Irish Mountain
Running Association

Wicklow Way Ultra

Forum Messages

Eoin KeithJan 14 2010, 11:56pmThis message is to let everyone know that it is being proposed to alter the route of The Wickow Ultra and the Wicklow Trail races to bring the lengths of the races as close as feasable to 50km and 25km respectively.

Historically these races used to be known as "the Wicklow 50" and "the Wicklow 25". The original intention of the route, initiated by the organisation then known as the Irish Ultrarunners Union, was to put a 50km trail race in place, with a supporting 25km race. The routes were certainly put in place before the advent of the GPS devices which we can now use to measure the "on the ground" length of routes. I would guess they were measured using an OS map. It was quite a shock to a lot of us when we discoverd how far short of 50km (and 25km) the routes actually are. The Ultra race only barely scrapes accross the line into the ultra distance category.

The bulk of the route will remain exactly as it is. It is hoped that only one modification to the route will be necessary to bring it up to the proposed length. The event pages will be updated as soon as the new route is finalised, and I'll post another message on the forum to let you all know.

For those of you training for this race, the new route shouldn't have any affect on your training regimes, as the distances will still very much be in the same broad category.

An additional benifit of the increase in distance of the ultra race in particular is that it will more than likely then become possible for it to become a qualifying race for the UTMB.
Rene BorgJan 15 2010, 8:30amI'll hold my main thoughts on this until I see the proposed new routes so a proper comparison is proper.

Two risks I see with the change is that the current Wicklow Way Trail (can't speak of the Ultra) is a perfectly balanced race with a tremendous record that still could be brought under 1:30 (and something I always hoped I'd see done by smoeone). In laymans terms if you already have a very good products its very easy to mess it up by changing it. (exchanging a known quantity for an unknown is easier when the existing product is broken).

On the Ultra the arguments make sense. That'd be my initial reaction. Other than that I'll wait and see what the new routes look like. For a race that is my favourite on the calendar the wait will be one of trepidation like having your dog in surgery!
Peter O'FarrellJan 15 2010, 10:41amThat's all great news and well done to those putting in all the hard work to get this recognition.

To echo Rene's words, hopefully the supporting race can remain the same. I presume an actual 25km as opposed to 22.4km race makes not a whit of difference to recognition.

I hope the turnaround point of the 50km either remains the same or manages to more to an even more scenic and public spot. There's a lot of hanging around to be done there and it was nice to have a view and the occasional interested tourist to chat to whilst awaiting the next wild-eyed 50km entrant bursting from the trees.
Chris O'NeillJan 23 2010, 9:26pmGreat News re: the longer event. Increasing it to 50km and the possibility of it counting towards UTMB qualifying points makes perfect sense. After running in 2009 and loving the run, I again plan to run in prep for a longer Ultra later in year. That said I must say the Wicklow way 44km was the Highlight race of my 2009. Maybe it was the weather on the day:-)
Ps Great work by all involved.
alexi diamantopoulosFeb 11 2010, 3:23pmNot too sure what the change is as both maps 2009 and 2010 are the same. I understand the general area but not too sure what the proper route is and what the short cut is. Is anyone able to shed some light?
Rene BorgFeb 11 2010, 3:50pmIt would suit me to run over the whole route on Sunday if anything can provide a second car. I'd be happy to measure the route in the process.

Only caveat is that my sore achilles could break down before Sunday and I wouldn't plan in the 25k then, but day-by-day!
diarmuid O'ColmainFeb 11 2010, 4:05pmHI Alexi,

the route map on the event page is the old one from last year. The two changes to the route this year are as described in the Event description - I understand that the route maps will be updated shortly.
Eoin KeithFeb 11 2010, 4:23pmThe route maps are now updated to show the new route (for both the Trail and the Ultra). There is also a link in the route description which will enable you to download a KML file of the route which can be used to view the route using google earth (which is a fantastic way to get a feel for the route before you run it). You can use this to zoom in on any section you like to get a more detailed view of the route.
alexi diamantopoulosFeb 12 2010, 11:43pmThanks lads. Havent had any luck with the KML file yet but hope to be able to open it soon
ray laniganFeb 15 2010, 7:44pmdo i have to be a member to take part in this ultra,and how do i enter,thanks.
Jason KehoeFeb 16 2010, 8:52amHi Ray,

I believe entry is on the morning in Johnny Fox's about an hour before race start, look at the event page and last years forum messages for more information. Usually you need to have met the criteria (navigation, equiptment etc.) and then pay a yearly membership of €10 + €7 for race entry.

Eoin KeithFeb 21 2010, 11:53pmJust to let you know, the maps for the Wicklow Way Trail and the Wicklow Way Ultra have been updated to show the route on the OSI maps. Thanks to Mick Hanney for sending me the trail file so I could rapidly generate these with the OSI Geolives software. This is as good an overview of the whole route as you're likely to get without generating an enormous image. Hopefully this makes the route variations clear.
Eoin KeithFeb 26 2010, 11:27amCut off times have now been published on the events page for both the Wicklow Way Trail and the Wicklow Way Ultra. Thanks to Brendan Doherty for doing the mathematical leg-work on figuring out fair and inclusive times. These are in place for the benifit of our hard-working volunteer marshals, so please respect these cut-offs.

Please also note that for the Trail race registration will take place at Johhny Foxes. There will be no registration available at the start of the trail race. The entry fee for the trail race will include a contribution towards the hire of a bus from the registration to the race start. In order to guarantee your seat on the bus you need to use the carpool booking system. Only people who do this will be guaranteed a seat on the bus on the day.

The entry fees for both races will be slightly higher than the normal IMRA race fee, and will be published on the events pages shortly. The trail race will cost slightly more than the ultra, as it includes a madatory contribution towards bus hire. Both races will have finishers prizes.
Caroline ReidFeb 26 2010, 1:27pmWill there be an early start for the ultra?
Dermot MurphyFeb 26 2010, 2:38pmHi Caroline - anyone who wants an early start is welcome to do so. I intend to be at Johnnie Foxes from 8:30am to take registrations and early starts can proceed as soon as they are registered. If anyone wants to start earlier than this, please let me know.
Levente DorogiMar 1 2010, 9:05pmDoes anyone know how to go there from Dublin with bus ?
Justin ReaMar 3 2010, 12:07pm44b leaves Eglington Road at 07:25AM on Saturdays. That's the only bus to Glencullen all day.
Levente DorogiMar 7 2010, 9:00pmThanks. So, Will be there a place where we could leave our bags and stuff what we don't use during the run ?
Dermot MurphyMar 15 2010, 9:13amVolunteers are required for the WW Trail and Ultra races. I need help with registration (can also run) and non running volunteers for help with the turn around at Ballinastoe woods, Crone wood and Curtlestown. Can anyone available to help out on the day please does by adding their name to list of volunteers or contacting me directly.
liam hesterMar 15 2010, 5:35pmHope Im not hijacking someone elses thread here!
Im intending to run the Ultra and Im not familiar with the actual course.
Has anyone a gradient map of the course or a LINK to same?
Something like the one available on the Dublin Marathon where you can see the climbs visually.
many thanks.
Dermot MurphyMar 16 2010, 11:22amTo Liam, and anyone else who is unfamiliar with the course, it would be expected that you have good Navigational skills. The course has some markings on it (Wicklow Way markers - wooden stakes with yellow hiker on it on Trails, Brown sign post on roads) but do not expect a fully marked course. You would need to carry a map. It would also be a good idea to carry a mobile phone, just in case.
Tony KiernanMar 16 2010, 12:20pmWill the turnaround section off the WW to Ballinastoe carpark be marked ? Bit unsure about that section ...... Hope its cold ... Sick of runnin in 35 deg :-)
cormac o ceallaighMar 18 2010, 4:54pmHi Tony, no giving out about hot weather, bring plenty of that heat and sunshine home with you! we are after one of the coldest winters since the ice age so could do with some heat on race day!
paul tierneyMar 21 2010, 11:04amhi all. .would you get away with using road runners on the ultra route as opposed to trail shoes(weather permitting of course)
niamh o ceallaighMar 22 2010, 8:42amDefinitely,
Unless it is really wet, I would defo wear road runners. Most of it is on gravelly trails. Section up the side of Djouce is quite slippy when wet and then also a very short section coming up from the river towards Knockree, but it would have to be a really wet day to make it worth not wearing road my opinion.
paul tierneyMar 22 2010, 8:58amthanks for that niamh i will probably go with the runners so. cant wait for saturday now. hail, rain or shine twil be a bit of craic anyway!see ye all there
Cormac MacDonnellMar 23 2010, 11:12amHi, just to let people know that may not be familiar with the route, the ultra course travels the Wicklow Way mostly, just vearing off the route at the turnaround in Ballinastoe. The Wicklow Way is waymarked throughout with yellow walking man arrows (in both directions) and the marking is generally good throughout. Additional race marking would be required where the courses leaves the WW down to the car park in Ballinastoe. Cormac ( National Trails Office + runner)
Paul Brew CrewMar 23 2010, 6:30pmHi all, just a little note to let you know that the Brew Crew will be in attendance on the day offering the usual hot teas / coffees and snacks / sandwiches - Those of you at the Maulin race will be familar with us. We would really appreciate any suggestions you might have for us as we are hoping to attend IMRA events for the rest of the year. ps - we do a mean latte!
paul tierneyMar 23 2010, 10:41pmcupa soups at the finish!!!
Eamonn HodgeMar 23 2010, 11:22pmSaline drips?
paul cumiskeyMar 24 2010, 8:00amCuppa soup it is - theres a free one for 1st and last in! paul.
Moire O'SullivanMar 24 2010, 8:17amSo sorry to be missing the Wicklow Way Ultra this year - though my feet will definitely than me for it.

I'm based in Kathmandu at the moment and will be here until end of October. So it anyone is up for some Nepali mountain running, feel free to look us up.

And whilst my Irish colleagues will be bounding along the Wicklow Way, I'm off to Pokhara on Friday morning for the 5th Annapurna ultra (though admittedly I'm only doing the 35k!) Hope we all live to tell the tale!
Justin ReaMar 24 2010, 10:02amLooks a nice run Moire. The link you posted was for next year. Planning ahead?

This years event is here:

Those funny looking bushes on the side of the trail that look like dope plants. They are dope plants. They will get you to 2800m without leaving the start ;-)
paul tierneyMar 24 2010, 6:03pmmaybe saline flavour cupa soups eamonn?
Kevin O'RiordanMar 24 2010, 8:51pmSounds like the soup they used to serve in the canteen in college.
alexi diamantopoulosMar 24 2010, 10:49pmAnyone know what drinks will be given at the drink stops?
Anybody on holiday in a sunny place are not allowed to wish for weather! 35 degrees will do me like a glove!
niamh o ceallaighMar 25 2010, 7:18amDrink station will probably have water, jelly babies, bits of banana and chopped up bits of mars bar.
diarmuid O'ColmainMar 25 2010, 10:46amI am looking at 48 ltrs of water, about 40 bananas, 6 or 7 packs of small mars bars and about 10 packets of jelly babies in my hall. Mary will be making these available at the drink station at Crone Wood; the bananas and bars being chopped up in small pieces, the water being in plastic beakers.
Kevin O'RiordanMar 25 2010, 10:51amWill there be Liga there?
diarmuid O'ColmainMar 25 2010, 12:39pmand Readybrek, and soothers! Also a row of stretchers and several Florence Nightingales.
Eamonn HodgeMar 25 2010, 4:03pmThanks Diarmuid, put me down for two Florence Nightingales.
diarmuid O'ColmainMar 25 2010, 8:50pmSorry Eamon, they are rationed and I get first pick. I should also have mentioned there will be an equal number of Frank Nightingales.
Dermot MurphyMar 26 2010, 11:01amFor parking at Johnnie Foxes, please use the overflow car park - not the smaller car park beside the pub itself. There will be a car park marshal on duty.
alexi diamantopoulosMar 26 2010, 10:50pmcheers guys! See yuz all tomorrow!
Dermot MurphyMar 28 2010, 2:05pmWell done to all runners yesterday - I hope you all enjoyed the race and are not suffering to much today! Thanks also to all helpers and marshals who helped out on the day, especially to Justin for organising the bus.

A great job by Kevin to get the results up so quickly - we were working from manual results so if you see any incorrect time (early starts etc) please let us know and we will amend later in the week.
alexi diamantopoulosMar 28 2010, 8:48pmWell done to all marshal and volunteers! Thanks for the race, It was my first ultra and it was painful but you cant argue with the scenery! Amazing it was and even if am still walking like a penguin with a wooden leg I would still go for it again! Some people got mugs though and I dont know if they had finished when I arrived but any chance I could pick one off someone?
Lennon MartyMar 28 2010, 11:44pmJust want to say thanks to all the organisers and marshalls for their support yesterday... first ultra and such a great event...

also thanks to Michael McCann (number 64) for the donation of a drink and gel given to me when I was 'beginning to bunk' on the return leg... true spirit of sportsmanship.... lesson learned... must prepare better for my next race..

all and all a great day... Big Thumbs Up!
niamh o ceallaighMar 29 2010, 7:52amAll participants in the Ultra are entitled to receive their finishers prize of a mug. There are 38 runners who did not receive one as we ran out. I have a list of most of these people and will email you/text you this evening to arrange delivery / collection. As I am missing some names of those who did not receive a prize, please email me directly on ballyteige at gmail dot com

keith hearyMar 29 2010, 10:48ambrief race report from my perspective up on the ultra race
Jackie O'HaganMar 29 2010, 12:13pmNot to steal the limelight from our other fantastic ultra runners this weekend (who did amazingly by the way! well done! glad I wasn't there for ye all to show me up!) our very own Moire O Sullivan was running ultras of her own on the other side of the globe.

Seems she was the 1st lady home in the 71k Annapurna ultra in Nepal the very same weekend! A very impressive feat considering the locals are probably fairly well trained at hills!

Well done Moire...looking forward to your report on your blog!
Dale and Denise MathersMar 29 2010, 1:06pmFirst of all - thanks to Dermot on organising a wonderful race - my (Denise) first ever Ultra and where could be nicer. Never been in the Wicklow mountains before and even managed (when I could) to enjoy the scenery.
Must thank Tony K for his company on the outward journey - we left at 8:30 and since I didn't know the route was happy to have his expert knowledge and excellent pacing for the first half. Tony what a guy - just doing the ultra a week before heading of to Morocco for the MDS. All the best and I hope you have lots more Ultra stories to tell me next year.
Also thanks to all the Northern support for us both (dale and denise) as we reached Ballinastoe together it was really nice.
Many thanks again to all of the people involved - even though at Curtlestown fed station I took the last of the juice from a young boy who was panicing that he had run out of supplys - many thanks it really helped me up P. Williams seat.
hope to see you all again next year

Dale and Denise
Caroline ReidMar 29 2010, 1:58pmJust to echo what everyone else is saying - what a well organised, enjoyable event. Dermot and all the volunteers were outstanding and did a magnificent job, dishing out supplies and encouragement to everyone.

From a personal point of view, thanks so much to everyone for all the support along the way & at the finish...the trail runners were just awesome. At the end of the day, I felt like an unworthy ladies winner as it was many of your words of encouragement that got me to the finish. Thank you again.

I will put up a report when I get a chance and would encourge others to do so as well..they are great to read when you are preparing for the race.

To anyone considering the WW trail or ultra next year, this is a very special event, which you have to take part in to appreciate. Its like everyone is in it together with a common goal to encourage each other right to the finish :) What a buzz!!! And finally, I LOVE MY MUG...what a great prize and keepsake :D
roisin mc donnellMar 29 2010, 2:37pmThanks a mill to Dermot and all the encouraging volunteers and runners everyone has said there is always a wonderful atmosphere of camaraderie and support on the WW Ultra and Trail events. I have unfortunately to remind you Dermot that i also had an early start ..i started at 9 am. Thanks
niamh O CeallaighMar 29 2010, 10:12pmBelow is the list of names of those who did not receive mugs. I will shortly contact you to arrange collection/delivery. Mugs will be ready in about 2 weeks.
If your name is not on this list and you did not receive a mug (there are 13 of you), please email me on ballyteige at gmail dot com.

Sarah Ni Ruairc
Pierce Fahy
Mick Kellett
Michael Murray
Roisin O Connor
Don Mc Kinnon
Anne Marie Larkin
Karen Duggan
Roisin Mc Donnell
Mark Eiffe
Barry Tennyson
Fred Hammond
Eoin Keith
Tony Kiernan
Mary Jennings
Zbigniew Bressa
Gary Condon
Cormac Mc Donnell
Christopher Daly
Declan Donnelly
Cormac O Ceallaigh
Niamh O Ceallaigh
Christian McAuley
Mark Byrne
Kevin O'RiordanMar 29 2010, 11:21pmThanks Roisin. Have updated your result.

Eamonn HodgeMar 30 2010, 12:36pmJust adding my thanks to Dermot, Kevin and Gareth who had a very long day organising this race and recording finishers to the bitter end when the sun disappeared behind the clouds.

Thanks to the Trail runners for the great cheer we got as we reached the half way point. Felt like I was a celebrity!

Finbar McGurren was freezing up at the Lough Tay viewing point but was full of encouragement. Very exposed spot that.

It was great to see a friendly smile at Crone Wood and those bananas tasted fantastic. Special thanks to the lady and her two lads at Curtlestown who re-hydrated me as I had misjudged my water needs towards the end. What a warm day!

And the mug is brilliant! Best finisher's prize ever! Thanks Niamh.
Kevin O'RiordanMar 30 2010, 8:25pmI believe it's Shane you meant to thank for helping out at the finish :)
Eamonn HodgeMar 30 2010, 11:23pmI blame Rachael! I thought she said he was Gareth Enright, must have been Shane Enright and I mixed him up with Gareth Little. Sorry Shane!
Chris O'NeillMar 31 2010, 12:13pmBeen injured is bad enough but then missing what seems by all accounts a great event makes it even harder LOL. Well done to all runners and volunteers.
Class pics as well

I am jealous :-)
Ailis BrosnanNov 1 2011, 3:54pmHi
Is there a date set for the wicklow way ultra for 2012?
Mick HanneyNov 1 2011, 4:14pmNot yet I reckon. Calendar for new year usually starts to emerge towards the end of the current year as the new committee settles in. You can tell roughly when it'll be be looking at previous year's calendars. It usually avoids a clash with the Conn marathon.
Alan AylingNov 2 2011, 11:12pmWell since this is back at the top of the forum...

The finish at the Gaelic club last year was something of an anticlimax. Would the committee consider moving it back to the pub or the overspill carpark? This would at least generate atmosphere. An extra few hundred metres tacked on the end of the race would be worth it for a decent finish.

Admittedly, crossing a busy junction is not ideal, but could be marshalled?