Spelga Skyline

Race Information
NIMRA Championship – Long distance race

  • Date: Saturday 20th July 2024
    • ENTRIES OPEN: Late June 2024 (scroll to bottom of this page)
  • Registration: 9.30 – 10.30 am
  • Race Start: 11 am
  • Race HQ: Spelga Dam (NI Water Car Park)
  • Race Director: Mark Hopkins
  • (Cut Off Time 14:00 at Deers Meadow road crossing)
  • Distance: 21km (13 miles) subject to route choice
  • Ascent: 1550m

Results: Provisional results will be streamed live here  (3G coverage permitting)

The race will start on the track on the lower slopes of Slievenamuck and will visit 9 summits along the skyline around Spelga reservoir. From Cock Mtn the run to the finish passes below the dam before a last short climb up to the car park. There are two mandatory road crossings but the rest of the course is off-road.

Route alteration due to Buzzard attacks near Fofanny/Meelbeg – Mandatory SI control now at the stile at Slieve Loughshannagh – Carn Col. Runners should follow Ott track up to the stile and then continue with remaining controls as normal.

Competitors must visit allo f the checkpoints in the correct order, with the route between checkpoints being at the runners’ discretion. The course is not marked.

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 18yrs on the day.

Parking: Runners should park below the dam in the ‘runners only’ car park. Please do not use the public car park or the NI Water car park. Entrance to the runners’ car park is at map ref: 264 274. Marshalls will direct the runners to the car park area. All vehicles and contents are left at the owner’s risk.

Toilets are available at the Spelga public toilets.

Registration will open at 9:45 and close sharp at 10:30 am. Competitors who have arrive after 10:30 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 in Section 3 of the FRA rules for runners.

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

The Course
Competitors must visit all of the checkpoints below in the correct order, with the route between checkpoints being at the runners’ discretion. The checkpoints marked as “Timed” have control boxes which must be dibbed. All  Irish Grid Ref are square J.

Grid Ref J
268 274
Start – Inside gate
275 279
Slievenamuck summit / Butter Mountain
Stile at Loughshannagh/Carn col
301 279
Slieve Meelbeg summit (Timed)
294 273
Slieve Loughshannagh summit (Timed)
282 250
Slieve Muck summit (Timed)
271 254
Deer’s Meadow Road crossing – Cut off 14:00
249 241
Slievemoughanmore summit (Timed)
235 240
Pierces Castle summit (Timed)
234 259
Rocky Mountain summit (Timed)
245 276
Hen Mountain summit (Timed)
254 268
Cock Mountain summit (Timed)
265 273
Bridge below Spelga Dam – follow tapes to Finish
267 274
Finish – Spelga car park

There will be a cut off time of 14:00 at the marshalled checkpoint at the Deers Meadow road crossing. 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 area 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 the Deers Meadow 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.

All runners must report to the race control at the finish area and return their SI Cards, whether they have completed the course or not.

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

  • Waterproof whole 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.

( N.B. Walking poles are not permitted under NIMRA rules )

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.

Sources of water are limited along the route. Competitors may leave us with a drink bottle which we will transport to the Deers Meadow checkpoint. Please mark your bottle distinctly – it is your own responsibility to ensure you grab the right bottle.

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   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.

Refreshments – will be served at the finish.

The first Spelga Skyline race was held in May 1981 and was won by Denis Rankin with Jim Hayes second.

Entry fees will be £10 for Affiliated, £12 for unaffiliated (U23 and 65+ £5/7). Registration will be pre-entry only, no registration will be available on the day. Race entries will open on 10th June and close on Friday 30th June or sooner if entries are full. Minimum age 18ys (on the day).
Race numbers will be restricted to 150 people.

All inquiries should be emailed to admin@barfni.co.uk

Race Emergency Contact number: 07989 332742