Irish Mountain
Running Association

Howth Summer

Forum Messages

Gerry BradyApr 29 2011, 11:08pmUnfortunately the GAA grounds are not available as there is a match on the Wednesday evening. The race will still be held in Howth. The new start location will be determined over the weekend. Please check the website for an update before next Wednesday. Please also make contact through the car pooling facility and the forum to arrange transport sharing.
Gerry BradyMay 2 2011, 2:09pmSee event details for location of car park (registration), and start of race. The registration car park is 400m before summit pub and 900m from start of race.

There is plenty of additional public car parking around 200m behind the summit pub. There is NO car parking allowed on route from summit pub to start of race or on any of the narrow adjoining roads. Prize giving is in the summit pub.

See event details for notes on public transport access.
Simon LawlorMay 2 2011, 10:45pmHi,
can you enter on the day or do you have to be a member to race? also do you have to be over 18?
Thanks Simon
Philip BoylanMay 2 2011, 10:57pmWould you mind giving the grid reference for Howth registration?

Gerry BradyMay 3 2011, 12:23amGrid ref is O 291 371. The website developed by orienteer and mountain adventurer :) Marcus Geoghegan (Ajax) may be of interest,

You can join IMRA on the day, if under 18 you should have your parents or a guardian sign the registration form, see

As the race is over 5 km all junior girls must run the short one lap course and boys born in 1996 or later also. However as the race is almost 8 km, I would recommend all juniors run the short course.
Ken CowleyMay 3 2011, 9:01amDermot,
Do you need another non-running volunteer for Wed in Howth?
If I get out of work on time I could get there for 6.30 or shortly after.
Dermot MurphyMay 3 2011, 9:09amCheers Ken, could you help with the finish? You can leave it a bit later - say around 7:30pm for the start, if that suits you better.
Ken CowleyMay 3 2011, 9:39amGreat, Dermot, that's fine. See you on Wed.
Dermot MurphyMay 3 2011, 4:26pmFor tomorrow evenings race - please note change in registration location and prize giving location.

As we expect big numbers again, registration will open at 6pm and close at 7pm for people who need to register for the year and close at 7:10pm for people who already have an IMRA number.

There is limited parking at the registration area, and it is also a public parking area, so can people please car pool or use public transport as much as possible.
Stuart ScottMay 3 2011, 4:56pmHi all,

Would there be anyone driving out from the city centre with space? I know a few looking for lifts and timing is tricky with public transport. Only one car on the carpool at the moment.


Niamh O Ceallaigh May 3 2011, 5:44pmIt's only a mile and a half walk from Howth Dart station to the Summit Pub, All uphill but that shouldn't bother any hill runners!
Kevin O'RiordanMay 3 2011, 5:53pmThat's quite a long walk uphill especially if you're under time pressure coming out of work trying to make registration. I recommend that anyone passing Howth Dart Station with free seats in their car stops to check if they can offer a lift to fellow competitors.
Keith TormeyMay 3 2011, 10:48pmI placed my car up on the carpool section, but for some reason the time is reading incorrectly. It should say leaving at 17:30 (does anyone know how I can edit this?)

I am leaving from Cherrywood Technology Park, Loughlinstown and will travel down M50. On my return leg I will be going form Howth to Garristown (M50/N2/Ashbourne) if that suits anyone.

If I have no takers I will go past the train station and see if anyone there needs a lift.
Gerry BradyMay 4 2011, 9:07amI think it is better for public transport users and drivers to approach the start from Sutton Cross rather than Howth, see event details:

Public transport users can take 31B bus which passes car park on main road which is being used for registration. Alternatively take DART to Sutton and walk to Sutton cross (<5 minutes) and go to 31B bus stop. Car users, coming from city, turn right at Sutton cross and watch for runners at bus stop.

Stuart ScottMay 4 2011, 9:44amJust in case anyone doesn't know, the 31Bs leave Eden Quay at 1710 and 1740 and the Darts to Sutton/Howth at 1726, 1741 and 1804. The bus will be busy I think!
Jim FitzharrisMay 4 2011, 10:20amHi all,

I would not really agree that there is "plenty of additional public car parking around 200m behind the summit pub".

That car park is deceptively small, very popular and accepts only a single row of cars in a circle.

All the car parking we use is public and there will be little or no scope for "multi-layer" parking (which we can do when have special access to a Coillte car park) unless the organisers can "commandeer" a corner of the registration car park for this purpose..

This is one race where use of public transport (beats the awful traffic!) or good car pooling is strongly advised.

I plan to park discreetly in the reasonably large SuperQuinn car park near Sutton Cross to meet up with a few friends (and and any other takers) leaving there at around 6:30-6:45 pm. Unless someone knows better, this probably a good informal car pooling spot. It is reached by going straight through Sutton Cross towards Howth (coming from Dublin). There is a left turn into the car park just beyond the red/brown brick buildings about 100m after the cross roads.

From there, it is a 5 minute drive to the registration car park. Leaving SuperQuinn, turn right onto the main road and then quickly left at Sutton Cross to go up the Hill of Howth.

I have not been in it for a good while so just check if there are gates, etc - it does not look like it from the satellite view in Map My Run.

The Marine Hotel at the junction also has a car park but it is probably not such a bonzo idea to park there.


Alan AylingMay 4 2011, 10:40amCouple of other options for parking:

1. Howth harbour area, plenty of parking in the car parks near the sailing club and the west pier.

2. If you fork right at Sutton Cross (towards St Fintan's cemetery), after maybe 400 m there is a large chapel on the left, some parking here. This route up to the race start is probably better than Howth village, less busy, climb less steep for the poor struggling car laden with four or five runners... :-)
Gearoid HealyMay 4 2011, 2:22pmHey,

I have myself registered for car pooling but had never set my email in my profile (I'm new, sorry). But someone has booked a seat and I don't know who! Could you please rebook?! Sorry about that...

I'll pass through Sutton (right at junction) and will stop into Superquinn car park also and can fill up remaining seats with anyone waiting. Hoping to be passing at around 6:30ish...

Car parking I know of...
- at registration - car park on right ~400 meters before the Summit pub going up the hill from Sutton
- car park up little hill behind Summit pub
- on road car parking by cemetery coming from Sutton towards Summit pub
- parking in Howth / Sutton villages (involves walking)
Ken McDonaghMay 4 2011, 3:59pmJust a note on the Superquinn carpark - there are no gates but it tends to be pretty busy at the best of times.
I'd say your best bet is to park in Howth near the Harbour and either carpool or walk up (the steep hill!).
Another option for those coming in on a train is to follow the purple marked loop (backwards - in the grand tradition of Irish loop walks they've only put arrows in one direction) from just behind the bus-stop opposite the station, when you get to the top of the hill after the GAA pitch take the next left where you should see an orange marker (again on the back of the post) and follow that path to the Summit Pub.
Damian KellyMay 4 2011, 4:39pmHi There,

I just heard on FM104 news that is gorse fire on the summit of Howth, is the race still going ahead.


Damian Kelly
Kevin O'RiordanMay 4 2011, 4:42pmYeah we set the course on fire as a signal for Colm Hill to come.
Kevin O'RiordanMay 4 2011, 11:31pmResults are up but there are problems. Due to mix ups, some people either missed the second lap entirely or only ran part of the second lap. We can't discount the results of the race entirely as some people will need them in order to get their 7 races but if anyone feels like being honest, we'd appreciate if you could e-mail me at and we can put you down as having run the short course. This will still count towards end of league prize etc.
Colm HillMay 4 2011, 11:59pmHowth was on fire!! Curses not checking my email.
The would have made an epic race report.

If any other of the LL races are on fire, someone text me
Eva FairmanerMay 5 2011, 8:35amI am mortified - I had a relatively good run but not good enough to be 13th overall and 1st woman! On our second lap of the course myself and some others thought we were to turn up left through the trees whereas it transpired that was a short lap- we obviously misunderstood the directions that we were given on the first lap. We were puzzled alright that some very fast runners were flying passed us near the finish so apologies to all but it was a genuine mistake. I have emailed Kevin and asked to be a short course finisher.
Eoin KeithMay 5 2011, 9:20am3 people have had their result set to be DNF for the Howth race as they were wearing headphones. This is despite prominant notices on the website, and warnings before the race start itself, that they are banned from our races.
Mick HanneyMay 5 2011, 9:38amGood to see direct action happening. If you are wearing headphones how do you hear race instructions or marshalling directions. There were some people wearing them at the recent WAR event too. Its one thing to wear them on a training run but during a race? Silly really.
Ian ConroyMay 5 2011, 10:30amJust a quick thanks to everyone that helped me after the race. Vinnie (Susan was it?), Des, Dessie, Roger the Doctor, Niamh, Brian and anyone else (I'm afraid that's all I can remember, due to my far from normal condition). Next time I'll make sure I'm more fuelled for the race as I REALLY don't want to be shaking like that again. I'll write a report later but also a thanks to the organisers for a very enjoyable run, it pays to recce! Further to the headphones issue, it's for everyone's safety, not just your own!
Rosalind HusseyMay 5 2011, 12:15pmThanks for the race yesterday - I felt I should give my input as to how misroutes on Howth and DNFs from headphone wearing can be avoided.
There were plenty of marshalls at the race yesterday. One should have stayed at the junction that Gerry Brady was at the first time and directed all runners coming towards them to run down the hill. If there are not enough volunteers available - a sign pointing down the hill on approaching the junction would suffice, and maybe another pointed up the hill, only visible when approaching from the Deerpark route. Again a clear sign pointing runners onto the second loop and another pointing to the finish would help at that junction.

About the headphones - all the warnings are evident if you go to the IMRA home page and read the news section, or are near the front at the beginning of the race. Otherwise' many runners are probably not aware of this rule. It was very difficult to hear race instructions for most people. Again, a clear sign at registration stating that no headphones are allowed with make this rule more obvious to many runners.

I personally don't think the route needs to be changed in future - clear signage will cause no more work and will make it easier for runners to understand what is expected of them. Never underestimate how simple it is to go wrong when you're feeling tired in a race!
Jim FitzharrisMay 5 2011, 12:32pmHi all,

Firstly, thanks to Dermot, Gerry et al, for the race last night - difficult to manage with a new start location etc. Worth remembering this for future Howth races should the GAA Club not be available. Not the organisers' fault but still too many single occupant cars - many opportunities for car pooling. Two IMRA stalwarts, father and son, who have given sterling service to the organisation could not gain access to the car park because it was full quite early ……..

I realise that many runners did take the time and trouble to share a car. SuperQuinn worked out well. It does have a gate by the way (oops!) but was still open (thankfully!) at 9:30 pm.

Full marks to Eoin re headphones - it really is a major safety issue on hill runs. I have seen Rosalind’s message and point taken but IMRA have been saying this for a year now so time for action! BHAA now ban them too but enforcement is very lax. They were not banned in WAR that I was aware of (but should be!). It is an automatic DQ in triathlon and they have NO signs about this! It is now deeply ingrained in the tri culture.

Re route mix-up, this can happen. It is easy to be wise with hindsight but a marshal at the entrance to the Deer Park for the whole race (where Gerry was for the first lap) is crucial as this is the clinch point in the "noose" that forms the Deer Park lap. Rosalind’s point about a few arrows is well made and I agree completely with her that there is no need to change the route – if anything that will lead to further complications.

Rosalind is so right about mistakes during a race: tiredness, focus on the terrain underfoot, follow the leader, etc all play a part and common sense & logic often go out the window!

Regarding those who ran a shorter route, if finishers look at their age category in the results they will soon realise if they are "out of sequence" and can notify IMRA accordingly. It would be unfair for some of the results to stand as it could affect age category positions.

Full marks to Eva but no need to be so apologetic – I have often wondered what the rarified atmosphere at the head of the race is like !!



Niamh O' GormanMay 5 2011, 12:50pmHi Dermot,
I did the full race, but I'm in the results as the short course.
Niamh O' GormanMay 5 2011, 12:53pmSorry I did the same race as Eva.
Alan AylingMay 5 2011, 1:34pmLoved the new course, agree with Rosalind about signage etc. Once people become familiar with a route there should be minimal problems. I actually thought the marking was very good, so thanks Gerry. (The map on the site was not so good, but who really reads the maps anyway?!).

My gripe with the whole thing was around the parking/race start area/distance between these etc. Might work well for a race with small numbers but was a stretch last night. Regrettable that some people turned up in good faith (and reasonable time) and weren't able to register.

As an alternative suggestion (apologies if the organisers checked this out and it wasn't possible), but how about approach the Deerpark Hotel with a view to using their car park and then their bar for post-race drinks, prizegiving... maybe they could lay on some sandwiches at a reasonable price... race could use the same loop but starting/finishing at the rhododendrons at the back of the hotel. To spread the field at the start, begin at the bottom of the carpark and run up the tarmac before entering the loop proper. Or three laps of the 18th green or something. Just seems like it might be a win/win situation for the hotel and IMRA. And the runners. Everything all in the one nice little area.
Dermot MurphyMay 5 2011, 2:38pmMany thanks to all volunteers who helped out last night - much appreciated.

Apologies for the confusion on the course etc - Rosalind's post sums up how it should have been done.

Alan, on the parking, the hotel was our first choice to use as an alternative for parking but they refused us permission, so not much we could do there. Again, apologies to those who could not register in time, but we are under pressure every Wednesday evening to get all the entries in and start the race on time - remember that it was getting quite dark by the time everyone had eventually finished. We cannot afford much of a delay and we need to have a cut off point at some stage.

Headphone - as they are banned, it will be an automatic DNF for anyone caught using them from now on. No apologies for that!

We also hope to get a loudspeaker shortly to help with announcements before the race.

Gerry BradyMay 5 2011, 8:10pmWe are going to have a look at identifying the runners who did not do two full laps (via comparisons with previous results) and estimating an adjusted time for them (based on the time taken to run the Deerpark loop last Sunday when making a new map based on starting in Deerpark). For example, it may be proposed to add 10 minutes to some runners times, 11 minutes to others etc. (nothing too sophisticated or scientific)

Signs need to be hung in fairly exact locations so they sometimes need to be mounted on two feet high canes if anyone has the time to make some ... attaching them to gorse or light vegetation will not always work. On other occasions they are perfect.

On marshalls, a marshall was needed at the foot of the steep climb to direct people into Deerpark (where I was initially) and on the open mountain as they returned from Deerpark to direct them back towards the steep climb (where I moved to after the last runner passed the steep climb position). Unfortunately I was not in time to prevent either Mike Gomm or Seamus Kilcullen (early starters) getting a second lap of Deerpark in! So really more volunteers were needed rather than volunteers who changed from other roles (registration and course marking) to course marshalls just before the start ... Luckily one of the late arrivals who missed registration, and went for a training run, helped out with marshalling but by the time the last runner completed Deerpark on the first lap, many runners were in Deerpark on their second lap.

We learn with every race yet still enjoy each one!
Gerry BradyMay 6 2011, 9:15pmAn analysis of the first 100 finishers performance has been completed and 10 minutes will be added to the times of 18 runners (this includes two finishers listed under the Short race - these will be switched back to the Long race results). These runners were obviously running together as on the night eight of them were in the top 18 and an additional five in the top 36. There is one male runner in the top 50 who was running his first race whose time has been left unchanged as it could not be benchmarked. There was one other first race finisher in the top 50 and 10 minutes has been added to her time on the basis that we know the winner of the women's race.

There were some excellent spot prizes from Amphibian King and hopefully more of the same next week so stay around afterwards if you have time.
Rene BorgMay 7 2011, 6:58pmTeam results are up, league team standings to follow.