Turkey Trot Race Report

It felt like the Twelve Days of Christmas in the build up to this year’s race, with the weather man singing from a different song sheet each day. It wasn’t until we got to the two Turtle Doves that the decision was taken to go with the Mountain course, as the indications were that we could get the run fitted in just before the worst of the weather arrived.

This proved to be the case, and 71 hardy souls turned up for some Bleak Mid Winter action. Jonny Steede was back to defend the title he won last year. Seamus Lynch, second last year was also back, keen to continue pressurising Jonny as he has done all season. Long distance expert Eoin Lennon who ran so well last year was there as was London based Chris Smith, a two times winner of this race. Catherine O Connor who has been singing so sweetly all season looked like the potential First Nowell, er lady. Continue reading

Mourne 500’s on the Winter Solstice

I first walked round all the Mourne peaks over 500m almost 40 years ago (1500ft back then!), on a three day midsummer camping trip. Since then the mountains have been ordered, told to stand up straight and be counted and the Rules have been set down. My interest was kindled during the development of the Rankin Round and I was keen to have a go at the 500’s this summer.

A few sporadic recce’s and then an aborted attempt in June due to poor weather were followed by torn ligaments from an old man’s stumble in the Alps in July and that seemed to rule out any prospect this year. Continue reading

Taryn & Joanne take on the Mourne 500 Challenge

The Mourne 500’s, 39 peaks in the Mourne Mountains over 500 meters.

If you are thinking of giving this a go, please let us offer you two bits of advice.
Firstly, you can do it. The Mournes might be steep and rugged but they are compact and beautiful. It’s worth it and it is possible, if you keep moving, to walk the route in under 24hours.
Secondly, don’t do it the way we did it.

Fresh as a daisy.... at the start!

Fresh as a daisy…. at the start!

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2014 Seven Sevens – Race Report

The real stars of this year’s event were the marshals who had to endure a torrid time of it to ensure that both the runners and walkers progress was recorded accurately. They were lashed by heavy continuous rain for most of the day and a vicious wind which made life very difficult. From the forecast we knew about the rain but such a strong wind was not expected. I think we were victims of quite a complicated weather system which was difficult to forecast accurately. Continue reading

2014 Seven Sevens

Results are now online for yesterdays Seven Sevens


Photographs are can be viewed on our Facebook…

2014 Spelga Skyline – Results

Results are now online for yesterday’s scorching Spelga Skyline fell race. Click the link below…


Photographs can be viewed on our Facebook Page

The Denis Rankin Round

The Denis Rankin Round is a circuit of all the peaks in the Mourne Mountains of County Down, Northern Ireland, over 400m in height, covering over 86km (54miles) in distance and over 6000m (20,000ft) in ascent. The challenge is to complete this within a 24hour period.

The Round is named after Denis Rankin, a pioneer and leading light in fell running and mountain marathons in Northern Ireland since the 1970’s, who tragically died on 16th 2013 competing in a fell race on Slieve Moughanmore. Continue reading

BARF Recce: Spelga Skyline

This past week a few BARFs decided to take to the mountains and recce the classic Spelga Skyline race route, which will be reintroduced to the NIMRA championship on Saturday 5th July. It was perfect weather for such a long jaunt, half of which is over the lesser trodden western Mournes. With recent experience at Donard a good reminder, we knew to pack all the essentials – map, compass & full body cover!

The route sets off from the gate at the base of Slievenamuck, climbs to the summit, and then descends to the first of two road crossings at the well known Ott track. From this point it’s time to set your own course for the next checkpoint on the summit of Slieve Meelbeg. This ground is fairly rough with equal parts peat hag and long (wet) grass, with the climb up Meelbeg also including a scramble over boulders. Once high enough we picked up the ridge trail to the summit cairn.The route ahead...

The route ahead…

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