Hellfire, no Brimstone
02 February, 2016 - Peter O'FarrellI should have asked Jane Porter what she made of the cuddly new 2016 version of her rightly famous Hellfire and Brimstone course. The newer course was designed with ease of marking in mind â€“ hence the laps. Other stalwarts to show included the mighty Joe Lalor, only mildly amused at my lack of understanding of the finer details of the new voucher system. The marshalls on the course (Jim Higgins, Adrian Hennessy and Derek Charles) did great work as despite the simplicity of the course there are always the free spirits who prefer a walk on the wild side.
Killian Mooney paradoxically enough probably had the easiest run of the day, as despite being over a minute and half clear of the field on a short race, he came into the finishing straight and looked so relaxed and effortless that one of the bould volunteers felt compelled to enquire how many laps had he done!
The race for second was a lot closer with Des Kennedy holding off Neil Bolger with Neilâ€™s clubmate Turlough taking the M40 garlands on the day in 4th. Two M40â€™s in the top 4 usually makes me a little sad for the youth of today but in Killian Mooney we saw youth where it should be, nonchalantly winning and wandering off for a 5km cooldown. Vanessa Sallier took home the ladies F40 prize with two F40 ladies ahead of her in the main prizes. Like fine wines these ladiesâ€¦
Kate Cronin had two races within her run, the more important was the convincing win in the ladies category by over a minute from Becky Quinn and Mags Fitzgerald. The titanic tussle with former president Dermot Murphy which resulted in an all-out sprint for the line was great to watch. No wasted momentum here for the OBEO maestro.
Bob Lawlor, Laura Flynn, Joe Lalor, Ruth Lynam, Patsy McCreanor and Caitlin Bent filled out the category prizes and the fact that most of them are also orienteers is a nice nod to the origins of hill-running in Ireland.
Kids non-official race
Taken very seriously by Jack and Oisin ïŠ
I hope the others had fun. Thanks to Bronagh, Miriam, Eva, Derek and Jeff for looking after the little ones
Clubs non-official race
The ladies team race was dominated by the green train of Rathfarnham with 3 finishers in the top 8 led home by Roisin Long, swiftly followed by the ever entertaining Vanessa Sallier and captained by the very hard working Laura Flynn, who had spent her warm-up volunteering for the race. Roisinâ€™s Dad Mike asked it to be noted he managed to finish ahead of his daughter, a rare occurrence whilst orienteering I believe..
On the menâ€™s side the green train suffered from the dreaded leaves on the track with UCDO proving they indeed knew the way to stay on course led home by Laurence Quinn with solid top 5 finish and good club-like bunching in 11th, 12th and the unlucky non-scoring 13th place.
As an aside non-club runners came 7th, 8th and 9th and would have won the clubs team prize if they banded together.
Thanks to all the volunteers who made the race happen, and the committee back at base with help and advice.
02 February, 2016The Winter/Spring League show moved into the Hellfire Woods for round 2. A friendly efficient buzz greeted everyone at registration. With the queue for the laptop a thing of the past it all seemed pretty chilled indeed. The new course looked very good and on a second glance deceptively tough. A couple of great wee courses lined up for the younguns' too as Jack's excellent report will testify. As I seem to make more headway running on flat ground or downhill at the moment, my own tactic was to start slow and try and make hay on the faster gradual downhills. Its a balancing act as any ground lost has to be made up later. Killian Mooney started his race at his leisure. Once the gradient steepened as we turned right up the initial steep climb he hit the front and effortlessly opened the gap. When he hit the trail into the wind after the Hellfire club he showed he has excellent flat speed too, opened up and was gone. The difficulty in the course was that there was nowhere where the intensity dipped. This would manifest itself for me on the second lap with the last climb very very tough. Sure if you weren't fit before the race you were going to be fitter after it. Just what you want in the Winter. Des and Neil seemed to be having a great battle up ahead from my vantage point. Neil trying to put pressure on before the last climb but Des biding his time and breaking a gap near the top. The final descent would have broken up any remaining mini groups but the varied demands of the course had done a very good job of that anyway.
Well done to Peter, Orla and team for a very well organised race on a very good course. Very different to Howth and a step up in difficulty. Brockagh will be very different again in a couple of weeks. Bring it on. Any more reports out there?
Hell Fire Junior Race
31 January, 2016 - Jack FairmanerMum told me about the race. I really hoped that people of my age would be there and in the end there was. Oisin May and I had a walking warm up lap and my Mum made a joke that if no one was around I should trip Oisin up! We started after the adults race and me and Oisin were neck and neck for a bit and then I was ahead on the uphill then Oisin got ahead on the downhill. On the second lap we were both tired, I felt it would be very tight as I was ahead but on the down hill he caught me and ran ahead. I tried to sprint him out of it but in the end he beat me by a couple of seconds. We went to the pub and I sat with Bronagh and Alannah first and had some Pringles and 7up and then I sat with Julia and Santina. Brendan who loves going to the pub dropped me and Mum home. I am going to do another race again definitely.