Bad weather blocks Weekend’s Racing

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.
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.

Wicklow's Aughrim River bursts its banks. Courtesy of breakingnews.ie
Wicklow’s Aughrim River bursts its banks. Courtesy of breakingnews.ie

My own home escaped the rain and snow, but gale force winds hit my place instead. I woke to find the top cover of my garage flat roof blown off. And then, the plastic garden shed I had recently put up was nowhere to be seen. I searched everywhere – in neighbours’ gardens, around my own home – but there was not a sign of it anywhere. I live right beside the sea, so I assume that the billowing shed took flight and is now floating somewhere in the mid-Atlantic.

My wrecked roof, torn up by the gales.
My wrecked roof, torn up by the gales.

The adventure race cancellation wasn’t however due to bad weather on the course. Derry, in the north-west part of Ireland, had gotten off lightly in the storms. It was the fact that most of the participants were coming from far and wide. Most were snowed in in their own homes and couldn’t make the drive. Refunds were promptly given out that very day. And a silver lining arose in that the planned course can be used another time. It won’t be this year though, as the spring and summer race timetable is already full.

Eastern side and high lands in Northern Ireland got hit by snow in mid-March.
Eastern side and high lands in Northern Ireland got hit by snow in mid-March.

Other races though were merely postponed instead of cancelled. The Larne Half Marathon was put off until another day. Sunday’s Buncrana Duathlon will now take place in 3 weeks time on 14 April. Only the crazy mountain runners remained undeterred. The Wicklow Way Ultra and Trail races still went ahead on Saturday despite freezing snowy conditions forecast for the Wicklow Mountain area.

It’s at times like this that I wonder if I was wrong to curse the 35 degrees heat that assaulted me in Cambodia.

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