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
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!
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
Results are now online for yesterdays Seven Sevens
Photographs are can be viewed on our Facebook…
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 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
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…
Saturday 10th May saw many familiar faces descend on Dunnywater for the classic Annalong Horseshoe. The race started sharp at 11am under murky damp skies, but the weather didn’t seem to phase NI’s fell running elite. Continue reading
Long Distance Fred, now with a full entourage of BARF company for longer races, once again headed to the Wicklow Mountains on Saturday for IMRA’s Wicklow Way races. Lots of purple vests at the start line, albeit hidden underneath waterproof jackets.
To the hills!!