Irish Mountain
Running Association

Ben Gorm


Gerry BradyRene BorgPeter O'FarrellMick Hanney

Gerry Brady

Limerick had a convincing win in the county team race at Ben Gorm. They were led home by Thomas Blackburn with Mike Cunningham and Joe Aherne the other scorers. Dublin were next followed by Wicklow and Cork who both had two finishers and the same number of points.

1. Limerick 18 (3 Thomas Blackburn, 6 Mike Cunningham, 9 Joe Aherne)
2. Dublin 30 (1 Peter O'Farrell, 11 Diarmuid O'Colmain, 18 Thomas Galvin)

3. Wicklow 18 (8 Mick Hanney, 10 Cormac O'Ceallaigh,)
4. Cork 18 (5 Donal Coffey, 13 Richard Nunan)

Rene Borg


Only two teams survived to take the field at Ben Gorm, and once again it was the Munstermen of Bilboa who gained victory against Boards AC. Fairplay to the new team for having such an enthusiastic showing at the Connacht championship.

So unofficial club champions of Connacht 2009: Bilboa AC, led by the redoubtable Tom Blackburn, followed by Boards and Croagh Patrick winners Clonliffe who only finished one race.

1. Bilboa AC 18 (3 Thomas Blackburn, 6 Mike Cunningham, 9 Joe Ahern)
2. Boards AC 36 (8 Mick Hanney, 13 Richard Nunan, 15 Eamonn

Peter O'Farrell

I dunno about this race being the roughest race on the Calendar, maybe it suffers somewhat by reputation - much like that poor lamb Roy Keane!

It finishes at a river in the company of friends and fellow travellers in an area of the country blessed with an abundance of hills. It starts straight up a steep hill that gently caresses any that may fall in soft bog, unlike it's Connaught Championship companion Croagh Patrick which reaches out with good old fashioned old testament retribution to cut and tear at any who lose their footing on it's stony flank.
Thoughts of Croagh Patrick and it's aftereffects were pushed from the mind and instead I tried to imagine we would friskly gamble up the first slope and joyously skip down to the river crossing as a pleasant warm-up before climbing to the ridge for some more skipping. In these recessionary times such daydreaming is frowned upon and sure enough the legs called attention to the undeniable fact of two day's in a row racing being somewhat unusual.
Instead of a dreamy techicolour voyage we plunged into a monochrome green bog with occasional flashes of brown bog to lighten the tone as we plodded our way up to the ridge where maybe some skipping could be attempted anew. Not a chance but at least the angle of climb had abated and the bog was leavened by sprinklings of rock.
Up to the turnaround manned by a heroic Jason Reid, whose descent of Croagh Patrick yesterday had kamakizi followers everywhere purring with appreciation for his silky skills and whose stomach was in bits in consequence. The return back along the way gives a chance to switch off a bit mentally as you can just keep running at runners and not worrying too much about getting lost although attempting a pleasant hello at Charlie I instead executed a full summersault thankfully not doing too much damage.
The return to the river crossing was super slippy but to make up for that minor inconvienience the final descent was shorn of it's brutality by the lower level of vegetation at this time of year.
Standing in the river above the falls to cool the legs finishes this race off nicely.
Thanks to Turlough for fogoing his race to man the start/finish, Kathleen Aherne for manning the ridge and the aforementioned Jason for staying at the top.

Mick Hanney

The roughest imra race of the year according to its events description, a description which is quite true. 3rd year in a row for me running this. The weather gods smiled on us again and we had clear skies and could see the hills we were to run in. Rain arrived as I drove away from the finish, so that was good timing. A small field was in attendance, 24 hard-core survivors from the Croagh Patrick race yesterday. Pretty much straight away you (or most of us at least) are into a walking pace up the steep and slippery slope up from the Aasleagh falls, 10 to 15 mins of hard graft follow before you lose a lot of that gain by a descent to a crossing of the stream which wasn't in flood thankfully. From there you make tracks through the boggy ground towards the ridge line. I was in the company of Tish McCann who had a great Croagh Patrick run yesterday. Up ahead for most of the time I could see Dermot Murphy. Past Mrs Aherne (Joe's wife) on the ridge on onwards and upwards to the left. As the ridge flattened out it became more runnable. You wonder where the hell is this summit after a while. Thankfully we had clear skies and we could see some marking flags that were put out. Its a nice relief to see the lead runners coming back towards you as you know that the peak and turning point isn't too far away (or at least that you are on the right mountain!). Peter O'Farrell was first coming off the mountain. I didn't see Bernard but I believe he was 2nd to the top, followed by Tom. Myself, Tish and Dermot hit the peak at the same time and gave our salutations to Jason Reid who was marshalling the summit. On the descent Tish went away like a dervish down the hill. I was ahead of Dermot until a slip on the boggy ground had me crashing into a rock so I was knocked out of my stride for a few moments allowing him to get past me. I descended quite tentatively as the ground was slippy as hell and no running shoe would give you decent grip on it really.. my salamons were pretty pathetic. Still, I finished I think in 9th place at least 1 minute faster than my previous best in Ben Gorm. At the finish it was smiles all around and most people dipped their tired legs into the river above the Aasleagh falls. A lovely relief in a dramatically beautiful lanscape. Peter had his 2nd win of the weekend. He was followed home by Bernard Fortune and Tom Blackburn from the munster contingent. No split second finishes this year for a change :-) Prizegiving was held after soup and sandwiches back at Delphi presided over by Connaught Championship supremo Turlough. Thanks for another fine weekend.