Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stone Cross to Lug Relay

Last weekend, 9 hardy CNOC runners took part in the annual open mountain relay - Stone Cross near Tallaght to Fentons Pub at the base of Lug in the Glen of Imall. The relay is 3 legs, varying in lenght. The first is from Stone Cross to the Sally Gap, 14.5km, the second leg is from Sally Gap to Wicklow Gap, 17.5km and the final leg is from the Wicklow Gap to the Glen of Imall, 21km.
Now this sounds all very easy - just follow the trails! But if your talking to anyone who ran, trails is the only thing they don't come across. The CNOC runners had to battle through the early morning mist (and afternoon torrential rain) across mountain tops and crossing bog and peat hag filled saddles.

CNOC had a senior team, Niall McAlinden, Seamus O'Boyle and Colm Hill. The Junior team was Conor Short, Kevin O'Boyle and Niall Ewen and the Vets team was Bernie O'Boyle, Don Short and Ruth Lynam. All 3 teams ran with a battling attitude and all preformed extremely well giving the testing conditions.

Leg 1 had to battle up Seechon, Corrig, Seefingan before slogging up to Kippure and down to Sally Gap. For people that know Kippure, there is a massive areial ontop of the mountain. To give you an idea of the conditions, when standing beside the cables that hold it up, you were unable to see the mast. Niall McAlinden (currently writing a report) was only seen on the start line before he blitzed off to come home 7mins clear of the field. Conor had some naviational issues in the mist but corrected and came home 4th (?). While Bernie, who was running in her longest hill race ever, had a clean run and handed over to Don in the sheets of rain. All leg 1 runners in and accounted for.

Seamus took full charge of the race on Leg 2 increasing the lead from 7mins to 15mins. He's currently writting up a report for me. On this leg the runners had to cross Carrigvoher, Gravale, Duff Hill, Mullaghcleevaun East Top, Mullaghcleevaun, Barnacullian Ridge, Stoney Top, Tonelagee before collapsing at the Wicklow Gap. Kevin had a blinder of a run, and now seems addicted to the open mountain races. His report is here. Don, been sent out in apocalyptic conditions ran clean, gaining some time to unleash Ruth on the last leg.

On 3rd leg, which had to go up Turlough Hill, Conavalla, Table track junction, Camenabologue, Cannow Ridge, Lugnaquillia and Camerahill before a 2km descent to the finish at Fentons pub. Seamus let Colm out 15mins in the lead. He ran a controlled race. His report is here. He ran clean and fast, almost taking the leg record to bring our first team home in first place by 52mins.
Kevin unleashed Niall who chased Aonghus O'C the entire way up until the Lug summit, before mist hindered him and he was forced to take the scenic route home through the Glen of Imall firing range. (Someone else went over Slievemeen!) Ruth ran clean (no surprises there) on the last leg to take 3 teams and bring the team home as First vets team.

All in all it was an extremely successful day for CNOC at the Premier Open Mountain Relay in the country. The orienteering season is soon apon us with our first event been held in Emo on the 12th of Sept. I'll do my best to find a few photos and put them up as soon as possible.

Once again well done to all teams. Results available on imra.ie

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