Frequently Asked Questions
What is Mountain Running?Mountain Running, also known as "hill running" or "fell running" is a sport which keeps growing every year. It caters for every type of runner from fun runner to dedicated international athletes. Races can vary from 3 km to 128km and are run over of a variety of terrains from forest tracks to rough open mountain sides but all include a large elements of climb. Most races, but not all involve running up and down, the down section is the specialised bit. Improvement and confidence comes with experience and the correct footwear.
How do I distinguish the different type of Races?League races, by far the more popular are on marked routes and generally are confined to tracks. Championship Races are mainly on open mountains are not marked (except for Munster Championship Races) and require some element of navigation. For races that might require navigation, runners need to have an Ordnance Survey map of the area at a minimum scale of 1:50,000 (or larger if available), and a good compass (Silva, Suunto, etc.). These are available from better outdoor activity shops.
What are League Races?League races are generally run on marked routes on forest or rough mountain tracks There are three leagues. The Leinster Summer League 13 races run on Wednesday nights during late spring and summer, starting at 5km and building up to 12km.. A winter league of 4/6 races run in Jan/Feb/Mar on Saturday/Sunday mornings and a Trail League in late summer of three races with little climb and mostly on trail.
What are Championship Races?Championship races are manly run on open mountains and require some element of navigation. There are four Championships. The Irish Championship IC a series of usually 5 races (best three to count) all run up major Irish peaks. Carrauntoohil and Croagh Patrick feature every year. The Munster Championship MC and Leinster Championship LC are similar to the IC but confined to their province. It is common for an IC races also to be at the same time a MC or LC races. The Connacht Championship has two races over the same weekend.
How do I join the Irish Mountain Running Association?By signing up to MyIMRA online, and then purchasing your annual membership online. Registration lasts for a calendar year. There is a €10 annual registration fee (€5 for juniors & OAPs).
What is the fee to do a race?Race fees are €7 with reduced entry of €5 for juniors & OAPs.
Who does Mountain Running?League races can attract over 200 runners ranging in age from 14 to 75 and all levels of ability. Championship running is more specialised with smaller numbers racing on unmarked courses in all weathers. Runners may find themselves on their own in mist on exposed mountainsides with the potential of exposure to steep cliffs. As a result, they need to be comfortable with this, and be able to navigate using a map and compass. Beginners should try some of the shorter league races, which involve less climb and easier terrain. As you get fitter, more ambitious, and navigationally competent, you could progress to running up some of Ireland's highest peaks.
Is Mountain Running dangerous?First off, it is an adventure sport and you do compete at your own risk. That been said, if you are sensible, and tackle something within your ability range, the risks are consistent with falling while running on rough ground. A beginner should not consider emulating an elite runner down a scree slope or venturing out on an open mountain without protective clothing or the means and ability to find their way.
See safety statement.