Boxing Day saw Barf athlete Aaron Shimmons take on the Greencastle 5 mile road race in testing conditions . He went through 5 k in 18.41 and continued to look strong finishing in 32.44 as he continues his prep for his early 2020 goals . Well done Arf Arf !
The Turkey Trotters had to contend with a grizzly Boxing Dayas low cloud, rain and strong winds made for difficult conditions on the hills. The shorter course had to be used for safety reasons with an out and back route to the Hares Gap via the Trassey Track and Tollymore forest paths.
Seventy Two hardy souls turned up, including last year’s winner Seamus Lynch keen to retain the Martin Mc Mahon Trophy, Paul Pruzina looking to win it for a second time, and Eoin Lennon, who improves every year looking for a first win. Megan Wilson looked like the likely winner of the ladies race but there were a few with other ideas.
At this stage I should mention all the marshals and helpers who volunteered for an uncomfortable couple of hours work in rather hostile conditions. If it wasn’t for their good natured determination and support on a bad day this event couldn’thappen.
The pace was as fast as ever through the forest and the climb up the Trassey track turned out to be more entertaining than usual with a torrent of water flowing along it at one point and knee depth river crossings at other points. Higher up the glen the water poured out of every fisher in the ground and the climb to the Hares gap was slippery and mucky.
Eoin Lennon had established a short lead over Seamus Lynch with Paul Pruzina just behind. There was a bit of a gap to the next group which included Andrew Tees, Adam Cunninghamand former winner and now vet 50 speed machine Neil Carty. Megan was leading the ladies but Lisburns Karen Wilton was not far behind.
The run down from the Hares gap was treacherous and resulted in a few cuts and gashes and the rough Trassey Track tripped up a few but before long everybody was making their way through the foaming leg washes of the overflowing rivers which resulted in the greatest array of shiny white legs with goose bumps that I have ever seen at a finish line. What was I reminded of? Ah yes..Turkeys!
Eoin held onto his lead and claimed the Turkey Trot title for the first time just ten seconds ahead of Seamus with Paul a further fifty seconds adrift. Fastest vet in 7th place overall was nifty fifty plus Neil Carty and Megan Wilson won the ladies title with a couple of minutes to spare over Karen Wilton and Karalee Mc Bride.
The prize giving was held in the Outdoor centre where everybody enjoyed the food provided by Barf club membersand the generous selection of prizes were distributed. Paddy Mallon entertained with his spot prize quiz then it was time to tidy up and wish all a happy new year and good running until the Turkeys gather again next year for whatever the elements the season decides to administer.
Turkey Trot helpers required
Barf athlete Peter Thompson and his family have set off in their camper van in a trip around Europe for the next few months . He decided to kick off this tour with a mountain ultra , in typical Barf fashion , as you do . They made their way to Chiva just outside Valencia to take on the 61 k Carrera X Montana mountain ultra with 3000 metres elevation thrown in . His training for this race certainly paid off as he finished in 7 hours 22 mins for a fantastic 21st place overall in his first European Ultra . Well done and enjoy the rest of your adventures! Arf ! Arf !
This months training schedule is as follows
Thursday 5 December Cavehill
Meeting at adventure playground car park for 18.45 start .
Thursday 12 December Redburn Park
Meeting at car park beside nursing home for 18.45
Thursday 19 December Shaws Bridge
Meet in car park for 18.45 start
Headtorch and trail shoes a must for all nights . Dress accordingly for winter conditions.
New members are welcome to come along and try a few sessions out .
Saturday afternoon saw four of our mountain runners represent the club at the highly competitive Seeley Cup 10 k road race in Belfast .
First home for the club was Alan Ritchie in 38.49 followed by Geoff Smyth in 40.48 , Aaron in 40.52 and Dessie in 42.26 . Aaron and Dessie managed to bag PB’s on the day of impressive running from the hill men . Well done to all Arf! Arf !