Irish Mountain
Running Association

Want to try an IMRA Race in 2020? Here's how

Warren SwordsJan 7 2020, 11:11amWould you like to run IMRA race in 2020?

Great. Now is an ideal time to join. As in anytime of the year really. But winter league starts at the end of January with ideal races to ease you in.

Here's what you need to do before you hit the hill. You need to purchase an annual membership.

How do I register?

1) You must register online before you can enter any race. It costs €10 for annual membership. You cannot register on the day. Click on the "Register for IMRA" tab on the top left.

2) You will be assigned a race number. Please remember this. You collect your race number and chip at your first race. This is your number for the year so keep it safe as you'll need to bring it to every race in 2020. (replacement numbers can be bought for a €5)

3) Once you have registered for the year, you are now ready to enter a race. Exciting! Look at all those lovely races.

You have two options.

Option 1: Enter race individual races online. Each race costs €7 and entries close 24 hours before the race. No refunds.

Option 2. Buy a set of race vouchers. Cost is €50 for 10 entries. Your voucher contains ten race entries and at each race your card is punched. With vouchers, you do not need to register for a race in advance. You can just show up on the day.

4) On the day of race.

4.1) You must sign in before racing.
4.2) This is EXTREMELY important. If you don't sign in correctly, it could lead to people searching mountains in the dark for "missing people."

Why is sign in so important?

5) The sign in sheet is a record of everyone who is racing on the day. The sign in sheet is then used to make sure everyone is accounted when the race is over.

If someone signs in and doesn't race, it will lead to volunteers searching for you, believing you are still on the mountain.

If you haven't signed in and you do get lost no-one may know you are lost.

How do I sign in?

6) There is a sign in table at each race.

You'll be asked to write your name, race number and signature.

Please use BLOCK LETTERS to record your name. If volunteers can't read your name, we have no idea who is racing.

7) Know your RACE number. Make sure it's the correct number. Please try to avoid asking busy volunteers what your number is. Don't confuse your race number with your voucher number

8) Arrive in plenty of time.Try where possible to carpool. Registration usually closes 15 mins before the race but do check each race as the start line maybe a distance away from registration.

9) Put your race chip on your shoe. It is useless anywhere else.

What to do when race starts?

10) Run! There's huge range of abilities and ages at each IMRA race and it's highly likely you'll find people of similar ability to race beside.

Most courses are marked. You follow strips of tape that have been put out a few hours beforehand along the course. Easy to follow but it's still worth having a look at the course map beforehand.

What do I do when I finish the race?

11) Make sure your number is clearly visible.Wear it on your chest (not on your back or your shorts) This allows volunteers to record who has finished and who hasn't. If you are wearing your jacket at the finish, open it to allow the finish marshals to see your number

12) Anything else I need to know ?

Don't wear headphones

Jackets are mandatory - you will be disqualified if you run without one. Most people will wear a bumbag/race belt with their jacket tucked in.

Finish marshals and laptop operators are very busy so don't distract them by asking what was your time / finish position - you'll find out in due course. Results are published online fairly quickly.

If for any reason you drop out of the race please let the finish marshals know.

Each IMRA race relies on volunteers. In order to qualify for league prize - you must volunteer.

After each race, there is usually prize giving,social drinks and post race banter held at a nominated pub. See Event Page for details

Enjoy your run !!
Stuart ScottJan 7 2020, 12:13pmGreat summary Warren! Could this be 'stuck' to the home page and also pasted into every race description page? The same questions keep coming up again and again so the more times it's repeated the better!
John CondonJan 7 2020, 1:40pmAhead of you there Stuart. This will be appearing on the home page shortly.
Paul SmythJan 7 2020, 1:53pmI think the idea is great and your post includes everything that a new member or prospective new member needs to know.


It is waaaay to long. Even if someone reads all of it, which is unlikely, people will inevitable miss lots of things and there will still be issues and questions. It needs to be reduced down to a fraction of it's length

What would probably work better is a graphic summary, if someone has the necessary drawing skills. Failing that I would strip out everything superfluous.

To Start:
Pay membership €10.
Note race no.
Collect physical race no. and timing chip at first race.

Each Race:
Pay for each race separately, even the 1st.
Either pay €7 online before race day


Pay on the day with a race voucher.


The real problem is to place the information (however it is formed) where the people who need to see it can't miss it. The Beginner FAQs are hidden at the bottom of the page where many people won't see them. I'm using a 27" screen and the link for it is still off the bottom of the screen! It's also in among a lot of other items. I think the home page looks great but this is a definite flaw.
Brendan LawlorJan 7 2020, 1:54pmWell done Warren and great idea, John, putting it on the home page as a News Item I assume...

Now, what time is the early start ? And can you add my name to the waiting list please ?
Paul SmythJan 7 2020, 1:59pmIt would also help greatly if every race had items for the following details:

Online reg. opens:
Online reg. closes:

Even if only approximate it would be better than nothing. For eg.

Online reg. opens: Mid-April.
Online reg, closes: TBA.

If dates for races can be fixed up to a year in advance I don't see why these dates can't be also.
Gordon PlaceJan 7 2020, 2:24pmNice one Warren, a sticky as the top forum post would be handy alright as no one seems to go looking any further before just posting on the forum, even if it was in the news or on the home page.
Gordon PlaceJan 7 2020, 2:28pmJust add to the sticky that pre reg for league races generally opens X number of weeks before the race and closes at 6pm the night before. The weekend races are usually covered separately
Cristiano ConteJan 7 2020, 3:21pmjust an additional note.
I'd like more info on junior and smaller kids categories included in race descriptions if possible.
For some events I see the mention of a junior race, but there are no details on what age group makes the junior race.
i have a very keen almost 9 years old that would like to start racing and I'm looking for a suitable race to get him started!
Miriam MaherJan 7 2020, 3:47pmWarren - great stuff in this summary - hard to reduce it down much - it's all worth mentioning. I would suggest adding onto the sign in info - the need to get your chip scanned. No chip scanned - no result!

Cristiano - we're currently working on fine tuning the ages ranges and applicable distances for juniors in the races. Expect to have this information ready to put up by the end of this month. But in any case, given your son's age, you would need to accompany him on any short course. Would be great to see him come along and try one out!
Conor O'FarrellJan 7 2020, 5:43pmI've added Warren's post as a news item, with some small tweaks. Hopefully it will help new people out when trying to sign up.

@Warren, thanks again for putting that together.

Laura FlynnJan 7 2020, 5:59pmExcellent . Thanks Warren.
Conor O'FarrellJan 7 2020, 7:00pm@Paull

We are looking to implement this as a fixed field in the event page. Hopefully it will be working soon.

Lillian DeeganJan 7 2020, 10:50pmFair dues Warren - you get the Internet win today! It is really great to see something run off like this to help save on the repeat everyday Qs Thank you very much, I'm sending you a virtual nice shiny big gold star :)

If we are tweaking the msg - I'd add-in a highlighted one liner asking ppl to read any particular race day forum before posing another query. So often many Qs are answered already.
Andrew HanneyJan 8 2020, 11:57amThanks for this Warren, I was able to share it with my club etc.
Warren SwordsJan 8 2020, 12:11pmNo worries. It's a mixture of post I did in 2017 which contributions from various IMRA members at the time which then Pol added to and posted as a news item.
Cristiano ConteJan 9 2020, 10:42amthanks Miriam!
We'll definitely be running some events this year!
Ticknock winter is our first target.
Declan GormanJan 9 2020, 11:16amSigned up, will attend a few races this year to see how I get along....
Dale McCarthyJan 10 2020, 1:12pmHello -

Brand new to this!

Do I have to sign up for Ticknock on Feb 8th?

I cannot see where I pay for it.

Brendan LawlorJan 10 2020, 1:23pmHi Dale

Ticknock race entry won't open until after the Brockagh Race I'd expect, so check back in a few weeks
Gordon PlaceJan 10 2020, 3:04pmCan further instructions be added to the shop page header??
say 'League race entry is typically available 2 weeks before the race, for other races, see specific events details'
Conor O'FarrellJan 10 2020, 7:00pm@Gordon I’m hoping that info will automatically be added to the event page shortly.
Alan AylingJan 14 2020, 10:51pmLooks like a fine piece of work that will eliminate a lot of the ever-present questions.
Should each race page have a "Recommended shoes" section?
Niall MageeJan 17 2020, 6:01pmI signed up last year and purchased a book of vouchers but never raced at all so never picked up my book having heard that the book can transfer to this year, not sure how to go about that.
Gordon PlaceJan 17 2020, 9:28pmHi Niall, it might be bad news, there was a couple of posts regarding uncollected vouchers towards the end of the year
Niall MageeJan 17 2020, 10:10pmPretty disappointed alright, a message on a forum that I never monitor rather than some sort of email or anything to an account that is registered on here would be nice...
Laura FlynnJan 18 2020, 7:42amNiall, one of the committee will email you directly on this in next day or two.