RACE SIX GOES TO Bailey (Newcastle AC) ….AND THE SERIES TITLE IS WIDE OPEN.
Ian Bailey scored his second victory in race six of the Hill and Dale Series. This win means Bailey, Cunningham (Mourne Runners) and Bogle (City of Derry) each have two wins on the scoreboard. There is no clear favourite at this stage.
Deon McNeilly was first to the top of Millstone Mountain. Bailey was tucked behind McNeilly on the ascent but neither Stevie Cunningham nor Deon could catch him on the descent and Bailey free wheeled into Donard Park without either man in sight. Cunningham was runner up, followed by McNeilly and, just behind, the ever consistent Neil Carty took fourth. Newcastle’s recent signing, Seamus Lynch, is definitely one to watch. He came in fifth, followed closely by David Steele, with both men completing the course in less than 40 minutes.
Patricia McKibben was the first woman home in a very respectable 49 minutes. Patricia was, it appeared, oblivious to her outstanding success as she skipped down the grass bank to the finish. (Not for her the pained expression of some of those mentioned earlier.) It was a case of “cease of the day” for Patricia as O’Kane, Wilson and the other ‘usual winners’ cast aside the glories of the Hill and Dale, preferring instead to compete for Northern Ireland in UKA Mountain Running Senior Home International held in Keswick at the weekend. Second woman home was Hazel McLaughlin. Sinead Murtagh (Castlewellan AC), completed the top three women.
Any Hill and Dale is about more than the podium finishers and no evening more so than on Thursday 23rd May 2013, when BARF turned out in huge numbers to celebrate the life of Denis Rankin. Places and times were immaterial – the BARF (Belfast Association of Rock Climbers and Fell Runners) runners were out to commemorate a friend. Denis’ daughter, Kerry Hall, recounted her father’s love of the mountains and told the runners to enjoy the run in his memory. The race start was preceded by a minute’s clap in honor of Denis and then Kerry joined the other 185 runners in the chase up the bank out of Donard Park and into Donard forest where the course ran parallel to the coastline before the ascent onto Millstone, some 1,500ft of hard climbing.
Race 6 of the 2013 Hill and Dale Series takes place on Thursday 23rd May. Details of the route are below. Please remember to bring full body cover.
* Any coats etc. that were left at Moughanmore can be picked up from Jim Brown’s van.
Millstone : 4.5 miles / 1437 feet
1. Start in Donard Park at the official start/finish point. (Start: 374305)
2. Run up grass to main forest road and turn left.
3. Cross 1st Bridge and then immediately turn right and follow cobblestone path.
4. At end of cobblestone path veer left onto forest trail.
5. Follow forest trail (bisecting granite trail) out to the veer right mark taking you up steep track through gate onto open mountain.
6. Follow mountain trail out to broken section of the wall and go through opening in wall.
7. Stay on the mountain side of the wall and follow wall up to Marshall (CP1: 376283] Note all runners must reach marshall at CP1 before climbing Millstone Mountain, cut off time may apply at this point and obey marshall instructions.
8. At CP1 Marshall turn right and climb to the Marshall at small cairn at top of Millstone Mountain (CP2: 374285)
9. Descend Millstone to stile at the approach to quarry (Veer slightly right of the quarry on the descent – do not cross fences or river).
10. Cross stile (CP3: 372293) at approach to quarry and follow forest trail descending into Donard Forest.
11. Cross 3rd Bridge and follow trail out to 90 degree right turn and continue descending on forest trail taking right turn at forest trail junction.
12. Continue on forest trail heading for 2nd Bridge (do not cross bridge)
13. Approximately 50m prior to 2nd Bridge take left turn and proceed through forest single trail onto main forest road.
14. Follow main forest road and turn right into Donard Park and proceed to Finish, no short cuts allowed prior to mentioned right turn. (Finish: 374305)