Irish Mountain
Running Association

Croagh Patrick

Stuart ScottJan 23 2020, 10:48amHi Committee,

Many thanks for your hard work putting the race calendar together. The job seems to get harder and harder every year! I have one small request unfortunately if possible....

I see the Connacht Champs weekend has now moved to the last weekend in July and in particular, Croagh Patrick is scheduled for the Sunday. This is Reek Sunday! The whole county will be chockablock this weekend and Croagh Patrick will be off limits entirely. Also, accommodation will be nigh-on impossible to get anywhere. This means the campsite could also be booked out. It's not a huge campsite but without it, we won't be able to have the barbeque on the beach and this is what makes the weekend so special.

Could it possibly be moved two weekends earlier to the 11th/12th July? This will clash with the Wicklow Way Race but I don't think there will be any overlap in runners whatsoever. Alternatively, could it be swapped with the Lug race on the 4th July? Incidentally this would bring both events back to their traditional dates.

I'm sure you've spent hours and hours deliberating the race calendar but hopefully you can give this just a few minutes more! I also recommend making the trip over to Connacht - it's by far the best weekend on the calendar!

Many thanks,

Lillian DeeganJan 23 2020, 11:17amHi Stuart, we are likely going to move to another mountain opposed to change dates at this stage. I've a couple of enquiries to make before we finalise all.

And incidentally, trying to wrap up on the calendar was hectic this year. Dropping events for 2021 will be a given I reckon. There are way too many options which give rise to this clash hassle.
Stuart ScottJan 23 2020, 11:28amHi Lillian,

Thanks for getting back so quickly. Up to 80,000 people descend on Mayo for the Reek weekend. Old Head campsite is 9k from Murrisk. Regardless of where the Sunday race is, the whole area will be a nightmare. The Old Head beach-and-campsite combination have worked fabulously for years now. Unless another beach-and-campsite combination can be found further away, then I think this could be jeopardy and this is really the best part of the weekend!

The number of races has grown enormously in recent years so I don't envy your job! However, is there a particular reason why the Connacht champs couldn't go on either of those two weekends I mentioned?

Thanks again!

Stuart ScottJan 23 2020, 11:35amI also meant to say, it's not fair on mountain rescue if an incident did happen during the race. Teams from all around the country are on standby at Croagh Patrick for 48 hours straight. If a runner got lost or injured on a different mountain, it would mean pulling rescuers away from Croagh Patrick to assist. We've never had an injured runner thankfully but people getting 'mislaid' are commonplace :-)

Lillian DeeganJan 23 2020, 11:43amYep, all of the same concerns are something we are conscious of. Moving areas might be the most favourable option. I'll be back to update as soon as I can.
Peter O'FarrellJan 23 2020, 12:32pmOr move back to the original weekend at the end of June - which would discommode the Galtee rashers - and suit a smaller subset of runners........ me :)
Fergal BuckleyJan 23 2020, 1:09pmA straight swap with Lug sounds like a no-brainer..??

Trying to organise anything in Mayo on the weekend of Reek Sunday would be bonkers!
Deirdre GalvinJan 23 2020, 3:02pmThere could be the option to keep Mweelrea on the Saturday, then look to do one of the Bens or other Connemara mountains on the Sunday. There is a lovely campsite in Lettergesh (very close to the village of Tullycross, and approximately 6 miles from Letterfrack) and of course hostels and guesthouses around the Letterfrack area. These would all put you in touching distance of any of the Bens (or of course Maumturks). Connemara is always busy on a summer's weekend, so definitely pre booking necessary. However, the comments about the Reek on Reek Sunday are spot on. It becomes a nightmare.
Gordon PlaceJan 23 2020, 3:08pmYeah, keeps the IC races with the same spacing, don't think suggesting a change to the WWR weekend is a runner as CC weekend might pull away a few potential volunteers
Deirdre GalvinJan 23 2020, 3:15pm

Direct access to beach. Beautiful spot. At the foot of Bencoona.
Lillian DeeganJan 24 2020, 9:14amThanks for those suggestions Deidre. We have the two race locations sorted. These will be Croagh Patrick and Mweelera. For Mweelera, a fall back route will be planned in case of poor weather on the day.

Stuart & Co - We are swapping Lug with the CC weekend. Con will amend the calendar when he gets a chance. Lug will be held on July 25th and the CC weekend will be on July 4th and 5th resp.

Committee wish to thank RDs Anne-Marie and Roger for swapping their offers to the revised dates.
Stuart ScottJan 24 2020, 9:39amHi Lillian,

That's brilliant, thank you! I didn't mean to put extra work on you but I really appreciate the consideration. Thanks also to Anne-Marie and Roger for agreeing to swap as well.

Deirdre - that campsite looks really nice. I'll definitely check it out another weekend!