Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Mountain Running’ Category

We are in an age where limits no longer apply. Runners are going further, faster, for longer, in colder and darker conditions. Races are run over days and weeks, not hours and minutes. Athletes are enduring physical and emotional torment beyond what was ever thought feasible.

2.-Day-Seven-Hands-and-feet-DSC00571

Steve Birkinshaw on his way to breaking the 214 Wainwright Peaks Fastest Known Time (FKT) in 2014.

Steve Birkinshaw is one of those remarkable runners who know no limits. No longer content to ‘just’ win the Original Marathon Mountain and the relentless Dragon’s Back Race the length of Wales, in 2014 he set out to break Joss Naylor’s ‘unbreakable’ record of traversing the 214 Wainwright peaks in the Lake District in just over seven days.

Read more…

Read Full Post »

It had been nearly 18 months since my last IMRA race. In the interim time, a baby and a move to Northern Ireland had put pay to my mountain racing days.

How to hurdle, mountain running style. Winner of Annacurra race showing it how it's done. Photo courtesy of Mick Hanney.

How to hurdle, mountain running style. Winner of Annacurra race showing it how it’s done. Photo courtesy of Mick Hanney.

But then Mick Hanney started posting pictures on Facebook. They were of rocks and mountains and muck and puddles. There were views from descents and trees to hurdle. It was too much to resist. I had to attend his mountain race.


Read more

Read Full Post »

I woke up early to blue skies, crisp air, and the sun rising over picture perfect slopes. It was my last day in Snowmass village, just outside the ski resort of Aspen. An early morning run would be the best antidote to the 5 hours I knew I’d spend in the car that day.

The Snowmass Aspen Rim Trail Run.

I found a trail online that headed straight up the mountainside and on to the rim which circles above Snowmass. A switch backed 20 minutes of uphill brought me to the top and a smorgasborg of early morning views.

Read more…

Read Full Post »

I’m not a speedy 10k flat road runner. I’m a long distance endurance mountain runner. But that didn’t stop me from turning up recently to IMRA’s trail league for a fast and semi-flat 7km race.

The fast forest on Earl's Drive. Photo courtesy of Greg Byrne.

IMRA’s trail league is a series of three Wednesday night races held in August at the end of the popular Leinster League. They are short and fast, with minimal amounts of climb and virtually no technical terrain. They are designed for newbies wanting to give mountain running a go, whilst also catering for those who are looking to wind down after an already full season of running.

I fit into neither of those two categories.

Read more…

Read Full Post »

The Mourne Mountains Seven Sevens race takes place every year on the first weekend in August. I have always wanted to run it. But alas, I was often busy or away on that fateful weekend. Last year, knowing I would miss out again, I ran the route for fun instead, taking pictures as I went. But this year, I knew I’d be in Ireland for the event so made the firm decision to run it.

Climbing Slieve Binnian during the Mournes Seven Sevens. Photo courtesy of Harry Marcus.

I woke on Saturday morning to see the Mourne Mountains shrouded in mist. It was not the sight I had hoped for. Having been based overseas for the last 12 months, my navigation had become a little rusty and I wasn’t sure how my map and compass skills would fair. I had gone to the trouble of marking up my map with the appropriate compass bearings in case of such conditions. That was however before they changed the race route a few days before hand and decided that the runners would go clockwise around the mountains instead of the usual anti-clockwise route. A few last minute corrections the night before meant I eventually had the correct bearings in place: I was ready to run from Donard Car Park, to Slieve Donard, Commadagh, Lamangan, Binninan, Ben Crom Dam, Meelmore, Meelbeg, Bearnargh, and then back to Donard Car Park, to cover 29 kilometres of mountain terrain and to climb 2,700 meters of it.

Read more…

Read Full Post »

I wanted to run the Champadevi Ridge last weekend. And it looked really simple on the map. Run out the front door, head west through Patan, then over the bridge to Panga. From there I’d pick up a road to the miniature villages of Yacho and Khatrichhap whilst bearing all the time straight ahead to the looming Champadevi Ridge on the Kathmandu valley rim.

The ridge, the 2249 peak and White Hill - all from Kokhana village.

That bit was simple enough.

Read more…

Read Full Post »

We were looking for a flight home to Hanoi on the weekend of 9/10 January. However it is nearly impossible to fly straight into Hanoi on a long-haul international flight. It meant flying into neighbouring hubs such as Bangkok or Singapore or Kuala Lumpar or Hong Kong.

The half marathon race route looking down into Mai Wo's Silvermine Bay.

Via Hong Kong? Where all the mountains are? And isn’t that where the North Face Mountain Marathon Series takes place? And isn’t the 9/10 January a weekend when one of the four races happen? It was an easy decision. Fly from Doha to Hong Kong, arriving in on Saturday 9 January at 2pm, run the half marathon the morning of Sunday 10 January, and go on the 10pm flight to Hanoi that night.

Sounded like a perfect plan.

Read more…

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »