Irish Mountain
Running Association

Stepping Stones




Yesterday saw the final race in the three race NC series. As the series progresses they get longer and harder, however the competitors as a whole seem to improve with some posting shorter times for the longer races. Runners were issued with 7 grid references at 12 noon; a bit more care was taken with identifying them on the map this time around before they set off. The first leg was to the top of Trooperstown Hill, although not challenging navigationally it is tough physically. There they were met by Marshall Brian Bell and a large crowd of hillwalkers who cheered them on. Next it was off to find a track bend in Ballard Wood, it was nowhere to be found. Did it get swiped or did the marshall put it in the wrong place???, the jury is still out on this one. Before the event there was a prediction that two of the runners of the orienteering persuasion would choose a route choice from here by wading the Avonbeg River. They did not disappoint but it is just as well the vertically challenged did not follow as both over 6 feet were up to their waist in fast flowing water. The next control was at a junction high in Derrybawn Forest and the marshall, Kevin Carroll had runners arrive from all directions. The planner had thought that the next leg would give rise to the most variation in route choice but this was not to be the case, most opted to plunge straight down to the green road and thought the interpretative centre car park and up the lane to MCI hut and approach the control on the end of Camaderry Ridge from the rear. A few stuck with what the planner thought might be the preferred option, stay high and pass through upper lake car park. Runners next crossed the Glendasan River at the stepping stones after marshall Nora Lalor cleared the way with a land owner who not refusing permission wanted it known there was no right of way.
This leg caused the most damaged, a forest ride on Healy?s map did not still (if ever) exist, the wise retreated but others persisted became exhausted and lost much time. The next leg was easy for anyone familiar to with the Glenmacnass race which brought runners to me on Paddock Hill. All down hill from here but still room for costly error if you did not count your roads and ended up in Laragh instead of Trooperstown.
Aonghus O?Cleirigh was the winner again and took the overall NC title. Isabelle Lemee was the ladies winner.

A few thoughts on the overall series: These are a series of running races not orienteering, yes they require a certain level of navigational but the real skill is to choose the fastest route for you. With the serious exception of leg 4 on NC1 all legs could be run on some sort of track. You could choose to go overland but in most cases where this was tried it was regretted. It is interesting to note that the longest times were posted in the shortest race. I hope everyone who took part in any of the races learnt something about navigation and themselves along the way

<a href="">Final NC Table<a/>

1 Aonghus O?Cleirigh 2.30.30
2 Gerard Dillion 2.43.36
3 Philip Brennan 2.49.10
4 Dave Weston 3.08.36
5 Marcus Goeghegan 3.15.41
6 Andrew McCarthy 3.20.14
7 Barry Tennyson 3.37.50
8 Isabelle Lemee 3.38.48
9 Justin Rea 3.42.00
10 Conor Murray 3.56.22
11 Dermot Murray 3.58.33
12 David Clarke 4.06.17
12 Ian Kavanagh 4.06.17
14 Mick Kellett 4.59.10
15 Caitlin Bent 5.12.35
15 Ger Power 5.12.35

Course NC3
Race 3 Navigational Challenge Stepping Stones 21.0km 835m

The following positions must be visited in order

Start 159969
1. Summit 166952
2. Track Bend 144949
3. Track Junction 131958
4. Track Junction 117970
5. Track River Junction 113975
Cut Off: If not crossed Glendasan River by 15.30 return to start
6. Track Bend 134972
7. Track Forest Junction 146983
Finish 159969