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 !
On Tuesday BARF runners Conor McKernon and Geoff Smyth (pictured below on new trail) were on the hills but this time they were working with the Mourne Heritage Trust helping to construct a new trail above Ben Crom reservoir to replace the old trail which is suffering from erosion . This was Geoff’s first time time but Conor has been helping out for a while now and also helps with the National Trust repair team on occasions .
Later in the week Denise O’Hagan, Pauline O’Hara ,Dawson Stelfox and Vincent Mc Alinden we’re invited to join a group on Donard including Mountaineering Ireland ,National Trust and the Mourne Heritage Trust to discuss and give input on a range of issues from path repair , wall repair , erosion ,event management, land ownership and a host of other topics. No doubt the various organisations benefited from having such an experienced group of Barf members at their disposal for the day . Well done on both days folks , great to see the club being represented in these ways Arf!Arf!
The Derryveagh mountains in Donegal provided the setting for some serious mountain running at the weekend with the UK and Ireland Skyrunner Series coming to town. Saturday saw the 26 k take place with over 2000 metres climbing .
Clarke Campbell (above) took on the 26k on the Saturday finishing in 7.09.42 and remarked at how brutally tough but enjoyable the course was .
On Sunday it was the turn of the 50 k with a gruesome 4000 metres plus of climbing it would certainly put our Barfers to the test . Richard Wilson (above) completed the race in 13.04.05 and Alan Ritchie (below) came home 18th male ,19 th overall in a very strong field he ran an impressive 8.55.17 .
Well done to all three on a testing course but definitely an enjoyable one from all reports , will definitely be on the radar of a few more from the club next year . Arf ! Arf !
Just like to put meeting time and venues from August. The 8th Divis carpark at 6.30- The 15th at 6.30 at Shaws Brigde carpark at 6.30. The 22nd at Redburn carpark beside nursing home, as per last year. Last session each month will be more speed focused meeting at Ozone carpark 6.30pm on 29th.
Anyone wishing to try a session or two before joining the club is welcome to attend , just make yourself known beforehand if possible .
Congratulations to BARF ultra athlete Jackie Toal who has just finished in the top ten at the notoriously tough Ronda dels Cims race in Andorra. Taking in over 13500 metres of elevation gain over a distance of 170 km Jackie completed the course in a superb 51 hours for 7th lady in this highly competitive race . Well done Jackie .Arf ! Arf !
On Saturday morning Aaron Shimmons took on the Mourne 500. A gruelling route around the Mourne Mountains taking in all 39 summits over 500 metres in height, over 60 km in distance, and total elevation gain of 5000 metres. It also has to be completely unsupported and everything needed has to be carried by the challenger. Aaron completed the route in 12 hours 38 minutes breaking the previous record held by Billy Reed of 13.10. His route choice took him to a distance of 62.5 k in what was superb run. Aaron’s local knowledge definitely proving beneficial as he prepares for even bigger challenges ahead!
Well done to Taryn McCoy and Joanne Curran who are currently taking on some spectacular climbs in the Chamonix Mont Blanc region of the Alps as part of the Mountaineering Ireland Summer Alpine Meet . Well done folks Arf ! Arf !