Irish Mountain
Running Association

Crone Woods

Forum Messages

Sean OgggNov 16 2008, 1:16pmWill this be the same course as last year for the university championship?
gerry bradyNov 16 2008, 6:42pmProbably the same course. There are two obvious add-on options. One is to climb Maulin after the steep grass climb and then descend along the wall before cutting in onto last years course at the top of the short steep descent. A second option is to follow last years course until it crosses the Powerscourt ridge route ride and turn right to climb the top half of this ride and then left to join up with, and run back home along, the Wicklow Way. But maybe these are for another race!
Paul SmythDec 31 2008, 12:04amHi Gerry,

The option of climbing Maulin as you describe gets my vote. IMHO the existing route as it stands does not deserve the name hill-run.
Rene BorgDec 31 2008, 9:10amI'd back keeping the existing personally. It was nice to do a tough quick (but incredibly steep) climb for once and it was an enlightening experience to run a hill race at such furious pace. A very competitive race.

Also, I think its better the Winter League races are kept relatively short and straightforward to be easy to use in all winter conditions and to cater to the beginners who will be using this league as a springboard into hill running.
Paul McCullaghJan 9 2009, 4:33pmIm for keeping the same course as last year aswell. Good course
Colm HillJan 9 2009, 9:17pmIf its the Uni Hill Running Champs - should it not be a tough run? Is the objective to find the uni champ over a demanding course or one who can just survive the one sharp climb? By all means trying to coax in beginners into the hill running scene is all well and good but is it worth it at the expense of a championships??

Just wondering about the objectives. . .

Rene BorgJan 10 2009, 8:53amHi Sean, there was a substantial debate on the very subject you bring up last Winter. If you dig out the old thread from last year and look at some of the points, you'll see the reasons that Gerry Brady has for his choice of course as well as see the discussion surrounding the opinions of those who thought differently.

Justin ReaJan 10 2009, 11:30amAs I pointed out for the Powerscourt Ridge race, there is an alternative route to the top of the grassy 'cliff' via a well constructed path. It is marked as the 'Maulin Mountain Trail' on Coillte's map:

My opinion is that the path is at least runable by those with good ascent fitness whereas the grassy slope is a scramble at best. If we are trying to identify runners that can take on a steep ascent then I reckon the path gives a better test of sustained effort.

I also like Gerry's suggestion of continuing through the gate and up Maulin before descending by the wall and ride to join up with new path linking to WW at waterfall lookout. That adds a tough, technical section.

Hope these suggestions are useful to whomever sets the course. I'd be happy to help with marking if required.
gerry bradyJan 10 2009, 6:34pmThere is probably room to take in Maulin and the wall to make it more like an IMRA race while still accommodating first-timers from college teams. The trenches on that alternative path to the grass climb are off-putting but we can look at it again as well. It is easy to make the race longer and tougher but up front the results would be the same, and we need some races aimed at developing 31-32 minutes 10km times for men and 35-36 for women.
Colm HillJan 10 2009, 7:28pmWould a 10km in 32-33 not be more of a road run time than a hill run time?
(excuse my ignorance)

Rene BorgJan 10 2009, 9:54pmColm,

It wouldn't be possibly to decide on a quantification of what is "hill running time" as opposed to what is "road running time". Ultra-short and short races play an important part in the history of hill running as do longer races, albeit, less so in Ireland than in England.

I don't believe that's what Gerry meant, however. The level of maintanable speed required to compete effectively at an international level, in hill-running, equates to the speed of runners capable of running 31-32min(men)/35-36min(women) in a 10k road race. (As an anecdote this is by no means just an Irish standard. The Danish Athletics Federation will not consider athletes who cannot run at least 33-minute 10k or faster for their hill running team, even though they have only send participants on few occasions. And this is the standard for a country that cannot be considered a running or hill-running giant!).

For comparison with the international top, current world champion Jonathan Wyatt holds a 27:56 PB for 10k, while

Longer hill races have a tendency to allow athletes to operate fairly effectively at speeds that are fast enough for that race and for local competition, but not push them into the faster speeds necessary to compete internationally. In order to expose local runners to what's necessary, shorter races are a crucial element. In short, you would expect: Shorter races = Higher average speed pr. runner.

In that way, shorter hill races acquire more of the racing dynamics you would expect to find in a cross-country race.

There are runners, of course, who are well capable of crunching out much the same speeds over a 6k or a 12k distance, but you'd find these are athletes very much at the peak of their powers, or who have "travelled the distance". For those who haven't yet, the need to test the higher speeds in shorter races before they develop the capability, and confidence, to unleash it on a longer, can be developed through participation in shorter, swifter hill races.

Last year's Crone Wood had winning times of 28 minutes which makes it reasonably similar to a 5-mile road race in terms of the time needed to maintain competitive speed. Howth, going by record, closely approximates the elite 10k effort with the records being 30:19 for the men (Paul Nolan) and 34:45 for the women (Beth McCluskey). While this is not a thorough analysis, it may indicate that a hill race of moderate terrain and climb is equal to a road race 1.5-2km longer, as a rule of thumb. This is somewhat simplifying the matter, as well, due to the number of factors that make up a hill run opposed to a road/track run.

That a hill race is somewhat shorter than the actual Championship races makes sense from a long-term perspective, as you would often test your speed in shorter races than you'll need in the main event (for instance multiple 5000m trials are common-place in training programmes designed towards a 10000m main event). This from the perspective that the best hill runners must one day be ready to face running at their "6k hill running speed" over 12km. Their current speed over 12km will, in the case of the majority, not yet be sufficiently developed.
Brendan LawlorJan 11 2009, 2:17pmRene

Tim Noakes (Lore of Running) had better watch his back!What a reply
Rene BorgJan 11 2009, 6:07pmThanks Brendan, a few tears of joy were shed in this little household from that comparison with one of my great heroes! ;-)
Kevin ButlerJan 25 2009, 6:17pmHi,

I havnt actually competed in any mountain races before only road and track races. I was just wondering if anyone could tell me do I just show up on the day for this race or do I have to sign up before hand and if you are supposed to be part of a team or can you race singly? And is there any gear that I would definitely need before I could race?

gerry bradyJan 27 2009, 8:00pmNew route map and profile on event page. Two descents added (or is that 2 climbs!) and short cut through bends on WW finish. On the descent off Maulin, you can run beside the wall or in the low heather close to the wall, (you must join the lower path beside the wall).
Jonathan McCloyFeb 11 2009, 1:15pmAs I had suggested in the non-replied emails to IMRA (NIMRA were also CC'd), why not have two courses like any other Intervarsity Competition? Fresher Course and Open Course.

Good to see that the course has been adjusted!
gerry bradyFeb 11 2009, 11:57pmJonathan

Apologies for not replying to you last August, I was abroad on holidays and organised the Galtees race immediately I got back.

Your proposal was to host the race in the Mournes. I think the best future for this race is for the Irish universities to integrate it into their athletics programme as an IUAA race rather than for IMRA or NIMRA to organise it (my personal opinion). On numbers in 2008, there were 22 college runners last year and two mens and two womens teams so numbers would need to increase to have two races.
Jonathan McCloyFeb 16 2009, 6:37pmI have made it plain as day that I would be keen to make it UIAA or at least in the CUSAI calender, though never fear, Ultimate Frisbee and its many variations are!

You never know untill you try! I'm trying to get people to head down to the climbing intervarsities this weekend, main problem is that alot of our guys are like 'aw sure I'm not gonna win anyway', but when I explain the Fresher class, they are coming!
Sean DowneyMar 2 2009, 11:40pmHi,

Just wondering what the process is for being counted in the intervarsity results? Does one need to be a member of the college athletic club, or merely identify themselves as being a student of a particular college at registration?

gerry bradyMar 3 2009, 8:48amYou do not have to be a member of the athletic club to run for your college. There are many former runners in colleges who are not in the athletics club and it would be great to see some of those becoming competitive again.

A link to the colleges team entry form is now on the event details. One completed form per college/category should be handed in to me on race day. Volunteers are urgently needed especially a lap top operator and first aid.
Sean DowneyMar 3 2009, 11:19amGerry, thanks.
Time to get training now....
gerry bradyMar 5 2009, 6:14pmAnyone interested in a training run around the Crone Wood lap, meet this Saturday at the car park at 10:00. The pace will be easy. A map of the route is on the website if you want to bring it with you. Volunteers needed.
kevin keaneMar 5 2009, 9:58pmI won't be able to make the Saturday run at Crone, but I'm planning a run there on Sunday if anyone's interested. Pace will be easy, though the route might be extended a kilometre or two.....
Paul O'GradyMar 5 2009, 11:22pmI'll join you Kevin - what time were you thinking???
gerry bradyMar 6 2009, 12:26amfor anyone doing a recce and not that familiar with the area here are some very detailed notes (map is on the web page)!

Race starts at the car park barrier;
Take first left turn at forest map signboard;
Very quickly turn right and go up a narrow steep ride (with steps) under trees;
Turn right at the top of this ride;
Take next left which comes up very quickly;
At the top of this ride turn right;
Go left (uphill) at the path bend;
Go straight through the next junction (stay on the main path & always climbing);
Turn right at the next main junction and descend a little;
Turn left up onto the grass just before a forest hut;
More or less straight up the grass climb veering a little right at times to keep to open ground;
Half way up this grass climb, you should pass just to the right of a small crag or rock face;
At the top you come out at a path junction;
Turn right and cross the stile;
Turn right and follow this path as it swings back left towards Maulin summit;
The climb to the summit is on a narrow path through the heather;
At the summit turn a sharp left and run straight downhill;
Gradually you get close to a wall on your left;
Keep close to this and come out on the lower path beside the wall;
Turn right;
Turn left onto a faint track just as you reach a tallish tree on your left (this is the turn you could miss);
This faint path meets another track at the top bend (part of last year’s course);
Descend steeply on this track and then follow it gradually uphill;
When you reach a ride and wall crossing this path, turn right;
You now have the last short sharp climb ahead of you;
Cross the stile at the top and turn left;
At the end of this path cross the fence and turn left;
Very quickly swing a little left and descend straight down on a rough path with trees on your left;
When you meet a lower path turn right and follow it until you meet the main Wicklow Way;
Turn left towards the car park;
On the first bend take a short-cut off the WW on your right;
Descend this rough path to rejoin the WW;
Follow the WW back to the car park.
Brendan HoganMar 6 2009, 11:24amHi, As a beginner to the sport my only concern is the length of time it would take me to complete the course. I have not entered an IMRA event before, but am interested. My level of fitness is just 'OK' - Is there a time restriction on the course? What is anyones recommendation?
I was thinking of the Crone race to try out (close to home and looks to be one of the easier races coming up)
Mick HanneyMar 6 2009, 11:40amNo time restrictions apply. All ages and levels of fitness are accomodated in imra races and this is part of its great appeal. Give it a go and you'll never look back.
stephen gaffneyMar 6 2009, 7:32pmis this course ok to do with just normal asic runners?? sounds like there might be a bit on grass and through heather.
gerry bradyMar 6 2009, 9:27pmprovided there is no snow and no heavy rain, ordinary runners are fine! best strategy is to try and have a training run around the course beforehand and then you can decide what you feel comfortable in.
kevin keaneMar 7 2009, 6:29pmPaul,
After having a look at the weather for tomorrow (and seeing the beginning of the front in the past half hour) I'd say I won't be heading down to Crone after all tomorrow. I would have been on the bike and it just ain't cycling weather!
Have a good run if you do head down...
Georgina MolloyMar 7 2009, 10:32pmHi guys, Do I need to register for this race before the race day or do I register on the morning of the race?
gerry bradyMar 14 2009, 6:44pmCrone course photos on event pages. Volunteers needed or ... manual results and no first aid!
ciara largeyMar 19 2009, 11:27amIf anyone is travelling from Dublin city centre to the university champs on sat morning please let me know, I would greatly appreciate a lift.
Fergal BuckleyMar 19 2009, 10:18pmLike Ciara, I'm also looking for a lift on Saturday! From the city centre or anywhere reachable by public transport! Cheers!
Gerry BradyMar 19 2009, 10:26pmFinal notes for Crone

Please arrive early as although the car park is very big, the whole of Ireland seems to go there. Last week, there were horses, prams, twins, dogs, large groups, families etc. and of course CARS, many overflowing out onto the narrow public road.

Car pool from the pub in Enniskerry. Use the website car pool facility, it works even though no one has posted to it for this event! There will be no car park marshalls so park sensibly and runners can generally block each others cars in to make more room for other cars.

Bring water if you think you might feel thirsty after the race.

The course will be marked but study the map, the profile and the photos to build up a picture of the various turns and gradients on the course. This will help you to run a better race and to avoid doing a little or a lot extra!

A basket will be left out at the finish, please remember to put your race number in it and keep your number visible to the finish recorders

Hopefully we will get some photos of the top half of the course if John is available

Ciara Largey is making the long journey down from the North so it would be great if someone can help her out (do you have a contact email Ciara?) and Fergal is up from Kerry and hopefully can be accommodated also …
John KirwanMar 20 2009, 11:21amHi, just wondering if anyone is passing sandymount / ballsbridge on the way to Saturday's race, as I need a lift. Alternatively, I could meet someone in town or elsewhere.
John KirwanMar 20 2009, 11:22amOh, and my phone number is 086 8866340 & e-mail is
Ciara LargeyMar 20 2009, 3:43pmJust in case anyone is able to offer a lift my contact details are:
tel: +44(0)7985957700 email:
Roisin KelleherMar 20 2009, 3:59pmI didn't put my details on the Carpool as I am volunteering tomorrow and will be heading down early. If any of you are stuck for a lift I am driving from Harolds Cross/Terenure to the Race. I'll be leaving at approx 8.30, let me know. Roisin dot Kelleher at ci-3 dot com;
Roisin KelleherMar 20 2009, 4:02pmI didn't put my details on the Carpool as I am volunteering tomorrow and will be heading down early. If any of you are stuck for a lift I am driving from Harolds Cross/Terenure to the Race. I'll be leaving at approx 8.30, let me know. Roisin dot Kelleher at ci-3 dot com;
Kieran NearyMar 21 2009, 7:43amHi,

Is this run for Colleges only or can anyone run?

keith hearyMar 21 2009, 8:06amhi kieran

anyone can race today, university race is incorporated into todays race
Mick HanneyMar 21 2009, 3:12pmSavage, fantastic race today. Gerry, while I might have been cursing you at various times after 11am this morning, they were fleeting thoughts :-) Thanks for a great route and thanks to the team of volunteers for making it happen.
Paul SmythMar 21 2009, 3:20pmSuper race route Gerry - I hope it becomes a permanent fixture.
Peter O'FarrellMar 21 2009, 3:47pmSuper course today brilliantly organised by Gerry and his very able team of volunteers. Thanks!
Colm HillMar 21 2009, 8:19pmVery tough course. Worthy of a championships.
Good job, well done to all involved.

Paul MitchellMar 21 2009, 8:32pmWell done Gerry - you organised the race, marked the route, took the photos, cheered on the competitors... the only thing you didn't do was sell ice cream at the finish.

It would be a stretch to say I enjoyed the race - but I'm certainly glad I managed to finish it - just about!

It was a lot harder than the other Winter League races. The good thing for beginners like me is that there has been a progression in difficulty over the league which has given us the confidence to take on bigger and bigger challenges - which I for one probably wouldn't have considered if it had been like this from the start.

A great day out - thanks.
Gavin EgertonMar 21 2009, 8:35pmToday was my first time doing anything like this before. Thoroughly enjoyed the event. Great buzz afterwards and the positive atmosphere made the day. Well done. Well organised and managed today, but poor directions to event were posted. I will definately be doing more of these type races!!!! Keep up the good work.
Sean DowneyMar 21 2009, 9:41pmTo echo all of the above, thanks to Gerry & co for a fantastic finale to the winter league & uni champs. Really enjoyed the route, even if I left my running legs at home.
Ciara LargeyMar 21 2009, 11:40pmthanks to all involved for today's course, I really enjoyed it, well worth the trip down!
Rene BorgMar 22 2009, 1:06pmHi all,

There was a mistake in the posted club results.

Vincent O'Sullivan had correctly changed his club from Bray to Sli Cualann previous to the race but this change did not make the database.

This means Sli Cualann, not Rathfarnham, won the team competition on the day and the result is as below. While this means that Sli Cualann finish the league with 80 points instead of 84, Clonliffe still win the title with their 70 points. I have posted the corrected Excel Sheet.

Mens club
1. Sli Cualann 30 (5 Vincent O'Sullivan, 12 Ben Mooney, 13 Colm Mullen)
2. Rathfarnham 39 (1 Kevin Keane, 2 Peter O’Farrell, 36 William Griffin)
3. Crusaders 41 (10 Richard Healy, 14 Robert Healy, 17 Shane O’Rourke)
4. Clonliffe 41 (4 Stephen Cleary, 9 Paul Duffy, 28 Sean Downey)
5. Sportsworld 68 (11 Paul O’Connell, 25 James Shanahan, 32 Paul Mitchell)
6. MSB 100 (19 Mel Hilliard, 35 David Carroll, 46 Paddy Parrott)
7. CNOC 145 (7 Colm Hill, 43 Conor Short, 95 Eddie Hill)
Jason WilsonMar 22 2009, 1:14pmGreat wee course and a worthy championship route. Thanks to everyone from the University of Ulster! See you all next year! :-)
Rene BorgMar 22 2009, 10:43pmIt was brought to our attention that a man had erroneously been entered as a female runner at Crone Wood in 9th position among the women.

This has now been corrected and means Mary Dawson and Maureen Lowther finish 9th and 10th ladies on the day instead of 10th and 11th. As Maureen's 10 points is not among her best 3 of 5, it means Mary Dawson ties with her on 12 points and wins the League on tie-breakers (most wins and head-to-head both fall in her favour).

Again congratulations to all the winners and apologies for any confusion caused by this mis-entry.
cormac o ceallaighMar 23 2009, 8:27amexcellent course, very demanding climbs, and technical descent.super job Gerry and team of volunteers.
Hugh CashellMar 26 2009, 11:31amThanks for a really good course enjoyed it a lot. Just a quick point im a member of cnoc but my details havent been updated. It makes a slight difference to the team result and takes us off the bottom. Thanks