Irish Mountain
Running Association

Dublin Peaks


Amidou DembeleKevin O'RiordanAidan RoeZoran SkrbaJoe Lalor

Amidou Dembele

Dublin Peaks : the race that tested my legs and mind.
It’s sunday morning sept 05 and day D for what I was aiming at for long. But it has been now about 4 weeks my right hand side leg cannot hold more than 30 min run on the hard ground (what a disappointment!).
The for and against start blowing through my head then in the end I said to myself yes you did 21.5 km in the lug relay last saterdsay and a nice run on Friday with Greg and others lads, all that was ok so give it a go at slow pace. I packed up the required kit, took a seat and have a final look at the map of the route again. Then took my bike for a nice warm up cycling to the start and was there at 11.40 am.
Greeting to the crowd then headed to the registration desk, Joe said: a provisory race numbers have been issued for the event. I registered then joined the others lads, Kevin O’Riordan mentioned something about my shoes but I did not really catch what he said as all my mind was turned up to the race. I was actually wearing my Inov8 shoes and it may seem a bit mad wearing these while having legs worries, but the decision to wear these was taken after few considerations. I said to myself the way the weather looks wear something which does not slip to much as anyway my option was to take it very easy. Then next question came from Zoran, he said: Can you remember all the shortcuts from the recce? I said yes then we had to stop the rest of that conversation as Joe started the briefing for the kik off.
And it was race kik off in 2 min, I kept my pace very slow then met Jason, Gavan and others right at first shortcut, they shouted good luck Amidou, I said thanks then Gavan took me a photograph. I was already almost on my own at this stage. I then joined quickly the track leading to fairy castle, I took a look on the "official route" and saw one lad right behind me. At this stage though visibility was very poor I was still confident in my head of all the shortcuts to take. The lad behind me then overtook me and in couple of minutes we were at fairy castle (first checkpoint). The lad in front of me was not very sure of where to go and he had to stop every small path to check the map; then we arrived at the right turn path going down to Kilmashogue, he stopped I shouted to him keep going straight then he decided to slow down his pace at my level we made route together through the second shortcut to the top of tibradden.
At this stage we saw a group with Martin (I think they took the normal route) I decided to take the third shortcut down through the forest to Glencullen road, Martin shouted to me do you know where you're going I replied yes. The visibility was so reduced at this stage I don't know if they decided to follow us or not, myself and the other lad went straight down, met the road, cross the water stream followed the fence on the right hand side up, met the fire road and turned left on the walking board to cruagh.
Off the walking board I stopped to take my first jellies; there Niall, Martin, Alan and others passed us alright. Then I said to the other lad (I didn’t get chance to ask his name) that it may be a better option for him to follow the others at this stage as I knew I was slowing down too much his pace; he decided there to follow the passing group. I did a non fault run up till the top of Kippure, passed Barry and a group with Aidan on the military road, shouted my number to Nora at the right fork to Kippure top.
Off the track and heading now in the bog I saw Alan and another lad right in front of me, alright I wasn’t that alone in the middle of nowhere but magically they had disappeared in the next minute. A wind of doubts blown my mind, did I swing too much from the right direction or did they? But I was still sure enough of my route. I kept going and met Niall about 10 min later, shouted to him well done Niall then he replied you are fourth. I was blown away by that and quickly realised that today could be my day as I was still feeling pretty good at this stage. I hurried to check in at the top with Charlie then met Zoran and Kevin there.
There I knew that with my shoes I will have a good advantage on the descent, but did not over stride on the descent as I was very concern to get back in safety with my leg. Then few minutes later on the descent I met Pol and another lad, Pol shouted you're third, that meant that I had overtaken Kevin. Again the race was still my day, I easily discarded the kippure section and came to Nora again. Once off the Kippure route onto the military road I slightly struggle to find the right turn down toward cruagh, but there a parked vehicle did good to me.
Few minutes later I stopped to take some water then Alan overtook me right there, I cheered well done Alan, he said are you ok Amidou I replied yes. Few minutes later again I stopped to take some jellies, there again I was relegated to fifth place by Kevin alright I said to myself don’t pace against no one. But a couple of minutes from that moment, yes that moment the whole race was going to turn from a big fun to a big nightmare for me as in the end I don't even know how long it took me trying to find the route to cruagh and to finally go back to the finish. I exhausted all my energy on that section and in the end the running couldn't no more keep me warm.

I stop my story here and will tell you the rest when I will have got the chance to take my revenge on this route! (Hopefully!)

Huge thanks to all the volunteers, to Alan for the lift back to my place otherwise cycling back would have been another story to tell, to Martin, Henny for the chocolate bars at the finish

Kevin O'Riordan

Turned up the Dublin Peaks race after running 8k the Setanta club champs the previous day. Arrived filled with worried thoughts: "Have I blown things by doing a hard run the previous day or have the short sprints associated with a park style orienteering race provided the pre-race sharpening that my legs need?". At first I thought the former, having a heavy dragging leg feeling that striked me with dread. However after a brief warmup, the feelings started to dissipaate.

Race started at 12 o'clock. My plan was to stick in a group with Alan Ayling, Martin Francis and Amidou Dembele, all runners who had been climing the ranks steadily during the year. Ahead was Zoran Skrba and Niall McAlinden, runners normally out of my league. However, as the race started I felt surprisingly energetic and decided to keep with them for a while. I started to think "This is suicide, you can't hold pace with these guys". But my legs were telling me otherwise. The effects of the previous few months of higher mileage training, Rene's hill sessions and a return to semi-regular cycling were finally starting to manifest themselves. I had a lot of poor race performances in that time due to being wrecked from training, but after a reasonable taper, this was it, this was the payoff moment I had kept telling myself about through all the bad sessions. I kept with Niall and Zoran past the steep section where I normally slow to a walk. Still feeling good. At this point, I was feeling more positive than ever. I had managed to keep the pace through the tough part and after this it was a comfortable incline to Fairy Castle. We came to the first little shortcut. Zoran took the shortcut while Niall opted to keep near the road.

I followed Zoran and emerged ahead of Niall on the ascent to Fairy Castle. I thought my lead on him would be short lived as Niall was normally a much stronger runner than I and would easily regain the ground. I decided to stay comfortable, at least when he did catch me, I'd be feeling fresher. Reached the summit of Fairy Castle, no sign of Niall. At this point I was beginning to feel quite elated. Powered on to Tibradden, still no sign of him behind me. This is outstanding. Checked with the summit marshall at Tibradden who had confirmed what I had hoped, I was in 2nd position, just after Zoran. I dropped down from Tibradden to the road and spotted Zoran just ahead of me. Excellent stuff, this is shaping up to be my best race ever. Lost sight of Zoran through the dense vegetation on the way to Cruagh but that wasn't a huge deal, you couldn't see very far ahead. Emerging at the top of the boardwalk, I saw Jason Kehoe's Team Bloody Brilliant on their "long slow run". They didn't seem to be running that slowly but thankfully they weren't heading in exactly the same direction as I so I wasn't shamed by having a group of guys out for their Sunday run overtaking me in a race. I reached the Cruagh checkpoint to find Zoran sweeping round towards me. Woohoo, brief lead. We ran together for a while. Thought for a moment that I could hold the lead position but I knew Zoran was just playing it safe pacing wise by keeping just behind me. After a brief exchange of pleasantries, I let Zoran pull ahead of me. I didn't want to risk overcooking in the first half of the race. Besides, Niall was my focus. I still had a decent lead on him and if I held that lead to the finish, I would be over the moon. Got to the end of the bog road to Kippure, still holding steady on position. This was still my "best race ever", that podium position was going to taste so good.

The mist keld low on Kippure. That doesn't look good, I thought. I knew there was a little sheep track alongside the main gully up to Kippure. Finding this would be essential to keeping a reasonable pace ascending and descending Kippure. Unfortunately it wasn't as easy to find as I thought. Panicking, I took out the map and compass to make sure I was at least heading in the correct direction. The compass told me I was okay, but I still didn't feel too sure and second guessed myself multiple times, losing time in the process. I was gaining height which was good, and looking at the map, Kippure was a reasonably uniform mountain, which meant I would eventually hit the correct peak as long as I kept gaining height. But the terrain was pure shite. The peat hags and bog holes made Conavalla to Table Mountain look like a piece of piss. The terrain levelled out half way up which meant I had to take out the map and compass again, no relying on the gaining height strategy for a while. Eventually found the main gully up, thank feck. Thoughts of "please god let me see the mast, please god, let me see the mast" flooded my mind. Eventually started to hear the creepy humming noise coming from the transmitter and relief flooded my mind. A few hundred meteres further and I could see the eery crashed spaceship looking structure emerging from the ground. Rounded the triangulation feature and returned for the descent, fears of missing the correct route down heaavy on my mind. Managed to keep to the gully this time but was wary of a fork in the gully that we had encountered on the recce. Got half way down and started feeling worried that I'd missed it. Took out the map and compass and sure enough, I had gone off the correct bearing. Resumed on the correct bearing and saw a runner 50m ahead. "Please god let it be Niall or Zoran" I thought. They quickly disappeared in the mist so I didn't get to find out. Encountered Pól O'Murchu on his ascent. "Who was that?", I shouted to him. "What?". "I said, who was that?". "Oh, you're 5th!".

"You're 5th". The words cut through my heart like a knife. "They're just ahead of you" shouted Pól. Thank god, there was still hope. I would probably not regain the lead on Niall and Zoran, but perhaps 3rd was still a possibility. I reached the track towards Cruagh and saw Amidou ahead of me. Excellent I thought, 4th place here we go and there was still that other runner who I saw 50m ahead of me. From here, it would be easy, I would just follow the track. However, the mist became even heavier and I could only see the track beneath my feet. I kept an eye out for the turn left I was meant to take but never saw it. Hit a fence. Oh fuck, I know this fence, it's the fence leading to Glendoo. Panic. Right, time to double back. Looked back, no sign of the track. Shit. Okay, compass bearing. Met Amidou. He had also missed the turn. "Are we lost?", he asked. "Yes, we're lost", I replied in exasperation. I couldn't see anything that could assure me of our location. We hit the track again and doubled back. Amidou spotted the turn we were meant to take. We turned and ran down it. I kept an eye out for the mini cairn along the track that would serve as our marker for finding Cruagh summit in the mist. Never saw it. I conferred with Amidou: "Should we not have seen it by now?", "No we're fine", he replied. But all was not well. We were losing a lot of height. "We can't keep holding out for it", I shouted and proceeded to cut across the mountain terrain. Saw a fence on the other side. It was the fence that ran close to Cruagh summit, thank god for that. We had lost a lot of height though. I pushed ahead up the hill. At least, we were gaining height again, that meant we would hit a peak and that peak had to be Cruagh summit. Spotted a survival shelter near a cairn. Excellent. Trudged up to it and gave my race number to Henny Brandsma who was inside huddling away from the elements. Looked behind me to make sure Amidou was still following. Saw him and hoped he would see me too and would find the checkpoint with Henny. I was eager to push on and get back to the safety of the trails.

Descended the boardwalk and cut down the little track by the river leading down to the road between Tibradden and Cruagh. Still in a mild state of panic and abjection, I missed the turn slightly but thankfully still emerged on the road okay. Cut up to Tibradden summit. No sign of marshalls at this point, couldn't blame them, the weather was getting really bad at this point and no weather to be standing around in. I decided to play it safe coming down off the summit and take the main Dublin mountain way route instead of the slightly shorter route that would cut out a short steep section at the junction with the Wicklow way. Ascended Fairy Castle. Was worried that with nearly 30km in the legs at this point and hunger and sugar cravings setting in that I would be reduced to a walk but held steady. Was grateful for the clearance work that Mountain Meitheal had done, the scree that had been there previously would have been the last thing my legs would want at this point. Came down the road section to the finish and was cheered on by some mountain bikers. "Well done!", they shouted. I didn't feel like I was doing so well. Arrived at the finish. Niall and a few others were standing there. "You're ahead of Martin Francis", Niall shouted. I should have been happy, having been beaten by Martin many times over the course of the year. However, on this occasion I knew it was just a case of I had fecked up a little less than he had. The finish was about 100m down from where I expected, but I just walked down despite another runner being just ahead of me. Mick Kellett was there holding the result sheet. I looked at my position. 7th. A long fall from 2nd. Desolation.

GPS account:

Aidan Roe

Dublin Peaks
I was summit marshal on Cruagh last year on a beautiful clear day. From there you can see the track across to Fairy Castle and the aerial on top of Kippure. It’s obvious from here that Dublin Peaks is a monster route. I knew after watching what I thought was some inspired running that I’d have to have a crack. My opportunity came yesterday and what a run.
I arrived in Ticknock for the early start with some apprehension. I have the distance on the road but hadn’t tried it over the hills yet. I was also hoping to see some of the lads I normally run with because I didn’t want to have marshals or race directors standing around just for me as I trundled around course. The weather was shite and it wasn’t due to get any better. I was delighted to see John Fitz. & Derek Livingstone.
We set of at 11.30 a half hour before the main field joined by Barry Tennyson. Arriving out onto the track up to Fairy Castle we started to feel the rain and wind in earnest. We raced the marshal to top of Fairy Castle and he got there just in front of us in time to take our numbers. We turned towards Tibradden and commenced one of my favourite pieces of track in Wicklow. The descent, with the wind at our backs was enjoyable. We got a big cheer from Jason Kehoe and his Sunday morning crew out for their morning run. The next couple of km passed with ease and we soon reached Tibradden and started the decent to car park. All going well. So far.
I had done a recce from the car park over to old road onto Kippure during the week and with the End of League Handicap in the same area we were on top of Cruagh without incident. We started to see the first runners in main pack around here. Kevin and Zoran passed us here at Cruagh. We didn’t see Brendan Doherty (but he assured me he was there) and we continued off on track towards military road. We were passed here by another two groups, I recognised Martin Francis who told me I needed to take the handbrake off if I wanted to finish. I’d see him later about that (sooner than I thought as it turned out).
Out on the Military Road Amidoe caught us going at a good clip. Visibility was right down here and we had one or two close shaves with passing traffic. We passed next marshal (Nora) and started run to Kippure. Downhill track here is good and we made some descent time but the two lads John & Derek couldn’t contain themselves telling me how bad the ascent was. It started. We spent the next 20-25 mins trying to run up a hill covered in what I can only describe as gunk. Not very technical, but it’s all I can think of, that’s printable. One step forward two steps back and a sideways wobble. We meet the first off the lads on descent. Niall (super result. Well done) and Zoran. Another figure passed and didn’t realise it was Alan A. until he had passed. We also met Amidoe at some stage. I was starting to get rightly pi%%ed of now. No sign of top and my legs were starting to give me bother. Finally I twigged that the drone I was listening to wasn’t a plane but the wind whistling around mast at top and we were there in 2.20. Charlie was waiting at top to check us thru. A lonely station on a day like that.
Now for the fun bit. I knew on the way up that this was going to be great to run down. And so it was. We ran/slid for the first 15 min and like an eejit I never took a bearing. It seemed so straightforward. Wrong. In the fun and frolics on way down we veered too far to the west and ended up wandering around in the heather. I fell into I don’t know how many bog holes. I really hate those f**kers. We met Caroline Reid here and some other lad and between the lot of us we found our way back onto track. But I was feeling it. Wandering through that shite really takes it out of you. We were though, further along the road than I expected and soon met Nora on the return leg. For me the biggest surprise was seeing Martin F. What was he doing here?? I don’t often find myself out on the course anywhere near with this lad. He ran off again and I thought that was it. We also met Brendan Doherty who had finished (?) his summit duties.
On our way back over the hill towards Cruagh we were once again accosted by Martin, from behind this time. He had helpfully marked on the track the most direct point to get back to the top of Cruagh. He’d been here already??We tried to keep up with him as we approached checkpoint but couldn’t and off he went. Towards Killakee. My handbrake may have been on but his sat-nav was definitely off. John Fitz. started after him but I stopped him but it was too late for Martin. He’d disappeared in mist. We started the descent to car park and out of the mist comes Amidoe. He was having a terrible time trying to find his way off the top. He had been a good 40 minutes ahead of us and now he looked tired. I told him to tuck in behind us and follow us down but when I did eventually look behind he’d gone again. The three of us got down to Tibradden car park. I was dreading the ascent up onto Tibradden
I’m not sure why but I found the ascent easy. I was really enjoying it. I started to pull away from the two lads. I reached the top of Tibradden and started the decent here knowing I only had the pull up onto Fairy Castle and it was over. This for me was the highlight of my run. I was by myself; I like that (weirdo). It was windy, I like that as well. It was pissing rain, also fun and the visibility was down to about 20m, some of my favourite ingredients for a day in the hills. I was also still running (I understand some of the lads up front were probably at home but it’s all relative). I reached the top of Fairy Castle. I was thrilled. I had it licked. It was all downhill from here.
My legs were cramping now. It took me a minute or two to get some rhythm into it, but it came. Eventually. I got down into the forest minutes from the finish and who pops up beside me like a jack-in the-box but Martin F again (back from Killakee) and John Fitz. We picked it up again and made a last dash for the finish. It was over. I got in, in a personally pleasing 4.57. John Fitz seconds behind and then Derek a couple of mins later. I had of course been delusional when I thought I was pulling away from the lads. It was just the mist and rain. They weren’t that far behind at all.
My legs immediately seized up. I got to the back of my van to get changed. I managed to get in. I was unable to sit down and change. I raged at my useless legs. I finally got down and changed into my tracksuit. Now I couldn’t straighten up. I finally got them going again with some subtle threats like “how would you like a nice walk?” that sort of thing and made the long trip home to rehydrate. I find Guinness particularly good for this
I’d like once again to express my thanks to everyone who gave up their time. To Joe and Nora for organising it. To the lads (Charlie, Henny, Brendan (?) and the two lads on FC and Tibradden. I never caught your names)) who stood on tops of mountains in those conditions a big thanks. Mick Kellett landed a plum job, but thanks as well. And well done to all who took part. There are some stunning times there.
For me it was one of the best days I’ve had on the hills in a long time.

Zoran Skrba

Dublin Peaks - a simple race, out to Kippure summit and back, visiting the 3 peaks: Fairy Castle, Tibradded and Cruagh, and the Bog road checkpoint.

At 12:00 Joe signalled, and we were off. I found myself in the lead with Niall right beside me, up the narrow path, then into the forest, and up to join the main road to the Three Rock. Running at chatting pace Niall remarked how he liked the pine forest smell that is more prominent in the damp, misty weather. I agreed. Once we reached the last bend in the road I signaled to Niall to head up into the forest again for the 1st shortcut, but he said he'll stick to the road and so we parted.

The first shortcut brought me out onto the new "upgraded" path that leads to the Fairy Castle, no sign of Niall. At ~12:14 reached the top and greeted the marshal. The wind and rain (drizzle) were constant, with visibility about 20m. Jogged around the cairn (following Joe’s instructions to go through the gap between the cairn and the marker). Picked up the pace slightly and followed the DMW, running past 4 hikers, until the left turn where I went straight and took the 2nd shortcut. Came out on the other side of the forest right underneath the board walk (12:27). I over shot the marshal by about 10m so had to jog back to tell him the number. I think I caught him a bit off guard as he was waiting for runners to come from the SE direction along the new DMW path. So far all going according to plan, now the fun bit, the third shortcut, coming off the board walk took a sharp left and straight down bouncing though the heather, ferns and gorse aiming for the gap in the trees. Then, carefully though the cut forest and down onto the road.

While running on the road I met a cyclist ( I thought he was saying something to me but then realised he was talking on the hands-free :)). After about 100m, (12:32) crossed the river and headed up by the path which leads along the edge of Cruagh forest and by the Owendougher river. Slow enough pace, having to go over, under, by and between many obstacles. Finally reached the cut forest and picked my way though it to reach the fire road, met few more people, a couple with dogs and a father and a son out for a walk. Then onto the board walk and towards the Cruagh cairn. Weather not getting any better, visibility still about 20m, upon reaching the cairn, no sign of a marshal (~12:50) ?! I briefly thought, maybe I am at the wrong cairn, but then saw Kevin (in close pursuit by few others) jog towards me and we headed off to the path that leads all the way to the Military and then Bog roads. I asked Kevin if he saw/met Niall, but he did not.

Once we reached the road I pulled away from him, and greeted Nora at the Bog road gate (~13:00). I shouted my number and jogged on, she wished me luck. I though to myself, no more shortcuts, just follow the path and keep up the pace (as Colum says: “keep the legs ticking over”). On most days Bog road is quite long and boring, but on a foggy, low visibility day even more so. After a while I crossed Mareen’s brook, ground was soft but not too boggy, visibility the same 15-20m, constant rain (drizzle) and wind. But then, somehow, on reaching the Askavore stream, I “lost” the path?! I started veering off to the left, heading directly south (but did not know that at the time, was not sure if I was to the right or left of the path)! Not being able to see where the top is, or the path, or anyone else, I stopped for a second. Then got my compass out and made sure I was going south, at this stage I thought that is the best option, because as long as I kept climbing I would either hit the service road or the top. Did not want to go back and search for the path, as would have to climb back up later. I also made sure I kept checking the compass frequently, did not want a repeat of last year’s Fraughen Rock glen experience! After some time I reached the service road. Then jogged up towards the mast. As I reached the mast from the east, I could see a figure heading back down, not sure who it was. Thought it might be Kevin or Niall but the figure seemed to have a dark jacket with a hood, which neither of the guys had. (~13:45)

I met Charlie at the summit and registered with him and headed back down. That is always a great descent. Fast, soft ground which is very forgiving. First I met Amidoe, then a group lead by Joe, followed by Caroline, then Alan, and at the Bog road another two guys (Paul and Donal). I wished them well and told them to be careful, and how I went wrong. But they said I must be doing something right as I was in the second place. Second! That was a surprise. I thought they said Niall, what about Kevin?

At the end of Bog road, I registered my number with Nora, but as the car was closed I did not stop for refreshments although my water was running low. The pouch was dry as I reached Cruagh. I met Brendan and he said Niall was 3min ahead. I picked up a pace, but the legs were complaining. Henny was putting up a tent, which made it very easy to spot the summit. Smart. (~14:15) I registered my number with him and thought to myself, keep going, keep jogging, the legs were sore, almost cramping. I was expecting trouble passing though and over the cut forest, as I would have to lift my legs higher, but for the moment I managed a good pace on the boardwalk. I opened a gel (the last food I had) and ate it slowly. As I reached cut forest, had to slow down while getting though the trees and around the obstacles on the way down, by Owendoher, to the road, the hamstrings cramped a couple of times. Although I was soaked though, stepping in the river was a nice refreshment.

(~14:33) Nearly there, one more nasty climb and race is almost over, (having to climb up to Fairy castle did not occur to me at this point). It was slow going up through the same “bouncy” heather, I came down few hours ago. Not so bouncy now,and quite sore! But was glad to reach the Tibradden path and the boardwalk. (~14:44) Here there was no marshal. I turned off the board walk and headed towards the gap in the forest, finding the trail and following it to the DMW and all the way to the top of Fairy castle (15:03), again no marshal. Met couple of hikers on DWM, could not see anyone else in front or back. Did not know how far ahead Niall was. While I kept jogging the legs did not complain too much. One final descent, taking it easy on the bone shaker, and then through the shortcut onto the main Three Rock road, then though the forest and the path back to the start. I recorded my time 3:13:26h. Could not see any other IMRA guys around? Where was Niall? I started chatting to some hikers, who could not believe that I have just been running for over 3h, over to Kippure and back! Then I heard the beeps. Mick was in the car at the Ticknock entrance, signalling I need to record my time with him. Then I saw Niall was in the car too. He came in at 3:03:18h. I wonder would it have been a closer finish have I not taken that Kippure detour. All in all it was a super race, and will be back for more.

Finally a special thanks go to Adrian and Greg who did the recce with me and pointed out all of the shortcuts which reduced the advertised race distance of 36k to a more manageable 28.5k (even with the slight Kippure detour ;))

Joe Lalor

Race Director’s Report

I have prepared an Excel file of split times for the various checkpoints but have had some difficulties getting it loaded on site. A link to it should be available shortly. It makes interesting reading to show were places were lost and gained during the race.

Heavy thunder and lightening in south county Dublin on Sunday morning threatened to put a stop to this year’s Dublin Peaks race, however by noon it was all systems go although with low cloud and light rain. The first two checkpoints proved no problem to any of the 21 runners. As can be seen from the splits some favoured a direct route off Tibradden down to the Glencullan Road. This is a gamble that appears to have paid off for anyone who took it. It is over very rough ground, no tracks and many hidden holes in heather but there are savings to be made mainly in a much reduced height loss.<br>
By Cruagh visibility was next to zero and several runners said they found Brendan at this featureless summit only because he was wearing a head torch. The field was pretty strung out by now as the runners moved on to Kippure. At the Old Bog road runners were checked through and offer refreshments. The leg up and down Kippure proved to be the most eventful and you can read from the other reports and the running order had radically changed by the time they returned to the OBR checkpoint. The trip back to Cruagh in my view is the most difficult but on this occasion only two were tempted by a side trip toward Glendoo.

Being a race director is not technically difficult but no matter how minor the race it carries heavy responsibilities as several RDs (not in our jurisdiction) have discovered and have had to explain their decisions in court. At 3.50 due to Henny not having a runner through in almost an hour and the steady worsening weather I closed the course and told the marshall at OBR to direct any runner not through yet to retire. This was communicated to my satisfaction to two runners who had yet to arrived (they dispute this). Consequently these runners who choose to continue have not their time included in the final results. They may appeal this to the IMRA committee.

I found being director of the Dublin Peak race a positive experience, I enjoyed designing the course and tweaking my route to get the optimum time. The bad weather tested our procedures and in the main they proved successful. We had one case of mild hypothermia and had this runner gone astray the situation would have been serious. By 5pm the weather was bleak and parts of Ticknock forest were in darkness. I did not regret my decision to curtail the race.