Learning the ‘trick’ to the 6 Hour Rogaine

Ireland’s Annual Rogaine is one of this country’s best kept secrets. Every year, Setanta Orienteers hosts this race deep in the Wicklow Mountains on the weekend closest to the summer solstice. I’ve entered this race twice before, in 2007 and 2008. On my last outing, my partner Andrew and I were subjected to the worst weather … Continue reading Learning the ‘trick’ to the 6 Hour Rogaine

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Failing to Respect the Denis Rankin Round

I was ready to go. I had spent months preparing for the day. I had recced the entire ninety-kilometre route during the dismal winter we had, when snow and glacial winds battered the Mourne Mountains. Returning from each run, I meticulously marked up my map with compass bearings. I had developed lists of food, drink, … Continue reading Failing to Respect the Denis Rankin Round

Running Hard Blog Tour – Book Review

I’m very pleased to be part of the blog tour for Steve Chilton’s book Running Hard: the story of a rivalry, which is published in paperback on Thursday 19th October. Nothing can compare to the sight of top-class fell runners in full flight. It is impossible to describe the way they bound mid-race down rock-strewn … Continue reading Running Hard Blog Tour – Book Review

Surviving the 2017 Mourne Mountain Marathon

The Mourne Mountain Marathon hurts. I can still vividly remember the pain from nine years ago, when I last did the two-day race. Entering my forties has, however, made me curious to see whether I could survive it again. So this year I penciled the event into the list of races I wanted to enter. … Continue reading Surviving the 2017 Mourne Mountain Marathon

Racing the Mourne Seven Sevens in 2017

The Mourne Seven Sevens is not for the faint-hearted. It is a challenge to climb the seven peaks in the Mourne Mountains that are 700 metres or more. With the route starting at sea level in the seaside town of Newcastle, it means covering 29 kilometres of ground and 2,495 metres of climb. The event … Continue reading Racing the Mourne Seven Sevens in 2017

There is no Map in Hell – Book Review

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. Steve Birkinshaw is one of those remarkable runners who … Continue reading There is no Map in Hell – Book Review

Irish Mountain Running and the Fountain of Youth

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. But then Mick Hanney started posting pictures on Facebook. They were of rocks and mountains and muck and puddles. There were views from descents … Continue reading Irish Mountain Running and the Fountain of Youth