It felt like the Twelve Days of Christmas in the build up to this year’s race, with the weather man singing from a different song sheet each day. It wasn’t until we got to the two Turtle Doves that the decision was taken to go with the Mountain course, as the indications were that we could get the run fitted in just before the worst of the weather arrived.
This proved to be the case, and 71 hardy souls turned up for some Bleak Mid Winter action. Jonny Steede was back to defend the title he won last year. Seamus Lynch, second last year was also back, keen to continue pressurising Jonny as he has done all season. Long distance expert Eoin Lennon who ran so well last year was there as was London based Chris Smith, a two times winner of this race. Catherine O Connor who has been singing so sweetly all season looked like the potential First Nowell, er lady. Continue reading
I first walked round all the Mourne peaks over 500m almost 40 years ago (1500ft back then!), on a three day midsummer camping trip. Since then the mountains have been ordered, told to stand up straight and be counted and the Rules have been set down. My interest was kindled during the development of the Rankin Round and I was keen to have a go at the 500’s this summer.
A few sporadic recce’s and then an aborted attempt in June due to poor weather were followed by torn ligaments from an old man’s stumble in the Alps in July and that seemed to rule out any prospect this year. Continue reading
The Mourne 500’s, 39 peaks in the Mourne Mountains over 500 meters.
If you are thinking of giving this a go, please let us offer you two bits of advice.
Firstly, you can do it. The Mournes might be steep and rugged but they are compact and beautiful. It’s worth it and it is possible, if you keep moving, to walk the route in under 24hours.
Secondly, don’t do it the way we did it.
Fresh as a daisy…. at the start!