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 !
Peter Thompson travelled south this weekend to take on the tough Glendalough Tucker Trail , an 80 k trail race with over 2000 metres elevation . He stormed home in under 8 hours 30 mins to take an impressive 4th place overall . Superb running from Peter in one of his first ultra outings .
One to watch on the ultra scene for sure in the future ! Arf ! Arf !
This year’s Mourne Sevens Seven’s Race on the 10th August
will start from its traditional start at the Pavilion in Donard Park as Shimna College
is unavailable. The race will be held in conjunction with the annual challenge
walk and will be in an anticlockwise direction, which is Slieve Donard and
Commedagh first followed by Bernagh, the Meels, Bencrom Dam, Binnian, Lamagan
then back to the finish line in Donard Park. Marshals will be at the cols
between Donard / Commedagh, Hares gap, Meelmore/ MeelBeg, The Dam and Binnian/Lamagan
which you check into after completing Binnian.
It will be an entry on the day race costing £10.00 for
registered runners (£11.00 unregistered) and entry’s will be taken from 8.00am
until 9.40am. The race will start at 10.00 promptly. Please do not enter the
race if you are a walker who has failed to get an entry for the walk, as there
are cut off times which you will fail to make unless you are running. The main
cut off time is 14.30 at the Ben Crom Dam which is half way round the route. I
have decided to have a second cut off time of 12.00 at the col between Slieve
Donard and Slieve Commedagh, as anybody going at that pace is unlikely to make
the Dam cut off time.
When you enter the race you will be issued with a set of
green plastic tabs and an electronic Si dibber. Insert the dipper into the
control boxes on the Summits and at the Dam to record your times. Hand a green
tab to each group of marshals you pass and this way we know exactly where you
have been. At the finish hand in the dipper and your last remaining plastic tab
which will be a small white one.
This is the longest toughest race on the NIMRA calendar so
come prepared for any eventuality. Full waterproof kit, gloves and hat must be
carried together with map, compass, whistle and food. We would recommend that a
space blanket or better still the bag version is carried as it could save your
life if you go down injured in bad weather conditions – yes we have previously
dealt with hypothermia cases during this event in beautiful summery August…..
So as I said before, be ready for any eventuality. If the weather forecast is for hot conditions,
remember that water is in short supply for long sections of the route so plan
accordingly. If you are carrying a phone the emergency event number is 07802
All the best with your preparations and if you are not
running but are available to help out please get in touch as it is always a
challenge getting enough helpers to ensure the success of the event.