Turkey Trot

26th December 2023

  • Distance: 7.5km
    Elevation Gain: 400 m
  • Venue: Meelmore Lodge  52 Trassey Road, Bryansford, BT33 0QB
  • Registration: 10:30 – 11:30
  • Start: 12:00
  • Start Format: Mass start
  • Parking Fee: £3 Payable to Meelmore Lodge (TBC)
  • Entry Fee: £8 pre-entry via SI Entries  (£10 on the day)
  • Toilets: Yes
  • Refreshments: At Tollymore Outdoor Centre (see below)
  • Entries: click here for online entry 
  • Online entries close on 23rd December. A limited number of entries will be available on the day.
  • Min Age – 18yrs on the day

The Turkey Trot is long running Boxing Day calorie burn open to all hill runners over 18yrs old. The course is basically a clockwise circuit of Slieve Meelmore, 7.5 km in length with a height gain of 400m.

As this is a winter race it is essential that all competitors arrive prepared for any eventuality, so make sure you have appropriate clothing plus a good water proof jacket and leggings, hat, gloves, emergency foil blanket or bag, map, compass, whistle and some energy food. If you have them bring some safety pins as well for your race number. We would also recommend that a Mobile phone is carried with the following number in its memory in case of emergencies, 07768 044 815. There will be a full kit check before the race so please come prepared or risk being turned away.

The race will start in the field behind Meelmore Lodge and  follows the lane from the Lodge to the gate in the wall giving access to the hills (GR 308 301). Once through the gate veer left and climb south-east following rough paths to the marker at the ford on the Trassey Track (CP1 314 296) below the Spellack cliffs. From there climb to the col between Slieve Bearnagh and Slieve Meelmore (CP2 309 282) then onwards to the higher col between Slieve Meelmore and Slieve Meelbeg (CP3 303 281). This section of the course will be marked with taped canes. From there a fast descent of the Happy valley leads to a marshaled marker close to the style at the bottom of the valley (CP4 grid ref 294 294). You must run around this marker. The final section follows the Mourne way back to the top of the lane leading back to Meelmore Lodge and the finish line.

N.B. The fields and road to the north of the boundary wall are out-of-bounds.

Marshals will be at the cols and will record your progress as will the marshal at the bottom of the Happy Valley. Look out for slippy ground particularly at the top of the Happy Valley if it is icy or there has been lots of rain. Please come properly prepared for a winter run with proper waterproof coat and trousers, hat and gloves and a space blanket or bag, to provide some warmth and protection in an emergency. A map, compass and whistle are also essential equipment requirements.

The minimum age to enter is 18 on the day of the race and no dogs or pets can take part.

Hypothermia – Although this is a short race, the winter conditions do increase the risk of hypothermia. Please familiarise yourself with the symptoms and remedies by reading this great poster from the FRA – click here.

Refreshments – After the race there will be mulled wine and mince pies at the Tollymore Outdoor centre, and the traditional BARF TT prize-giving featuring high quality BARF Christmas leftovers and Paddy Mallon’s anarchic quiz!

N.B. This is a fun event – there are no age-class prizes.