Irish Mountain
Running Association



Adrian HennessyRegina KellyMick Hanney

Adrian Hennessy

As I was labouring up towards the summit of Mullacor through deep heather regretting my decision to hang left and try to short-cut it, I was starting to think that it wouldn’t be my day. Brian Flannelly and Jason Kehoe were disappearing into the mist and Bernard Fortune was overtaking me on my right. These are often the fine margins that decide a Leinster championship race. Things had been going relatively well until my dodgy route choice up to Mullacor. Little did I know that 45 minutes later I would be the beneficiary of the Brian and Jason’s dodgy route choice.

We set off at midday at a handy pace from Drumgoff cross roads, no one seemingly too keen to take up the pace so Dermot Murphy duly obliged. My legs were heavy from other recent exertions so I was happy just to sit in and hope that no one built up a lead that couldn’t be retrieved. Despite the aforementioned issues, things did start to get better on the descent from Mullacor. I had Bernard for company but I sensed he wasn’t as strong as usual while Brian and Jason weren’t getting away either. One or two hikers seemed a bit put-out that we wanted to share the path with them but the shouts were mostly of encouragement. I opted for the left turn after crossing the road at the Shay Elliott carpark as I did last year. It’s about 200m shorter than the other route but does involve some extra climbing, so not to everyone’s taste – I reckon it gained me about 10 seconds…again, the fine margins. Brian and Jason were neck and neck at Kirakee summit and probably about 50 seconds ahead of me. Bernard was about the same distance behind me with a similar gap back to Paul Mahon. It didn’t escape my attention either that the sun had broken through the clouds and it was now decidedly warm. My all-black attire, lack of water and no sunscreen on my shiny pate would have been seriously problematic had it been a longer race!

On reaching the summit of Carriglineen I had more or less settled for 3rd. Brian and Jason were well into their final descent by now and Bernard wasn’t going to catch me either. A small part of me knew that a poor route choice on the descent could easily loose a minute, but Brian wasn’t going to make the same mistake he made last year and Jason is one of the best descenders around. Therefore much to my surprise as I approached the funnel below the crag, first Brian and then Jason appeared into my peripheral vision from the right. Both had taken a line closer to the forest which involved gorse and rock, as opposed to the dead ferns and grass that I had to deal with. I managed to get ahead of Brian just before the funnel, but Jason was still a couple of strides ahead. This finish was going to be close. All we had to do now was to find the red tape leading to the gate on the road. Jason got us to the fence but then immediately turned left after crossing to follow the fence line. Instinctively I kept going straight, not because I knew any better, but I figured I had to do something different if I was going to get ahead. It worked. Jason got momentarily tangled in some bushes and gave me the opening I needed….another fine margin. We hit the road just strides apart, gasping for air; I put my foot on the gas and surged for about 40 metres hoping that it was enough to deter Jason from giving chase. I only had a 40 metre sprint in me and not the 200 metres that would have been required had he actually given chase. Unfortunately for Jason he had banged his heel during the descent so I needn’t have been too worried as he managed to hold on for second ahead of Brian, who was quickly followed by Bernard.

Thanks to Kevin and his helpers for putting on the race – particularly to Mick Hanney who got there early to put out the tape. Lots of ideas were floating around afterwards for different variations of this race; I just hope that any future incarnation still involves the Carriglineen descent given my luck with it.

Times to Mullacor

Hi Guys,

Below are the times to the top of Mullacor. Some of the times are a small bit off due to me not being able to read my watch.

1 15 Brian Flannelly 12.31.35
2 810 Jason Kehoe 12.31.36
3 304 Bernard Fortune 12.32.1
4 648 Adrian Hennessy 12.32.11
5 916 Paul Mahon 12.32.35
6 692 Laurence Quinn 12.32.36
7 443 Dermot Murphy 12.32.5
8 148 Richard Church 12.34.2
9 11 Barry Murray 12.34.33
10 187 Mick Hanney 12.34.34
11 104 Mike Jordan 12.35.59
12 308 Alan Ayling 12.36.08
13 336 Becky Quinn 12.36.12
14 968 Rob Kelly 12.36.33
15 317 Ruairi Short 12.37.16
16 1328 Ian Alcock 12.37.3
17 1329 Des Tivnan 12.37.31
18 767 Cormac O'Ceallaigh 12.38.3
19 600 Donal Linehan 12.38.31
20 1073 Philip Brennan 12.39.44
21 181 Gerard Keating 12.39.59
22 339 Niamh Garvey 12.40.01
23 705 Gordon Wilson 12.40.02
24 436 Roisin McDonnell12.40.3
25 297 Padraig Doyle 12.40.35
26 353 Eoin Syron 12.41.24
27 766 Niamh O'Ceallaigh 12.41.53
28 409 Kenneth McCarthy 12.41.54
29 75 Brian Di Palma 12.42.11
30 385 Gavan Doherty 12.42.12
31 197 James Curran 12.42.13
32 303 James Cahill66 12.42.5
33 387 Joe Lalor 12.43.27
34 209 Brendan Delaney 12.44.09
35 768 Graham Champ 12.44.26
36 105 Maike Jurgens 12.44.27
37 354 Daniela Boehm 12.45.03
38 1065 Gordon Place 12.45.18
39 854 Hilary Jenkinson 12.45.2
40 4 Stuart Scott 12.47.55
41 245 Connie McCann 12.48.11
42 180 Justin Rea 12.48.18
43 254 Caroline Reid 12.48.4
44 161 Paul Smyth 12.52.42
45 1320 Brian Fennessy 12.53.48

Ballybraid 2016

A loop route starting and finishing at the Glenmalure Lodge. What is not to like? While I much prefer the old Ballybraid with its out and back along the Derrybawn Ridge, the new Ballybraid still has its charms. I was keen to run this one to make amends for bad nav off Carriglinneen last year. Running a road race yesterday probably wasn't the best prep but I see Niamh Garvey also ran yesterday and today so I don't feel so bad. Thanks to Kevin for stepping in at the last minute to RD this. I arrived early and marked the closing section to avoid finishers landing into a wrong field, where on a recent recce there was a big herd of cattle that probably wouldn't want to be mixed with. As it happened the cows had moved on but no harm done. Approaching 12 noon people most of the discussion was about the weather. The mist was down and this could make for interesting Nav coming off the various peaks. The hope was the mist would lift. At 12 sharp we were off, steadily running from the cross-roads at Glenmalure. Dermot Murphy led us off before the usual runners decided enough was enough and Brian Flannelly took the lead followed by a group comprising Adrian, Jason, Paul Mahon and perhaps one other. Bernard wasn't too far off, gathering momentum. The first few k of fireroad seem to go on forever. I was concentrating on not blowing up on the climb. Keeping the HR rate under the red line and going reasonably steady. I was in a little group with Barry Murray and Richard Church for most of the fire-road, until we reached the little shed which marked the transition from fireroad to wet grassy bank. One minute you are running steadily, the next you are marching, slogging up the grass with the mist still down but visibility was surprisingly okay, unlike last year which led to a few, including myself, momentarily going astray from Mullacor. Thanks to Regina for marshalling the muddy Mullacor summit. I was just behind Barry at this stage with Richard marginally ahead. We were fortunate to find our way immediately onto the obvious path we needed to take towards Braigue and the Shay Elliott. This run is one of the best in IMRA races. Barry was running really well on this section and I had to push on to try keep the gap consistent at least. Boggy, grassy, fast fun for the most part. Lots of walks on the hills today too giving encouragement and, you hope, not stepping in your way. I caught up with Richard on this section and we both passed Dermot Murphy soon after, approaching the first stile - depending on whether you went left or right of the fence. Everyone in view went right and the pace continued with me pushing on slightly from Richard on this section. The gap was probably marginal but I wasn't looking back! From then on I chased Barry in vain to the Shay Elliott. For an ultra man he has quick leg turnover and was running well and maintaining a gap, possibly 20s as we crossed the road. The misty weather had cleared to reveal a warm sunny day and the effort was beginning to tell on me. My legs were telling me I'd raced yesterday already, but I grimly hung in there on the trail section around and up to Kirikee as we ran we wondered when we'd see the lead runners. First Brian, then Jason, Adrian, Bernard and Paul Mahon - all running well. At the turn Barry had maintained his lead but it hadn't increased so I dug in on the descent with a view to maintaining distance on the chasing pack - and there were many in close view. Richard, Dermot, Alan, Mike amongst them. Lots of hellos to the other racers behind too as we ran. Back to the crossroads in the forest and then out to Carriglineen for the last climb of the day. We had the lovely sight of horses grazing on our path upwards. Thankfully they were happy to ignore the runners in close proximity as we tiptoed our way slowly up to the small rocky bump that marks the peak. Great views to be had around the Wicklow hills from here. Oh to have a few moments to look around, but no such opportunity I'm afraid. I had reccied this twice recently so was keen to make up for my nav error from last year. I took an efficient line from the summit down through the gorse towards the grassy section which funnels downhill. Barry joined me from the left and ran in my slipstream down the hill, happy I reckon that I knew the way, and around the prominent crag at the bottom. We found ourselves on the single-track which brings you twisting and turning down towards Glenmalure. The marking tape came into view and the end was nearly in sight. We ran together on the road and Barry could have finished ahead of me but graciously conceded the place to me for showing him the efficient route down off the hill. Nice one as my legs were gone. We crossed the line in 6th and 7th respectively. The navigation off the last hill was to be decisive again in many of the results. Congrats to Adrian and Becky for their respective wins again on Ballybraid. For those that lost time at the end, there is always next year when a recce can be a big difference. Sitting in the sunshine outside the Glenmalure lodge, with a beer in hand, discussing race post-mortems. Good fun. Thanks again to Kevin and his team of volunteers for making the race possible. Nice running by all. Particularly Niamh Garvey, who was nervous of the Nav but got through it and was 3rd lady home. Great stuff.