Irish Mountain
Running Association

Stone Cross to Lug Solo

Hannah GibneyJun 23 2020, 11:05pmHi all,
Just saw the relay has been cancelled for this race, will the solo race go ahead?
Lillian DeeganJun 23 2020, 11:30pmHi Hannah,
Committee continue to work through what might be possible and what is not for the remainder of the year. As soon as we can firm up on odd events, detail will be posted.
Stuart ScottJul 10 2020, 3:37pmWell done to the Committee for your hard work in getting the races back up and running. It's not easy, especially with the added complexity of landowner permits!

I see the Stone Cross Relay is still showing as cancelled but the Solo is going ahead. Is this deliberate or just a typo? Numbers for the Relay are traditionally tiny so social distancing would not be an issue, and it's a very different beast to the likes of the WWR so spectators will be minimal. Given the traditional roots of this relay, it would be a shame to miss out. Given the remoteness of the entire route, runners in the Relay would provide an additional safety factor to those competing in the Solo.

Obviously health and safety and adhering to government advice trumps all (except for Trump himself), and there are surely factors that us mere mortals are not aware of. But if it was feasible for this race to go ahead it would be greatly appreciated!

Many thanks!

Kevin O'RiordanJul 10 2020, 3:42pmI think we could run the relay safely. We just need to get rid of the rule where the runners have to kiss and hug each other during the handover.
Richard NunanJul 10 2020, 6:33pmWe decided due to gov restrictions in terms of Car pooling at the moment a relay wouldn't be feasible. It could get looked at again. Just need to see how things progress.
Stuart ScottJul 13 2020, 12:06pmThanks Richard. Perhaps cars could be shuffled by team members on their own (e.g. Leg 1 runner drives the Leg 2 runner's car) or by members of the same household. But it's understandable to see how things progress.

Kevin, is that now part of the naked warrior dance? No wonder so many people want one!
Gordon PlaceJul 13 2020, 12:37pmHopefully something can be worked out.

Maybe a bit far away to raise yet but the mandatory points should be confirmed in advance, and on the day. I now they are on the event details and maps but last year, one or two did not hit the communications hut or table track junction
John MurrayJul 13 2020, 3:19pmThat's a very good point Gordon and one I've witnessed also, especially the Communications Hut. :)

Stones Cross to Lug is very much an open mountain, pick your own route line race which can make a slower runner quicker against faster runners if they do their homework, but pointless if some runners aren't going fully to the mandatory check points.

It's not an easy one to police considering the distance, and it's really down to honesty, but definitely the mandatory points should be clearly identified and expressed both before and on the morning of the race.
Phil behanJul 13 2020, 11:13pm@johnmurray agree, it’s a hard one to police without sticking a few marshals out in the middle of nowhere especially on the second leg. This is one of my favourite IMRA races, be warned about ticks to all considering. A good wash of the legs after this one !
Maeve O'GradyAug 5 2020, 8:37pmHi. Any indication of when entries will open?
Lillian DeeganAug 7 2020, 12:14amHi Maeve, we're working on this one at the moment. Entries are likely to open the back end of next week - a week or so before race day. We'll get a reminder msg posted ahead of the online entry date. Keep an eye on here from Wednesday next for news. Thx Lillian
Jarlath HynesAug 7 2020, 12:46pmHi all, entry will open on Thursday 14th at 9am

What you need to know for now is mostly on the Event page, however a detailed Race Booklet will be added there soon.

Pre-registration only.
Not suitable for anyone without experience of open mountain navigation (with map & compass).
There are cut-off times at Checkpoints 1 & 2.
Water REFILLS available at checkpoints.
No drop-bags.

Ideally runners should have a back-up plan in the event of a missed cut-off or retirement. We will have a very limited numbers of volunteers on the day with access to transport.

And I presume Fenton's won't be open... so unfortunately the post-race craic won't be the same.
But it still a great day on the hills :)

And might be an opportunity for some previous relay runners to try something longer...
Jarlath HynesAug 7 2020, 12:50pmENTRY OPENS FRIDAY 14th

Lillian DeeganAug 11 2020, 9:24pmHello SCTL hopefuls,

I'm on with a race day update ahead of entries opening for Stone Cross. We have a few notable changes with this years race to highlight. For anyone considering an entry, please read the following and get in touch prior to purchasing an entry.

Key Changes for 2020:
1. All entrants must accept they have to make their own arrangements for getting to the start and from the finish, in line with public health guidance. Volunteers are not permitted to carry participants under HSE guidelines unless first aid is required.

2. All entrants must have reasonable experience in an open mountain setting to be taking on an event like Stone Cross to Lug - remote country, long distance, nav requirements, self-sufficiency. We can't risk having people likely to get out of their depth and become a safety risk at any time during the event. There are cutoffs on our two checkpoints. Please see race page detail for specifics.

3. Entry procedure - Pre-approval based only. Entries will be capped at 50 participants. Those wishing to enter need to send an email with a brief recent history of their open mountain ability/ competence to - once reviewed and approved by reply, an entry can then be secured.

4. Entries will open this Friday, Aug. 14th. They will remain open till Tuesday, Aug. 18th at 21h assuming it does not sell out before then. Only those who have submitted a history and have been approved will be accepted as entered for race day. Do not enter the race if you have not been pre-approved. IMRA does not operate refunds.

4. No drop bags on the race route. There will be a self-pour water refill option at our two CPs - Sally Gap and Wicklow Gap. Runners will carry their own soft flask. Any food, gels etc people want, runners plan ahead and carry their food for the duration of the race. Face coverings to be in use by everyone while refilling water vessels at either CP.

5. Mandatory Kit - please see race page for specific list. A tracking device has been added. These will be allocated to each participant and securely fitted to your backpack on race morning.

Lastly, the cost of entry to this years race will be €30. Prize vouchers from in Laragh will be awarded to the 1st, 2nd and 3rd M&F to hit Fentons.

Any queries ahead of entry opening, please fire away and ask. If I've missed anything important, I'll be back.

Volunteer shout out - With this race on Saturday week, I'm looking for the full race crew compliment please and thanks in advance. It's a long day out for some of the team but a good one to watch a little of a suffer fest too. Our two CPs will only require a few hours help. If your free and would like to join the race team, please pop your name in on the volunteer tab.

Thanks all,
John MurrayAug 12 2020, 4:20pmRace Booklet now added to the Events Page or use link below:

Get your pre-entry approval sorted for one of the best long-distance open mountain events on the IMRA calendar.
Lillian DeeganAug 13 2020, 7:25pmThanks for that John. It's super well detailed, I appreciate your time.

Race day hopefuls,
With entries due to open in the morning, I'm back to remind those who have been ok'd to enter of the need to hit the 3 mandatory race route points. Route choice analysis this year will be as good as ever once the trackers are reviewed post race.

I also wish to remind participants that this event is a non GPX/ GPS race. If you wear a watch and find yourself in a sticky situation, in the spirit if IMRA, you need to delclare if you used your watch or phone to find a runable line at any time during race mode.

Anyone needing to withdraw/ retire from the race will need to have someone available to hit the Wicklow hills and pick them up at one of the road checkpoints.

Adrian Hennessy shout out - This young lad broke the course record last year wrapping with a whopper of a time - 6:51:55. Adrian, it's taken me nearly a whole year to mention the latter. My Bad! It's been on my mind on and off but it just never got done on here. No time like the present hey :) I'm hoping if family events ain't got you occupied Saturday week, we'll be seeing you hit the start mat. If the Seven Sisters have you, well... that's a bummer!

Lastly, the helper side of things for this one is looking a tad light at the moment. I'll only need 8 to 10 ish bodies. We'll manage it for hours to be as short as possible once gun time is had. I would be grateful if a few ppl could slip in to give a hand Saturday week, please and thanks.
Lillian DeeganAug 17 2020, 2:24pmAfternoon all,

Ahead of entries closing on Tuesday night at 21h, I'm on to post a reminder message for members based/ living day to day in the 3 counties locked down.

With the restrictions in pace till midnight next Sunday, if you were hoping to enter, unfortunately the current public health guidance rules you out of being able to join us for Stone Cross. I very much dislike having to do this reminder but needs must I'm afraid. Let's hope there is no extension come Sunday next.

Should anyone wish to get in touch to double check anything, please do. The weather is looking a tad not so nice for Sat. morn ATM so if we can field race day Q's in advance, it would help us ahead of race brief and gun time.

Lastly, I'm good for help now. Huge thanks for my trusty volunteer team. If anyone is looking to offer help, Paddock Hill and Brockagh are coming up - offer there. Resp. RDs will be grateful of your offer.

John MurrayAug 17 2020, 9:28pm24 hours left to get yourself registered for this super race!

Registration closes at 9pm tomorrow, Tuesday evening.

To answer a recurring query. There are 21 Mandatory points to hit on the route as indicated in the Race Booklet. All must be hit in order to get a finishing time.

The 3 Mandatory points which Lillian mentions in her post above are included in the 21 and relate to the 2 Marshall Checkpoints and the Finish Line. These are the CPs which will be shown on the tracker information.
Robert CostelloAug 17 2020, 11:11pmJohn,
Thanks for the booklet. Will it be updated for the final pics on page 21 and 22? Also, I think paragraph 6 and 7 should be Camenabologue rather than Cornavalla.
Hannah GibneyAug 18 2020, 5:26pmHi All,

Just wondering what is going to happen now with the new restrictions?

Hope everyone is keeping well too!

Lillian DeeganAug 18 2020, 5:43pmGosh, ain't we all Hannah :)

Such a bummer hearing of the outdoor reduction in No's. Committee are waiting to hear the formal announcement and we'll see how might be best to manage ahead of Saturday then. I'll get an update posted as soon as poss.

I might well do a lucky dip for 15 or maybe I'll pull names against when people sent me their expression of interest email - we'll see. Keep an eye on here for an update.

Robert CostelloAug 18 2020, 6:09pmPub hours extended and horse racing allowed. This is mad stuff.
Surely IMRA races can be categorised as elite sports?
John J BarryAug 18 2020, 6:23pmStaggered starts 15 people @ 15 minute intervals???
Rory LeadbetterAug 18 2020, 10:37pmThe 15 would probably include race officials but staggered starts would be a great idea! ... there’s plenty of room to socially distance up there!
Lillian DeeganAug 18 2020, 10:44pmRory, I'm surprised at yeah. IMRA don't do officials. We only do volunteers :)
Robert CostelloAug 18 2020, 11:26pmThe guidance as set out tonight by the Government is unclear. It would be good to get the more detailed guidance from Dept or Sport, Sports Ireland and/or Athletics Ireland before a decision is made by the Committee on further events. It seems odd to prohibit outdoor sporting events of low numbers when indoor gatherings like mass, weddings and eating out are allowed.
Brian KitsonAug 19 2020, 8:04amThe case for allowing SCL to go ahead.

Tennis is played in pairs, golf in groups of four. Football has 22 players on the pitch and GAA 30 plus a few officials. Our races tend to have significantly larger numbers of participants to make them viable (100 participants plus 15-20 volunteers) hence the reason why they might interpreted in a different way to other sports.

The other factor is that some other sports can be played behind closed doors to prevent the general public from gathering in numbers to spectate or support.

I think a reasonable case can be made to allow difficult, low participation navigation events like SCL and Round attempts to continue under the new restrictions on the basis that the navigation component means entry numbers are low in number and in line with other team sports anyway and can be capped at 30. Group sizes congregating can be easily managed through staggered start times and locations.

Such events are known as ‘silent sports’ because, even at elite level internationally they are conducted in remote locations and rarely attract crowds.

So, it could also be argued that the fringe appeal and remote nature of the SCL and Round locations means they are just as unlikely to attract large numbers of people as an event played behind a closed door.
John MurrayAug 19 2020, 11:37pmUnfortunately this race is not going ahead this weekend but we are looking to reschedule to a later date, possibly mid-October.

The bonus is that you get more time to recce the route between now and then! :)

More info to come over the next week...

@Rob - thanks for the typo corrections, I'll update the race booklet in the next few days and include the missing pics also. ;)
Bill HallidenAug 20 2020, 11:25amHi all firstly I would like to say that I accept that the decision to postpone the race is the right thing for IMRA to do. However I have just read Cycling Ireland's Facebook page and website and they clearly state that cycling races can go ahead but no spectaors alliwed.....can't see how us running across open mountains is any less safe than people cycling on the road.....perhaps we should contact Cycling Ireland and see who gave them that guidance.
John MurrayAug 20 2020, 1:35pmHi Bill, the committee has consulted with all relevant bodies in relation to making it's decision. In the case of Stone Cross race and most IMRA races we require permits from National Parks or Coillte to run events on their land. We had a permit which was revoked because of the latest announcements and although we can get a new permit it will be limited to 15 people max, which includes volunteers and helpers.

The permits are just the first roadblock for mountain running events but there are many many other factors that need to be taken into consideration also. Add in the whole confusion and some bodies like Cycling Ireland and Triathlon Ireland saying they are still proceeding with events doesn't make it any easier. I think you will see those organisations retracting those statements in the coming days.
Lillian DeeganSep 21 2020, 2:49pmAfternoon all,

I’m on to note the revised date for Stone Cross will be on Oct. 10th. It will replace the Glaciers. With the uncertainty in Dublin under the current restrictions, we are hopeful measures in place now will have improved by race day.

For those who have entries in from the postponed Aug. 22nd date, they will have their entry moved over to Oct. 10th. If the revised date does not suit you - can you email me and we’ll get a refund arranged.

Owing to our loosing the Glaciers, we will open Stone Cross to additional entries. This opening will be for a limited time. For anyone looking to enter, please read the event page detail and send an email confirming your navigation experience to me for an ok to enter. Expressions of interest need to reach me by 9am Thursday, Sept. 24th.

For everyone planning on racing, you will need to have a plan in place for transport pre & post race. As with the IMRA SD guidelines, our volunteer team will not be in a position to allow any participant be transported along the route.

Lillian DeeganSep 28 2020, 11:06amFor anyone sitting in the fence for this one having been ok'd to enter - I'm on to note - entries close tonight at 21h. With a little admin to be done with trackers, there won't be an option for late entries.

Lillian DeeganSep 28 2020, 9:58pmWe have a great mix of hardy souls hoping to hit the start line for this one. And even better to see the female head count up on years prior #SilverLingings. A pity the date change did not suit everyone. Confirmation came through today that there is no military activity planned for on race day :) Whoop Whoop!

Runner listing:
Bell John
Brady Sarah
Brennan Stephen
Bushe Graham K.
Byrne Gavin
Campbell Rory
Christofi-Walshe Alicia
Cooper Richard
Costello Robert
Doyle Peter
Dunne Christopher
Furey Brian
Halliden Bill
Hennessy Adrian - 2019 new record holder #NoPressure
Hutchinson Brian
Jocius Donatas
Jonina Karina
Keane Conor
Kolaric Ivana
Kusch Andreas
Leadbetter Rory
McCabe Nigel
Mollohan John
Morrissey Paul
Murray John
O'Rourke Michael
O'Shea Calum
Rafferty Luke
Roche Thomas
Swords Warren
Trafford Andrew
Van Barneveld Andre
Vines Liam
Walsh Gerry
Webb Jason
Wheeler Elizabeth

All we need now is for Dublin to ease off and Wicklow not to get restricted.
Karina JoninaOct 1 2020, 12:15pmHi Lillian,

While reading the Stone Cross to Lug Race Booklet, I noticed a difference in cut off times for Checkpoint 2.
The website says 2pm and the document says 1.45pm.

Could you please clarify this?

Lillian DeeganOct 1 2020, 2:24pmHi Karina, A good spot, thx. That should read 2pm for sure. We will get it amended on the race booklet.
Lillian DeeganOct 6 2020, 11:46amI guess L3 beats L5 hands down so maybe all is not lost.

With a message gone to all participants confirming Stone Cross as now cancelled, I'm doing a reminder msg on here to be sure nobody rocks up above for gun time Saturday morning.

With the best will in the world, we will see a return to the WGL in April. The new calendar year will be upon us in no time. Lets just hope to whoever that we get a better run at it in 2021.