Category Archives: Other

ANNALONG HORSESHOE FELL RACE 2021 REPORT

WE’RE BACK!! Fellrunning returned to the Mournes on Saturday 03rd July for the first time this year. With a new venue, revised race route, a record number of entrants (116) and Covid restrictions to manage, the race organisers were kept busy in the weeks before the race. This race was the first long category race, 20km and 2000m of ascent, in the 2021 NIMRA championship.

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Summer Races Return


The BARF/NIMRA summer race season returns with a  vengeance on 3rd of July with the 20km Annalong Horseshoe. This iconic race will start from a new venue at the top of the Carrick Little track and will also take in Slieve Donard for the first time.

Annalong is quickly followed by the Spelga Skyline (also 20km) on 17th July and then we have the longest race of the series – the Seven Sevens  – on 14th August.

See our races pages for full details and how to enter.

Turkey Trot 2020 CANCELLED

Unfortunately we will not be organizing the Turkey Trot this year due to the ongoing uncertainties regarding Covid 19. At the time of writing (early November) it looks like the situation will not be improving any time soon so there is no point putting the effort into organizing a race in such circumstances. 

A gaggle of Turkey Trotters 2008

We, the Turkey Trot organizers would like to express our condolences to the family circle of Chris Smith who lost his life while running in the Scottish Highlands last week. Chris won the Turkey Trot in 2008 and 2012 and would appear every second year when he spent the Christmas period in Northern Ireland, apart from 2010 when the race was cancelled due to snow. His last appearance was in 2014 when he finished second after an epic battle with Shamus Lynch. He was an exceptional runner especially on continental type courses where he represented GB on a number of occasions. He ran for Thames Valley Harriers and there is an interesting Athletics Weekly article from 2014 where he talked about his training techniques for the mountains while living nowhere near them. These techniques obviously worked for he had some great results including winning the Snowdon International race. A nice guy and a very sad loss.

2008: 1st Chris Smith ( 835), 2nd Matt Williomson (822), 3rd Eddy Hanna (854),
Steve Cunningham (794) 5th Jonny Steede (814).

Jim Brown.

Rankin success for Rónán

Congratulations to our rock climbing and mountain runner Rónán Davison-Kernan who successfully completed The Denis Rankin Round , 90km and over 6000 metres elevation through tough terrain in the Mourne Mountains, at the weekend .

Taking on the 39 tops his dedication to learning the round and his helping others previously gave him the experience needed to get round in an impressive 19 hours 56 mins on a tricky day weather wise and underfoot . Well done Arf Arf !

Rónán smiling his way round on Saturday

More on this challenge can be found here

Top 5 for Alan in Wicklow

With the seven sisters 25k being cancelled on Saturday Alan Ritchie turned his attention to Drumgoff Mountain race in Wicklow .

Alan (left) at Drumgoff Mountain race

Alan went out with the front runners and had a strong race coming home in 1 hour 35 mins for a super 5 th place . Well done and great to see the purple vest on tour! Arf ! Arf !

Joy in Donegal for our athletes !

Last Saturday morning bright and early saw some of our eager mountain goats get to finally race again . The setting was the stunning Derryveagh Mountains in Donegal . The race was the Seven Sisters Skyline 50 k , a gruelling race with over 4000 metres elevation in these tough mountains .

Jackie Toal looking strong on the climbs . Pic by Rory O’Donnell

In the ladies race the ever consistent Jackie Toal finished in a great 8th place in 11.09 . The men’s race saw Colin Pascoe home in a super 20 th place in 9.09 followed shortly after by Glen Blake , Philip Ward and Richard Wilson in what was a tough day out in the heat .

Well done to all representatives of the club and great to see you finally racing again ! Arf ! Arf !

Rankin joy for Glen

In the early hours of Sunday morning BARF athlete Glen Blake set off on his challenge , The Denis Rankin Round , which would see him take on 90 km in distance and around 6500 metres in elevation covering all peaks in the Mourne Mountains over 400 metres .

Glen under the arch at the finish .

A gruelling challenge lay ahead but Glen stormed round in 19 hours 26 mins finishing way ahead of the 24 hour cut off for completing this round, running the entire route on his own he only received food and water at the road crossings .

A very well done from all at BARF as we add another member to the list of completions ! Arf Arf !

More information on the round can be found here http://www.denisrankinround.com

BARF helping hand in clean up !

This morning bright and early two of our members Susan Lambe and Geoff Smyth joined a group of 17 fellow mountain enthusiasts organised by Joanne McCauley for a litter pick on various areas of the Mournes heading out from base at Meelmore Lodge. Teams went in all directions and covered a lot of ground on the hills and surrounding roads and car parks , The team managed to fill an entire industrial euro bin with rubbish . Well done to all involved . Our new environmental officer Pauline O’Hara is also working hard in the background and liaising with various bodies involved in protecting our precious hills so you can expect to see more BARF representation working on the hills in years to come to make it a great place to come and visit . Arf ! Arf !

Susan Lambe (left) Geoff Smyth (right) pictured after the clean up with organiser Joanne McCauley with her daughter Meadow and Alan Woodcroft from Mourne Heritage Trust .