Who would have thought there were orienteering maps of in and around Derry? But on Saturday, I was treated to a fast sprint series around Gransha Estate. And then on Sunday, a technically difficult stint around Magilligan’s sand dune system.
The sprint prologue around Derry’s Gransha hospital.
The sprint was staged to select the Irish junior team for the European Sprint Orienteering Championships to be held in Finland later this year. This meant that there was a fair contingent out of young fast runners wanting to make the team. Some had even travelled the six hours from Cork in the south to Derry in the north, from opposite ends of the country just to make the team roster.
Posted in Races, Running around the World | Tagged Derry, Gransha, Magilligan, Northern Ireland, nwoc, Orienteering, Sand dunes, Sprint series | Leave a Comment »
It’s incredible, the amount of information out there for athletes about nutrition and diet. This is all the more so when you’re trying to fuel yourself for sporting activities. Whether it’s the traditional carb-loading diet or the latest High Fat, Low Carbs, it can be confusing to know what works best given your own body’s needs.
My rocket and spinach seedlings that have grown like mad.
I’m never very good at adhering to one diet or the other. My mantra instead is to eat naturally, have plenty of fruit and veg and meat, and where possible, to eat organic. And it was with this edict in mind that I decided to give growing my own vegetables a go. But, given that I had never done it before, I wasn’t even sure where to begin.
Posted in Running around the World | Tagged food, Grow It Yourself, Nutrition, plants, seeds, Vegetable growing | 3 Comments »
I was all ready to help out at the weekend’s Causeway Coast Adventure Race. It was to take place in Derry, my hometown, and I’d signed up as a marshall. I woke up, bright and early on Saturday morning, ready to head to the start. Just before leaving, I checked my Facebook page. “Event cancelled. Sorry folks!”
Descending off Prince William’s Seat during Saturday’s Wicklow Way Ultra. Courtesy of Paul Daly.
The cancellation wasn’t surprising. The day before, the country had been hit by the worst weather we’ve seen all winter. Flooding reeked havoc around Dublin, with motorway sections being shut off. 30,000 homes in Northern Ireland were left without electricity due to snow and strong winds. No one had predicted all this crap weather in the middle of March.
Posted in Running around the World | Tagged Bad weather, CCAR, gale force winds, Galeforce winds, Northern Ireland, Race cancellation | Leave a Comment »
Since moving back home, I’ve had a chance to explore the corner of Ireland where I grew up. I now live on the Inishowen Peninsula, which is lodged on the north-west tip of Ireland. It houses the island’s most northerly point, Malin Head, as well as harbouring some of Ireland’s most rugged, wild countryside.
Peter Crommie, race winner, running down towards Carndonagh on the first leg of the Shore-to-Summit race.
So when there was a chance to race across the Peninsula last weekend with Extreme North Events, I couldn’t help but sign up. Starting on the east coast’s Redcastle, the plan was to spend the next 62 kilometres biking, running, and kayaking across to Buncrana on the western side.
Posted in Races, Running around the World | Tagged Buncrana, Carndonagh, Extreme North Events, inishowen peninsula, Ireland, Mountain Running, Multisport, Road biking, Slieve Snaght | Leave a Comment »
I had just moved back home to Ireland, to a part I hadn’t lived in for nearly 20 years. So I bought myself a road bike so that I could go exploring. But how was I to know the good biking loops to take?
A friend had introduced me to Strava a few months before hand. Mel’s a super pro biker who takes her cycling seriously. She’s also the reigning Irish Road Race Champion, if that wasn’t proof enough. She opened up her laptop with much excitement to show me her online Strava profile. “You see these hills?” Mel asked, motioning to the map on the screen. “You can race up them and then compare yourself to the others who have ridden them”. She called these sections ‘segments’ and showed me how, if you’re the fastest ascender, you can get a virtual ‘Queen of the Mountains’ badge.
Posted in Running around the World | Tagged Hill climbs, hills of donegal, Melanie Spath, Road biking, Segments, Strava | 5 Comments »
It was billed as “The Big Weekend”, a veritable feast of Orienteering to be held in Northern Ireland’s County Fermanagh on 23-24 February.
Comparing routes after the Northern Ireland Score event.
To begin, the organisers promised a midday kick-off on Saturday with the Northern Ireland Score Championships. Then six hours later, the Northern Ireland Night Championships, once it got dark enough to run. Then, bright and early on Sunday morning, they would lay on a technically tricky test on the limestoned, heathered hills of Crossmurrin (near the famous Marble Arch Caves). How could I not drive the two hours down with three orienteering races on offer, all within the space of 24 hours?
Posted in Races | Tagged Crossmurrin, Enniskillen, Fermanagh, FERMO, Florencecourt Forest, Frostbite Series, Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Night Championships, Northern Ireland Score Championships, Orienteering | Leave a Comment »
The snow fell heavily as we journeyed up the M6. Turning into Kendal, it seemed to be settling more and more. We were lucky to reach Ambleside in time before the roads became impassable.
Happy to be in a snow capped Lake District for the week.
We had booked a few days in the Lake District in mid-February, a welcome spring break after the long dark Irish winter. Little did I expect this mountainous place to be covered in a foot of snow.
Posted in Running around the World | Tagged Ambleside, Far Easedale Gill, Helm Crag, Lake District, Mountain walking, nature, outdoors, Snow, Wansfell Pike, Winter | 2 Comments »