Irish Mountain
Running Association

Circuit of Avonbeg

Forum Messages

Paul NolanApr 11 2010, 12:38pmThe Circuit of Avonbeg consists of the following checkpoints which must be visited in order

T 079 928 Start - Bridge
T 058 930 Arts Lough
T 058 918 Clohernagh
T 032 917 Lugnaquillia
T 023 960 Camenabologue
T 040 972 Conavalla
T 072 954 Lugduff
T 093 938 Mullacor
T 084 931 Ballinafunshoge - Track Junction
T 081 927 Finish - Carpark

Maps which cover the race area include:

Harveys Wicklow Mountains 1:30,000
Glendalough Glenmalur 1:25,000
OSI No 56 1:50,000

The Harveys map is recommended.
Users of the other two maps will be at a disadvantage early and late in the race due to poor track depiction.


Due to the nature of this race the following MUST be carried
1. A whistle
2. Race area map and compass
3. Weather protection clothing as dictated by the Race Director on the day, this may take the form of light rain coat, hat, gloves etc.
4. Water & food to sustain you over the course of the race

Failure to possess 1 to 4 of the above at registration or race start will result in your entry to the race being refused.
Failure to possess 1 to 3 of the above while finishing will result in your disqualification from the race.

Please arrive with the above mentioned items, they are for your safety.
A mobile phone may be carried however coverage at the start/finish area is very poor.

Brief route description:

From the start follow the zig zag track to Arts Lough. After the junction at T 070 928 this track becomes a rough firebreak. Unfortunately none of the available maps show the end of the zig zag path accurately, therefore a very short section will be marked on the ground with tape to bring runners through the correct gap in the trees to gain access to the open mountain and track to Arts Lough. There will be an orienteering control kite fixed to the fence adjacent to the South East end of the lough. Runners MUST visit this control and use the pin punch to mark their race number. This will be demonstrated at the start.

Depart the lough in a South Eastern direction to climb the natural shelf in the land with small footpath leading up to Clohernagh. Depart Clohernagh summit due west, up along the broad ridge to Lugnaquillia.

From Lugnaquillia head north to Camenabologue. Approximately the first kilometre is trackless but the remainder of this section can be followed on a walker's track without too much difficulty.

From Camenabologue the next checkpoint is Conavalla. A mostly direct route offers easier navigation but a more circular route closer to Table Mountain may provide easier running ground. Prior route checking is recommended.

Next checkpoint is Lugduff. From Conavalla careful navigation is required to gain the correct spur leading to the Lugduff ridge.

From Lugduff continue south east along the ridge towards Mullacor, the final summit of the race. There is a walkers track along this section.

Descend Mullacor to the track junction in Ballinafunshoge Woods. Again prior checking of the route down to this junction is recommended as there are many options. Another orienteering control kite MUST be visited and punched at this junction.

Follow the minors track down to the finish in Ballinafunshoge carpark. This path can be busy so please be courteous to others using it.

Prize giving will be in the Hotel pub, Drumgoff.

Paul Nolan
Race Director

Kevin O'RiordanApr 11 2010, 9:00pmMyself and Ger Butler are planning to do a recce of this next Saturday (17th apr) at about 12:00. If anyone else is interested in coming along, let me know. (e-mail is my first initial dot surname at gmail dot com).
niamh o ceallaighApr 27 2010, 12:21pmPlanning to do a very slow pace recce of this route Sun 9th. Probably will include lots of walking.

Meeting Glenmalure Lodge at 11.45 sharp.

Let me know if you want to come along.
ballyteige at gmail dot com
085 144 five 2 oh nine

You will need to bring plenty of food, water, rain gear etc.

Don MackinnonMay 4 2010, 2:53pmHello,will be at avonbeg do you still have any mugs.
Alan AylingMay 7 2010, 4:06pmLike yer man in the Amstel beer ad says, "This is gonna be great!"
Theo MooneyMay 8 2010, 5:16pmcould someone please invite me to join myimra so that i can volunteer for upcoming races, i would like to volunteer for the powerscourt uphill in june. cant wait for this event next saturday, will there be a big turnout?
Mick HanneyMay 8 2010, 7:20pmNeed your mobile no. to invite you Theo. Turn out for longer unmarked races tends to be small.
Tim MurphyMay 8 2010, 8:53pmHi Niamh,

I would be interested in the Circuit of Avonbeg recce tomorrow morning, if it is still going ahead. 11:45 @ Glenmalure Lodge.

Thank you,

Tim Murphy
086 601 2208
niamh o ceallaighMay 8 2010, 10:22pmHi Don,
Yes will bring Mug for you.
Patrick HubertMay 10 2010, 4:21pmBonjour, on holiday in Ireland from France. Am interested in doing this run. Where can I register please. Decent mountain, marathon, orienteering running abilities.
Thank you for your reply.


Paul O'GradyMay 10 2010, 5:22pmAnyone any guess how long this is going to take?

Should I be bringing a tent and a St Bernard with me???
Paul NolanMay 10 2010, 8:51pmPatrick
Bienvenu en Irlande. Registration will be at the car park on the day, between 11:00am and 11:45am.

I'm estimating a winning time of 2:15/2:30 for the run.

I'll just take this opportunity to remind those planning to run to being the safety equipment listed above. Hopefully the weather will be fair, but you never can tell.
Patrick HubertMay 11 2010, 8:41pmThank you Paul,

looking forward to seeing you on Saturday (with the kit).

Best regards,

Colm HillMay 11 2010, 9:19pmI can't believe I failed to see this before. The route looks EPIC!!
What a way to flush out exam stress
Paul O'GradyMay 12 2010, 10:56pmDoes anyone know where this start is - apart from the grid reference?

Is Ballinafunshogue where Google Maps says it is just past Rathdrum???


Paul O'GradyMay 12 2010, 10:57pmDoes anyone know where this start is - apart from the grid reference?

Is Ballinafunshogue where Google Maps says it is just past Rathdrum???


Sam ScrivenMay 13 2010, 10:44amHoping to make this race. Is anyone travelling from south city centre / D6 / D4 with room in their car for one?? Alternatively could make any LUAS or DART station en-route.. o87 213 six574

Shane EnrightMay 13 2010, 3:08pmHi Paul

Weather is looking good for Saturday so far I see. But to be sure to be sure, could you clarify exactly what safety gear (eg, waterproof trousers?) we'll need to bring to the start?


Paul NolanMay 13 2010, 4:11pmShane
Make sure to have a whistle, raincoat, hat & gloves, map(of the race area) & compass, some food and water, as these will all be required.
I recommend you bring a space blanket, sun cream and sun hat & mobile phone but these are optional, as would be waterproof trousers.

I probably should have mentioned the space blanket originally but feel it would be unfair to make it compulsory at such short notice but if people them bring them along.

Greg ByrneMay 13 2010, 9:41pmAny cars heading up from Rathfarnham direction?

gregory.byrne -at-
Peter O'FarrellMay 14 2010, 11:24amDriving down from Rathfarnham (with Greg) at 10.30am tomorrow for the circuit of Avonbeg.
Space for two more, happy to drop WWR stage 5/6 runners off too for slightly more complicated logistical fun.
Sam ScrivenMay 14 2010, 11:50amPeter,

if you've still room, I'd love to take you up on that offer of a lift down to Avonbeg tomorrow. Can turn up at whatever location in Rathfarnham for 10.30. sam dot scriven at / o87 213 six574

Zoran SkrbaMay 14 2010, 12:16pmHi Peter, I can meet you in Rathfarnham too, for a lift if you still have room. (zoranDOTskrbaATgmailDOTcom)
Shane EnrightMay 14 2010, 12:50pmLeaving Clontarf via Glasnevin and Stoneybatter around 10 then the M50, N11, Kilmac, etc.

Contact my name at g mail if you want a lift. Two spaces left.
Peter O'FarrellMay 14 2010, 1:39pmCool. Car full.
10.30am at the Yellow so Greg, Zoran and Sam please.

This will be epic if it's misty....
Ruth LynamMay 14 2010, 4:06pmThis sounds great Paul.
Will there be a time limit!
Patrick HubertMay 14 2010, 4:18pmHi Shane,

if you still have space, I'm interested : is Clontarf Road DART Station OK for meeting point @ 10 a.m. ?
Leaving internet cafe in next 10', could you text me after, please ?

Many thanks in advance & regards,

Patrick Hubert
(mob) oo33666 four five six 416
Paul NolanMay 14 2010, 8:44pmRuth
No time limit, but I would like to be heading home by 6pm :-)

One control is out, the car park has sprouted tents & the underfoot is soft. See you all tomorrow.
cormac O CeallaighMay 15 2010, 7:54pmwell done Paul and Izzy, brillant route and race today,excellent underfoot conditions. great to see such a big turn out for a championship race.
Kevin O'RiordanMay 15 2010, 8:04pmHave uploaded results for the runners who had finished when I was leaving. Will upload the rest when Paul gets a chance to e-mail them to me.

Great race today by the way, thoroughly enjoyed it. Big thanks to Paul and Isabelle.

Jeremy HartMay 15 2010, 8:32pmA beautiful, testing route, thanks to all who helped to set it up so well.
Mick HanneyMay 15 2010, 8:52pmA marvellous race. Epic. More unmarked races over 15k would do just nicely.
Well done Paul and Izzy and all those who took part.
John ShielsMay 15 2010, 10:16pmGreat race, or hill walk depending on where you were in the field.
PaulO'Grady and Mick Kellett were located and got back safe and sound if a little knackered. Photos to follow.
aidan roeMay 15 2010, 10:19pma super day out, although my feet are kicking off about that. weather was a stroke of genius, well done on that. thanks to paul + izzy for running things. could be looking at DNF as i only say one cairn on mullacor. couldn't tell what size it was, i had nothing to make comparison with. you should have a stewards enquiry and see how much cooperation you get.
thanks again
Colm HillMay 15 2010, 10:56pmEPIC. A proper mountain race. It had everything that I love in a race. It had steep climbs, descents, mountain peaks, stunning views, pain, suffering, route choice. I also liked the way that route choice was the difference between places, as Mick said in his report - they passed out a gang of lads by going straight.
I feel that it adds so much to the race when you don't know where other runner are. For instance I didn't know where Peter was until the final ridge.

This should be come a full time fixture on the list.

I enjoyed Powerscourt Ridge last year but this race made it look like an easy wednesday night league race.

More open mountain races.... less trail races.

Paul, your a legend for coming up with this route!
Kevin O'RiordanMay 16 2010, 10:12amFull results are up.
Patrick HubertMay 16 2010, 8:38pmA big THANK YOU for a memorable day out : to Paul & Isabelle for a warm welcome and excellent organisation, to Shane for the car pooling ride along with Niall and Kevin sharing it, for the interesting conversation (and to the 3 of you for waiting for me hours after you had finished!), to the fellow runners with whom we shared some of this beautiful but tough course, to the club members volunteering to make these events and this web site so efficiently enjoyable, and finally to the weather that held so well (making all the difference between tough and really unpleasant).
So, Merci beaucoup, vraiment ! And hopefully, we'll see each others some other time...
Greg ByrneMay 16 2010, 9:19pmFabulous day and an amazing course. Thanks to Paul, Isabelle and all those involved in the experience.

By this evening I had managed to reach the point whereby all the hardship and pain was forgotten. Only images of runners spread out along numerous ridges in glorious sunshine remained.

Then I read the excellent race reports and it all comes flooding back. Conavalla has now been permanently barred from ever entering my list of favourite peaks. Mind you while climbing this grand hag Martin Francis did keep me alert with the most informative discussion on the quality of peat cut from a plot in Kilakee. I also learnt that he has an amazing knack for getting 4 jelly snakes at a time out of your bag...

All round a great run, and utmost respect to all who completed the course.
Alan AylingMay 17 2010, 11:30amFabulous. One of the best ever. A huge thank you to Paul and Izzy for the organisation and to the other runners for the competition and the craic. Definitely one for the calendar again, if not every year then at least once every two years.

Not sure about the idea of restricting entries... wouldn't like to exclude anyone but there is only so long race organisers should have to wait around.

Oh and there may be two cairns at Mullacor, but only one of them is on the TOP... Dan Morrough must be the most honest man in IMRA going back up for that!
John ShielsMay 17 2010, 12:29pmI've just uploaded a few more images taken by Isabell at the start and finish, if someone woudl like to tag them? =;-)
Paul NolanMay 17 2010, 12:59pmThanks to all for the positive feedback on the route. It goes to prove the old truth that you can get away with anything if the sun is shining.

We had perfect weather conditions for the race yet I was 10 minutes from ringing Mountain Rescue at the end which did put a dampener on the day from the organisation side. As Race Director I accept a share of the responsibility for this, a more rigorous questioning of a couple of entrants would probably have saved the long wait.

For this race to be run again I feel some form of screening mechanism will have to be put into place. Hopefully something fair to runners and organisers can emerge.
Paul O'GradyMay 17 2010, 6:30pmI was waiting for this!!

And I was going to say nothing and talk to you, Paul on a 1:1 basis - but a few of the race reports included opinions put forward as facts - so I just want to clear it up.

Firstly - it was a great race and a fantastic day and thank you for organising it - I thoroughly enjoyed it and it was a great personal experience. I know and appreciate that waiting for 2 hours for 2 runners was not an enjoyable experience for the organisers on the day - but to a certain extent all is well that ends well and it wasn’t the first time that a runner got lost.

Yes I had an issue with the race route coming down off Lug Duff (95% into the race) - but I knew where I was and I was not "lost". I just had an issue with where the turn down to the finish was. Like a number of other runners on the day, I did not see a cairn so as a result I overshot the turn.

When I realised that I had overshot the turn I was too tired to climb back up 150 - 200 metres to take the race route so I took the decision to come down the 200 metres to the valley through the forest - big mistake - it turned out to be a lot thicker then it looked when I got into the middle. Then i hopped into a tributary of the Avonbeg and tried to follow that - but that disappeared down a drain(????) So I was past the point of no return and had to keep going.

After an hour of this hacking through the forest I tried calling the IMRA number to let you guys know where I was and that I was ok - but the number went straight to voicemail. Finally about another hour later i got through to Caroline and I was able to tell her exactly where I was on the map and we agreed that seeing as I was now on the Wicklow Way and closer to DrumGoff that I should follow the Wicklow Way - but again I knew where I was and I was not "lost".

These things happen - I was fine - and if I had been able to get through to the IMRA number maybe people wouldnt have been worried - or might have advised me to get the hell out of the forest or whatever.

But just to conclude - I was not "lost" - I knew where I was - I just made a bad decision in going into the forest - rather than back up the mountain.

I have done navigation courses - and I have completed the Stones Cross to Lug relay section across this part of the country without issue. I just made a bad decision and got significantly delayed as a result (not lost!).

But I can’t wait to do it again next year!!

Give me a call if you want to discuss this further - as I don’t want to discuss opinion vs. facts via the forum and have what was a runner turning up late get blown out of all proportion and turned into a Clubwide debate on an different issue.

Thanks again for a memorable day for both the right and the wrong reasons and sorry if you were worried.

Don’t mind a race report, I could write a book! Fighting through thick forests, rivers that become drains, sheep that thought I was following them, Korean chocolate from a team of Korean ultra runners out hiking - and despite absolutely hating raisins more than anything else on this planet I ate every last speck of the Fruit and Nut chocolate bar, Raisin Tracker Bar and piece of Brack with Raisins that John Shiels gave me (obviously John loves raisins!!)

Thanks again.
Paul JoyceMay 17 2010, 10:47pmPaul O'G,

I presume its my race report you're referring to, so I'll reply.

First off, lets start with some common ground: I don't think anyone of us thinks it acceptable that a race director is taking registrations at 11am, and still waiting for runners to come in at 8pm. So patently something must be done to prevent this happening in future.

Secondly, once you go off course against choice, you are lost. Once other runners are out looking for you, you are lost. When the race director has to decide if he's doing the right thing by holding off calling Mountain Rescue, you are lost. Any other definition of "lost", is a futile exercise in semantics. I know this because I've been lost on too many long imra races. When I ran the Circuit of Glenmacnass first, two years ago, I dumped my safety gear at the halfway point. Didn't feel I needed it, and turns out I didn't- and nothing specified in the rules. Paul Nolan called me out on this on the forum, I was peeved at the time, but recognized he knew a hell of a lot more about safety in the mountains, and learned my lesson. I went wrong in thick cloud in last years CofGmcnass, not good enough, so I honed up my navigational skills. Didn't stop me getting lost again, but it did ensure I knew the right thing to do to get home quickly and safely, next time it happened (entering a forest is not one of those things).

There's a balance at play here, between organizing great and tough races through the wilderness, with all the freedom that entails, and with being foolhardy in doing so. In retrospect the Harveys map (with its greater detail) should have been mandatory rather than recommended, but there's a thousand other "should haves" that could have been done, which would have made things safer, but restricted the freedom. In my few years around imra people, there's always been a debate about how much safety to insist on. If people like yourself continue debate they weern't really lost, and insist "all is well that ends well", there will either be a serious incident involving search and rescue, or worse.

I suggest you can play your part in this by honing up on your nav skills, and encouraging others to do the same (it was hardly a good omen to be asking on the forum where the race started, when the grid ref was given?). And to anyone else in imra, who may know the repercussions of having been 10 minutes from a Mountain Rescue call, I'd suggest a basic training course in map skills is an idea whose time has come.
Kevin O'RiordanMay 17 2010, 10:52pmPaul, with all due respect, if a basic navigation mistake in perfect weather and visibility conditions resulted in you being out for nearly 7 and a half hours, then that is a serious safety issue. Another hour or so and it would have been getting dark. I dread to think what might have happened if the weather conditions weren't so favourable and we had a major deterioration in visibility like we did in the Glenmacnass race last year. I would think that experienced IMRA runners should be able to assess for themselves what they're physically and navigationally experienced enough to handle but when that fails, the race organiser should be screening people to make sure they can safely complete the course.

That's my personal opinion by the way. I'm sure the committee will have an official position on entry requirements and cutoff times for championship races at some point. There's always the "Long Dist. Champs. & cut-off times" thread ( if people want to discuss it at an impersonal level without picking on individual mistakes.
Colm HillMay 17 2010, 11:05pmI've been itching for someone to mention Nav Training.

On Tuesday night for the next few weeks the CNOC Summer Series kicks off. Its a series of 5 short orienteering events directed both at families and at people looking to brush up on navigation skills (you may also see a few nutters racing flat out for the hell of it). If you don't have a clue whats going on don't be afraid to ask someone, anyone! - orienteers love explaining how its done or how they should have done it :)

The first event is Tuesday (18th May) in Donadae Forest Park near Clane, North Kildare.

Race two is next Tuesday (25th May) on the Curragh (also Kildare) which is just off the M7 motorway, be a good cool down from Rene's hill sessions or a warm up for the wednesday races or a nav refresher for the tougher weekend races - so many reasons to go

Ok I guess that's enough plugging by me :P
Shane EnrightMay 17 2010, 11:26pmPaul O'G

You write: "Yes I had an issue with the race route coming down off Lug Duff (95% into the race)..... I just had an issue with where the turn down to the finish was. Like a number of other runners on the day, I did not see a cairn so as a result I overshot the turn."

Don't you mean you overshot at the top of Mullacor and not Lugduff? I'm also wondering why you aimed to go through several hundred metres of what's marked as 'dense plantation' rather than aim for a path? The visibility and conditions couldn't have been better.

I'm reluctant to personalise. But your own account implies you weren't sure what summit you were on, as well as a certain naivité about the nature of planted forestry in Wicklow. Should you really be running this kind of race?

Either way, we shouldn't let this detract from what was a brilliant race. Once again many thanks to Paul and Isabelle.
Sean BroderickMay 18 2010, 10:55amHey guys,

I don't think its fair to be flogging someone on a public forum like this. If you have issues with someone I suggest dropping an email to that person. This is just my opinion.

My advice to anyone who is not familiar with a route would be to go on a recce of the course. I couldnt make it on Saturday but I done a recce of the route with Niall, Kevin and Ger about 6 weeks ago and it was really helpful to be running with experienced map readers with good navigation skills.

Could a compulsary recce of navigational races for newcomers be a solution?

Peter O'FarrellMay 18 2010, 11:21amAny of the IMRA courses with a predicted winning time of over 100 minutes could probably do with an advertised self timed early start.

From my own multiple experiences of getting lost in races;

I find an altitude reading watch (either GPS or barometric) is a great help. The GPS one is probably more reliable, especially on a changable day. No doubt Colm O'Cnoic would be appalled :)

I had my garmin screens set up for distance, altitude and heading. Each of the 6 peaks has a different altitude so a quick glance at the watch would confirm for me if I was where I thought I was. This sounds simple but your head goes a bit funny when all the blood is in your legs and has been for two hours.

The distance was useful as the map could tell me it should be approximately x.x distance to the next peak and the heading setting is great to ensure you are on the correct ridge.

Thanks again to Paul and Izzy, absolutely fantastic route and and I'm still buzzing with the joy of it three daze later.

Jason KehoeMay 18 2010, 7:25pm
I would agree with Sean on the public flogging point...because thats what it comes across like to me, however I'm sure people didn't mean it to. It just makes navigational challenges all the more scary to enter for noobs like me and thats clearly not what experienced nav runners want going by the positive comments of how many runners there were on the day...or is there to be a CIMRA nav and long distance breakaway group planned!? ;)

In all races I think it should be up to the RD to have a de-briefing with any runners that they may have cause for issue/concern with, either after the race or the next earliest opportunity.

Sounded like a great event.
Kevin O'RiordanMay 19 2010, 4:25pmJason, I'd hate to scare people off doing these kinds of races altogether, especially someone who'd be as up to the challenge as yourself. I think these races are what all mountain runners should be aspiring to. However, if scare reports make unprepared people focus on training themselves and building their confidence before attempting a potentially dangerous race, then that's a good thing. Running a challenging race in bad visibility is the ultimate rush when you're confident with with your legs and with the map. However, not knowing where you are when you're 15km from home in heavy mist and suffering from heavy fatigue after running for several hours is not a situation that someone should find oneself in.

For the Glenmacnass race last year, the entry requirements specified that you must either have recced the route beforehand or were able to prove you were a competent navigator. This meant that it was still a fun race for everyone when the mist came down and no-one found themselves lost and alone for hours out on the mountain. For something like Avonbeg, which was 40% longer time wise despite the visibility and ground conditions being far better, I think you should also be able to show that you have the stamina to complete a distance event as concentration goes out the window once you're shattered. I imagine in a year with poor visibility and wet bog, the winning time would be well over 3 hours, comparable with a tough marathon.
Mick HanneyMay 19 2010, 4:34pmI think in any such race there usually is a plan B route which can be adopted at the RDs discretion if the weather is to awful to contemplate the full circuit so that runner's safety is to the fore.
Ed. NilandMay 19 2010, 4:51pmHi Paul,
If you want to add a few more bodies to the training course I'll give you a hand.

Two things that I'm doing with the Irish Orienteering Association may help
1: Ability Awards we are bringing out a 6 level award system to help competitors and Organisers assess if they are up to the challenge the course presents itself. I will be refreshing the website over the weekend with upto date details.
2: If you want to help other learn/improve their Navigation, We will be running instructor courses later in the summer which might be of interest to some here.
While not specifically an open mountain navigation training it will cover alot of skills necessary. A specific Open Mountain Navigation/Adventure Racing course is in the pipeline if anyone want to help with the course content etc.

Ed Niland
Director of Orienteering Education
Irish Orienteering Association

PS: I think PN waited too long to call the MRT as he was limiting their effective time on the mountain in daylight.

Ed. NilandMay 19 2010, 4:52pmHi Paul,
If you want to add a few more bodies to the training course I'll give you a hand.

Two things that I'm doing with the Irish Orienteering Association may help
1: Ability Awards we are bringing out a 6 level award system to help competitors and Organisers assess if they are up to the challenge the course presents itself. I will be refreshing the website over the weekend with upto date details.
2: If you want to help other learn/improve their Navigation, We will be running instructor courses later in the summer which might be of interest to some here.
While not specifically an open mountain navigation training it will cover alot of skills necessary. A specific Open Mountain Navigation/Adventure Racing course is in the pipeline if anyone want to help with the course content etc.

Ed Niland
Director of Orienteering Education
Irish Orienteering Association

PS: I think PN waited too long to call the MRT as he was limiting their effective time on the mountain in daylight.

Kevin O'RiordanMay 19 2010, 4:52pmIt would be foolish though to rely on weather conditions not changing during the course of a race. I know for Powerscourt Uphill that Stuart will have a plan B course in case weather conditions are too bad to have the finish at Djouce summit. However, I imagine the conditions of having to carry some sort of jacket and cut-off time to the summit will still apply regardless of weather conditions on the day.
aidan roeMay 19 2010, 4:57pmwhen race is run in future perhaps RD would consider putting a mandatory control at junction on table track where you can descend easily into glenmalure.
if you set cutoff time it may save a lot of time for eveyone. it can be easily(?) accessed by bike so marshall wont be standing around all day.
Diarmuid O'ColmainMay 19 2010, 5:13pmSome good ideas there for championship races - Plan B, mid-point check in etc. Hopefully people are encouraged to upgrade skills as mentioned by Kevin rather than put off participating.

But just a comment on last year's Glenmacnass. In spite of the criteria mentiond by Kevin (recce or nav skill) quite a few people went very badly wrong and were fortunate to encounter other participants who put them right. There was a complete 180 degree error involved. And as those of us who have some orienteering experience can attest to, when you get dehydrated and tired, and you can only see 50 metres or so, there is absolutely no knowing what kind of decisions you will make. In fact, forget the bad visibility, even in good conditions, but under time pressure it is easy to make decisions, that with the benefit of hindsight seem strange!
Colm HillMay 19 2010, 6:02pmEveryone can make a nav error - sh1t happens!
Where you want to go, where you think you went and where you actually went can sometimes be 3 completely different routes!

I do however think Paul N's idea of hosting a nav course is what is needed. Perhaps a basic nav course should be held some time in feb/mar every year before the open mountain mountain races kick off.

My one concern is that after doing one nav course that people will suddenly think they can navigate. Navigation takes practice and even with hundreds of hours of nav'ing in mountains and forest - when your tired, your brain is craving oxygen and you legs are close to cramping, everyone can still make a mistake. It requires practice, not just one 3hour training session.

A reccy in good weather when you can see for miles and miles is great - when the mist is down, a reccy is going to do SFA. I think that having basic knowledge of how to interpret contours and use a compass are essential for proper mountain races.

I'd be in favor of holding more open mountain unmarked races. Perhaps over shorter distances to allow people to gain a bit of confidence in the hills with out following bits of tape.
Greg ByrneMay 19 2010, 10:40pmIt was a pity about the weak signal in the valley which prevented the calls getting through. We have had similar problems for the Lugnacoille race trying to contact the summit marshals in the last two years. We found that text messages could get through despite the intermittent signals. This doesn't help where no coverage works, but can help get a message out if you pass through or receive intermittent coverage.
Stuart ScottMay 19 2010, 10:54pmIf the emergency phone is redirected, are texts also diverted?
Dermot MurphyMay 20 2010, 9:06amStuart - no, texts do not work to the redirected IMRA phone. I think it says this on the race numbers themselves, it did in previous years, although I may be mistaken.