With the suspension of all activities we will take this time to get to know our runners and climbers . First up is Mark Hopkins a 46 yr old Information Security Consultant or in his words ‘professional geek’ . He started running in 1999 with Ballydrain Harriers then North Down before joining the prestigious B.A.R.F .
How did you get into mountain running/climbing? Through my dad , he was orienteering and doing mountain marathons also the Hill and Dale races in the 90’s. I was running a bit for training with Ju Jitsu and was talked into my first race at Castlewellan Hill and Dale in 1999.
What’s your favourite local race? Probably Slieve Bearnagh as it’s 3 summits in 4 miles and brutal and sustained eyeballs out the whole way .
Favourite mountain? Slieve Commedagh
What’s been your favourite moment in running? Finishing Ben Nevis race or Pilgrims challenge, a two day ultra in England .
What’s your diet like? Could be better…..I have a very sweet tooth.
Funniest moment in running or climbing? Funny for my climbing friends but not for me , swinging from the end of a rope at Muckcross Head .
What other activities do you enjoy? Skateboarding, snowboarding, cycling, swimming, video games and going to live music gigs .
What’s the one race you want to do in future or mountain to climb ? I would like to complete the Rankin round and also tick off more Munroes.
How did you end up with the motley crue that is Barf ? I was nagged into joining by Mark Pruzina.
Favourite music album and why ? Impossible to narrow it down but Prong ‘ Umleashed in the West Live in Berlin’ gets rolled out quiet a lot .
Three of our runners took part in the inaugural running of We Run Wild NI’s Glenarm Castle to Carrickfergus Castle , a tough 50 k route taking in the Glens of Antrim , forests , lanes and country roads . The race is self sufficient and a roadbook is used to navigate your way from start to finish .
Paul Nixon , one of many new members to the club this year was home in 5.54 for 13 th place overall followed by Geoff Smyth in 5.59 who decided to do an extra couple of k on a wrong turn and Philip Ward in 6.57 as he continues to add to his impressive tally of marathons and ultras . Well done to all in what was a very tough boggy 20 k in the mountains . Arf Arf !
Saturday saw the hill running folk appear from hibernation and descend upon Slieve Gullion . A short and fast race to start the season off with just over 6 k and nearly 300 metres elevation. Alan Ritchie was home in a strong 37.11 for 15th place followed by Geoff Smyth in 40.10 , new recruit Luke Terry in 41.27 and Ian Taylor in 68.44.
Photography by Alan Magee …..New Barfer Luke Terry in action on Saturday.