Seven Sevens

The race is held in conjunction with the annual Challenge Walk hosted by Lagan Valley Orienteers. Please be courteous to the marshals and walkers and practice social distancing where required.

  • Date: Saturday 3rd August 2024
    • ENTRIES OPEN: 3 weeks before
  • Registration: 8.30 – 09.30 am
  • Race Start: 10.00 am
  • Race HQ: Shimna Integrated College, Kings Road, Newcastle. Grid ref J374 302
  • Race Director: Jim Brown
  • Distance: 19 miles /30.5 km  subject to route choice
  • Ascent: 8700ft / 2600 m
  • Direction (2024): Anti-clockwise

Entry fees will be £15 for Affiliated, £17 for unaffiliated. (U23 and V65+ reduced fee) Registration will be pre-entry only, no registration will be available on the day. Race entries will open early July and close on Thursday 1st August or sooner, if entries are full. Minimum age 18ys (on the day). Race numbers will be restricted to 150 people.

Event Description: This is an arduous mountain race on open mountains and entrants should have the necessary required fitness levels and experience before submitting an entry. In bad weather and/or poor visibility navigation skills and experience is an essential requirement for all entrants. This is not a suitable race for novices or new entrants to the sport of mountain running. The race organisers reserve the right to refuse a starting place to anybody whom they deem to not have the requisite experience and/or fitness. The minimum entry age is 18.

Parking: Runners can park their vehicles in the school grounds. Access is via Kings St from the Shore Rd.

Toilets: Are available in the school

Registration: will open at 8:30 and close sharp at 9:30 am. Competitors who have arrive after 9.30 will not be permitted to start.

Competitors are requested to maintain social distancing and adhere to marshals’ instructions in relation to start procedures.

This race will be run under Athletics NI and FRA rules. The minimum safety kit to be carried will be as described here on the FRA website.

RouteThe course is anti-clockwise this year (2024) so the main summits in order are Donard, Commedagh, Bearnagh, Meelmore, Meelbeg, Binnian and Lamagan, then back to the college finishing via the marked route through the forest. An electronic control box will have to be dibbed on each summit plus at Ben Crom Dam and there are five marshalled positions which must be checked into as well. In order they are –

Checkpoint Grid Ref *
Marshals / Timed
Start – Shimna College J 374 302  
Slieve Donard J 357 276 Control Box
Col Donard-Commedagh J 349 279 MCP 1
Slieve Commedagh J 346 286 Control Box
Hares Gap J 322 286
MCP 2 & Control Box
Slieve Bernagh J 312 280 Control Box
Slieve Meelmore J 305 285 Control Box
Col Meelmore-Melbeg J 303 281 MCP 3
Slieve Meelbeg 708m J 300 279 Control Box
Ben Crom Dam – NW end  (Cut-Off Time 14:00) J 313 256
MCP 4 & Control Box
Slieve Binnian J 320 233 Control Box
Col Lamagan Binnian J 321 255 MCP 5
Slieve Lamagan J 328 260 Control Box
Finish – Shimna College J 374 301  

There will be a cut off time of 14:00 at Ben Crom Dam. All runners must report to this checkpoint and ensure that their race number is recorded before continuing on the race route. Any runners arriving at the checkpoint after the cut-off time will be requested by the marshals to proceed to the finish via the road. Any runners disobeying this instruction and continuing on the race route will be disqualified and barred from entry to future B.A.R.F. organised events. Marshals will remain in position until 14:15. Any runners who can’t reach the Dam by this time or arrive there after must return directly to the race HQ via the safest route and MUST NOT continue along the race route. If possible, they should also advise the Race Organiser of their retirement, location and return route via the contact number below.

This race will be run under permit from Athletics NI and in accordance with  FRA rules The minimum safety kit to be carried will be:

  • Waterproof full body cover (with taped seams and integrated atached hood)
  • Hat
  • Gloves
  • Whistle
  • Map covering the entire course **
  • Compass**
  • Thermal (foil) blanket or bag

** Map and compass must be physical and not electronic – Use of GPS devices for navigation is not permitted.

The above is a minimum requirement. A rigorous kit check will be undertaken of each competitor’s safety kit prior to the start. Any competitor not complying with the minimum safety kit will not be permitted to start the race

Race Number BIBs
Must be worn to the front and be easily read by the marshals at checkpoints along the route.

Weather conditions in mountain areas can be very unpredictable and can swing between extremes. Runners should be familiar with the dangers and signs of hypothermia and hyperthermia and what action to take. Please read these leaflets on the FRA website – Hyperthermia  and  Hypothermia – and be prepared.

Will be by SPORTident SI Cards (aka dibbers) and Control Boxes. Any runners losing their SI Card will be charged a £30 replacement fee. (see here for an outline of the SPORTident timing system).

All retiring runners should report to the nearest marshal’s post (if possible), return by the safest, direct route and must report to the race organisers at the finish.

Once competitors have punched the finish control, please proceed promptly to the download desk to record your time and return your SI Card.

Covid Measures

Please take note of the Covid measures and restrictions stated in SI Entries before signing up to this race.

Other Items:

  • Water – is in short supply out on the course. Plan accordingly.
  • Food – Refreshments will be provided at the finish.
  • No Safety Pins – Bring your own
  • No Wall Walking – As usual, the Mourne Wall must not be walked or run upon. Use stiles or secure points to cross it where required.
  • Out-of-Bounds – Follow tapes out and back through forest and own navigation out on the hills
  • Other users – Donard Forest is a popular public space. Please be mindful of other users and give them a wide berth there and on the hills. You do not have right of way just because you are a serious international athlete.
  • Retirements – All retiring runners should report to the nearest marshal’s post (if possible), return by the safest, direct route and must report to the race organisers at the finish.
  • RESULTS – will be published live here (3G permitting)