the elite class Brian Linton finished the two days with an impressive 14.34.55. Meanwhile in the B class Declan McGrellis and Trevor Wilson finished 7th overall and first in vet category with a vet score of 9.06.30. Stephanie Pruzina was also in this class and finished 3rd place in the vet category with a vet score of 9.54.21 . Richard Gibson and Matt Crawford finished 9th overall in the B class with 11.16.23 . Rónán Davison-Kernan and Kyle Stewart were home in 12.56.17 in the same class.
B class vet winners in the Barf purple , Trevor and Declan
Pauline O’Hara and Denise O’Hagan who took part in the C class with a vet score of 8.37.51 , they also brought cake and wine , proper mountain diet ⛰👌
Last weekend Barf athlete Alan Ritchie was taking part in the Ultra Trail Harri Cana in Canada . A mix of trail and mountain through some of Canada’s most remote wilderness and breathtaking scenery. The race was 65k with nearly 2000 metres elevation . Alan managed to secure a top 50 finish in 7 hours 43 mins for 47 th overall in a competitive field . Well done Arf! Arf!
The weekend saw Jackie Toal take on the tough Kerry Way ultra clocking up 200 k of stunning mountain and forest trails . The accomplished ultra runner battled a tummy bug early on and didn’t let it put her off her stride finishing in an impressive 37 hrs 14 mins on an energy sapping course .
Jackie in action in Kerry
Closer to home Philip Ward was up at the East Antrim Marathon Series 100th event celebrations taking on the marathon . Philip is a regular at these events and added another marathon to his belt in 4.50 .
Saturday was the first running of a new race on the NIMRA championship calendar. Organised by Newry AC the route would take the runners on a 6 mile course taking in Knockshee and Slieve Martin . Five Barf athletes took on this race known as Dan Whites Dander . Rónán Davison-Kernan was home in 1.07.30 for 6th place over shortly followed by Jim Brown in 1.10.41 to win his age category,Trevor Wilson in 1.23.51, Andrew McGibbon 1.26.53 and Ian Taylor 1.55.17.
Jim Brown on the downhill to a category win at Dan Whites Dander
Also on Saturday at Florence Court the Last One Standing Ultra began at midday with the challenge of running a hilly 4.2 mile forest trail loop every hour on the hour until your the last one running . Geoff Smyth was at the start line for this one and managed 16 loops before bowing out at 4am Sunday with 67.2 miles completed.
Geoff Smyth at Last One Standing Florence Court
Sunday saw the hugely popular and competitive Laganside 10 k taking place in Belfast . Barf speedster Peter Thompson lined up for this one and came out with a new pb and impressive 35.41 for the distance .
Well done to all competing through the country ! Arf! Arf !
The organisers of the Mourne Mountain Marathon are putting the call out for helpers over the weekend September 21st and 22nd. If your not participating but want to be part of the action then contact them on the details below . Also if you just fancy a run in the hills you could help by taking in the controls that will be placed over the Mournes either day . Please contact them direct on links below if you can help or message on social media .
Barf runners have been out and about again over this last week or so . Last Sunday Geoff Smyth made a return to the roads taking on the EAMS Knockaghthon managing just over 40 miles on return from injury setbacks .
Declan McGrellis travelled to Scotland to take on the Ochill 200 mountain race , a 32 km race across a tough mountain range with 1800 metres of elevation on a very warm day , he battled the heat and cramp to complete the course in 4 hours 49.
Philip Ward was also in action Saturday and Sunday in Armagh as he completed back to back trail marathons on the tough Folley Glen course with very strong running from Philip on both days .
Last week Aaron Shimmons travelled to the USA to take on one of its iconic 200 mile races , The Bigfoot 200 , 206.5 miles with over 42000 feet in ascent .
The race route would take him from Mount St.Helens traversing the Cascade mountain range of Washington State eventually finishing in Randle . Those of us that know Aaron have seen how hard he has worked towards this race and that hard work paid off for certain. From the start of the race Aaron maintained a steady pace and held a top 10 position throughout the race in a very competitive field . Weather conditions on the Friday and Saturday produced heavy rain and thunder storms which added to the gruelling race but his experience in the mountains and of past races almost certainly gave him the edge he needed .
With 200 starters in the race the finish rate was a mere 65% which in itself aludes to the difficulty of these races and distance . Aaron finished in a superb 72 hours 44 mins for a magnificent 8th place overall , 7th male and 3rd in the vet40 category.
Definitely a performance to be proud of Aaron and from all your Barf teammates, bloody well done hi ! Arf ! Arf !
We had a lot of athletes taking part in races this weekend throughout the world . The Seven Sevens in The Mournes saw Alan Ritchie storm to a top 10 finish in 9th place overall with a time of 4.58.13 as he continues to improve in the mountains weekly . Rónán Davison-Kernan was next home in 5.11.04 followed by Brian Linton 6.31.53, Mark Robson 9.01.31 and Ian Taylor 10.25.11. Well done to them all on a challenging day weather wise on a seriously tough course .
Also on Saturday Denise O’Hagan and Pauline O’Hara travelled to the Glens of Antrim to take part in the famous Lurig Challenge Run with both tackling the serious descent with ease and finishing under an hour .
Denise and Pauline at Lurig .
Further afield Trevor Wilson took on the Zierre Zinal race in the Swiss Alps , a well known race throughout the mountain running world and now part of The Golden Trail Series .
Trevor at the finish line of the iconic Zierre Zinal !
Phone Number – 07845 659503 Give your Name and Entry Number in all messages In an emergency dial 999 ask for Police then Mountain Rescue
BARF welcomes you to the Mourne Seven Sevens Race. This event is run under FRA and NIMRA rules for fell races and is a NIMRA Championship event categorised as A-Long – Minimum age 18 years old. To compete in the race you must be an experienced fell runner and be fit enough for the distance, climb and terrain involved. The exact route is not fixed and is not way-marked at any stage. Navigational skills will be required, especially if weather conditions are poor so participants must have the ability and experience to use both map and compass. (Navigation using only a smartphone app is not allowed).
Registration opens on
Saturday morning at 08:45 and closes at 09:40
at the north end of the playing field beside Donard car park in Newcastle. The
car park is free but parking may be limited due to other events. Please car
share if possible and allow time to find parking nearby.
You will need to fill out a FRA Race Registration form with details of your car registration and emergency contact info etc.
You will be given a set of green plastic tabs and one small
white tab with your entry number on each of them. For convenience they will be
held together on a string. You will also receive an electronic timing chip (aka
dibber) which will be fastened to your wrist. Please look after
this as you will be charged £30 if you lose it.
The Start – of the race is in the
playing field at 10:00am sharp.
There will be a funnel into the Start Pen and ALL RUNNERS WILL BE GEAR CHECKED. We will also activate your Dibber at this point.
At each summit you will find an electronic SI Control Box on a post with an orange and white flag. Insert your dibber into the hole in the SI box and wait till you hear a beep. The dibber will now have recorded the time you arrived at the top. (Click here for more info on the timing system). There are five marshalled positions along the route in the cols between summits and at Ben Crom dam. Remove one green plastic tab from the string and hand it to the marshal at each of these positions.
the Finish, hand in your dibber and the last (white) plastic tab.
You will receive a print out of your progress around the route with split times
for each summit. The white plastic tab is our way of checking that you are off
the hills, so even if you fail to complete the walk please make sure that you
come to see us at the finish and hand in any remaining tabs and the dibber.
Light refreshments and showers will be available from 12:00.
Please bring a cup so we can reduce
times will be streamed live to http://lvo.org.uk/liveresults throughout the day.
We will also have live data from several checkpoints around the course which we
will publish snapshots of onto Facebook page through the day so your friends
and family can monitor your progress. Route: The route is
anti-clockwise around each of the seven summits which must be visited in the
order stipulated below plus the marshalled
checkpoints (denoted MCP below). N.B. The Controls on Commedagh and Meelmore are now at the Summit
Cairns and not at the Shelter Towers on the wall.
Cut-off time: There are
cut-off times of 12.00 at Donard-Commedagh Col and of 2:30pm at Ben Crom Dam.
This is to ensure runners complete the route before dark. Runners missing
either cut-off will be retired from the race and should return directly to
Donard Park. N.B. Retirements are marked RTD on the results with no times.
In the event of extreme weather conditions
the route may be altered on the day. Marshalled Check Points may have to be
moved for their safety but Control Boxes will remain in place.
at any stage of the event must report as soon as possible to a marshal or via
text to base and return directly to Donard Park to register that they are
safely off the mountains and to return their dibber and tags.