Irish Mountain
Running Association

Charles Barrington Memorial Race


Douglas Barry

Douglas Barry

Ice, Ice, Baby in the immortal words of faded white rapper R Van Winkle was what the hardy soles met as they crunched their way up the Sugarloaf. And if your hardy sole was not fortified with studs, you found that grip was next to impossible unless your name was Richie McCauley.

A nippy winter wind had whipped at the legs of the Christmas cheery group that lined up for the annual Charles Barrington Memorial race up and down the Sugarloaf mountain in Kilmacanogue. As the echoes of the warning words about the slipperiness of ice on the tricky course drifted off on the wind, the gun went and the 2009 race was on.

From the off, twenty years after he had run for Ireland as a junior in the Worlds at Die in France, the now Wicklow based Richie McCauley headed the field. As the mountain steepened, McCauley, slipping and sliding on the ice scattered course, made his way to the summit nearly 140 years after Charles Barrington organised the first mountain race on Irish soil.

However, any Irish soil here was well covered with ice and McCauley, windmilling his arms in a desperate ploy to retain his balance on the descent, fought the terrain as it did its best to bring him down to its level, but the Irish cycling international showed that he was master. He came home in 32 minutes and 9 seconds well ahead of Paul Mahon and Cormac Conroy in second and third.

A blood spattered Laura Flynn easily took the women’s medal presented by Ron Barrington the great great great grand nephew of Charles Barrington ahead of Susie Mitchell and Wicklow’s Muireann De Freine, while Blessington’s Conor Short beat local Kilmacanogue brothers Ben & Josh O’Callaghan to win the junior section.

More later…..