Hill & Dales 2024 Race 2 – Tollymore Race Report, Results & Photos

Lights, Camera, Action – All in an evening’s work

Report by The Housewives Favourite and Housewife of Castlewellan 

Where does the time go? Time flies around each year to the infamous Hill and Dale Series which just gets bigger and better each year.  Thursday 18th April saw the 2nd race in the 2024 Series in the glorious setting of Tollymore Forest park – the ‘warm up’ to the Slieve Martin, Slieve Binnian and of course Slieve Donard.  There was a different buzz about this year as Race directors had also organised a Hollywood blockbuster to be filmed in the natural beauty of Tollymore Forest park with none other than Gerard Butler – whispered not only to be lead in the film ‘How to train your Dragon’ but also had registered for the race well before the cut off every Tuesday at 9pm (that is my gentle and unsubtle reminder to get entered on time).  

As I am sure you are well aware – a lot of work happens behind the scenes months, weeks, days and hours before the actual race!  A sub team directed by the ‘Housewives favourite’ Francie was conscripted to mark the course the evening before.  Picture this ‘boy band’ – Francie (housewives favourite), Prophet (sickest man in Ireland who tells nothing but the truth) McCann (did I ever tell you about my time in the Armagh 10 or was I too busy managing change and transforming lives?) and Eamon (building contractor, coach and burster or anyone stupid to join him on the Sunday run!) all had the task to mark the route and navigate around copious yellow signage, film personnel as well as truck rigs and scaffolding – no easy assignment!! Only one man to sort this job and have a ‘word’ with security – the Prophet – after a stern looking discussion the Prophet gave the go ahead to the team – rumour has it that Gerard Butler has been replaced and a new lead man will be taking over – watch this space!

Last week we had Tom Crudgington and Catriona Edington take top positions – who would it be this week!  Skipping up the infamous and torturous green rig finish was International Superstar – Zak Hanna in a blistering 29.30 time followed by 3 of his fellow team mates 2nd place Ethan Mc Mullan, 3rd place Patrick McDaid and 4th place Rostrevor man David Hicks.  This week it was Martsje Hell’s turn to take first female in 37.22and 28th overall position with Catriona Edington in second place  in 38.09 and 42nd overall position – we will continue to watch this space for both these ladies!  3rd lady was Dromore AC runner Diane Wilson with an outstanding run of 39.51 and 55th overall position – we look forward to watching all these ladies as we head to the mountains. A huge congratulations to all the category winners too many to name individually but still an amazing achievement!

Thankfully the continuous reminders to register before Tuesday at 9pm and the reminder to bring your number to every race seems to be paying off with everyone remembering this week – so well done to you all – it really saves a lot of admin and issues at the registration!!  On that note we still had 4 people who didn’t get scanned in at the start – you MUST come to the van and get “bleeped” in or Debbie will not be happy and we really do not want that!!!  

A huge thank you to all the volunteers – one of whom would really need a sat nav, map and compass as he got lost doing his run prior to the race – saying no names – isn’t that right Barry Og!!??  

The battle for the mugs is now ramping up – with a lot of ‘first timers’ saying the only reason they decided to enter was to get one – a real talking point in workplaces if you are having your ‘tae’ (tea for those posh people) at break time.  Rumour also has it that one certain lady in our own club is looking for one mug per race so she can have a set of 7 for her family!!  

Runners and the Tollymore organising team made the quick dash to Quinn’s bar in Newcastle where a welcome pint and a snack was waiting for those who raced and of course volunteered. 

Next up is what many say is thee most challenging race – Slieve Martin in Rostrevor which can be described as the ‘epi-centre’ of County Down with Race Directors David and Barry Og – both of whom grew up running this on their door step. Please remember to get registered on time to avoid disappointment.

Race Results:

Click here for results

Race Photos: 

Photos by Richard Cowan (If you want to use Richard’s photographs then feel free. The link below gives you a chance to say thanks by buying him a cup of tea: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/thekillinchyphotographer)