Irish Mountain
Running Association

Hill Running Attire (Pulse Raising Content - Reader Discretion Advised).

Brian KitsonApr 13 2021, 12:16pmDespite the frosty mornings of late there are clear signs that Spring has arrived. Breeding birds fill our gardens and busily build their nests, wild garlic is beginning to brighten our woodlands and hopelessly unprepared folk search the corners of dusty drawers looking for ancient maps and wonder if they might be ready to ‘have a crack at the Round’. Of course, a specific feature of this particular Spring is the slight easing of restrictions and with it the possibility for us to take our first tentative steps back into the hills.

As we do so, it's important to make sure to have the right kit. A working headtorch is still a good idea when running at the edges of the day. Throwing a light waterproof jacket and mid-layer into your pack makes sense given the unpredictable precipitation and temperature levels at this time of the year. But the most important piece of kit for the Irish mountain runner, or the men-folk at least, is of course; short shorts.

Sophia Loren once said, ‘a woman’s dress should be like a barbed-wire fence, serving it’s purpose without obstructing the view’ and surely it can’t be much of a stretch to deduct that she also had men’s mountain running short shorts in mind when she said this. IMRA has a rich tradition in short shorts clad men and it’s no surprise that the world of fashion has finally begun to take note.

In recent weeks, according to The Guardian newspaper, Normal People’s Paul Mescal was spotted ‘carrying a bag of prawn cocktail crisps and a bottle of Crabbie’s and wearing skimpy, white silk shorts’. Even pop star Harry Styles was wearing a yellow pair of vintage short shorts in one of his music videos. Therefore, while the wearing of short shorts is not yet part of the official mandatory kit for male mountain runners, surely it’s clear that they are ‘de riguer’ for anyone taking the sport seriously?

There’s nothing not quite like running up a mountain to get the heart racing. The only thing that comes close for many (including many of the IMRA women who are much too bashful to admit it) is the sight of the hairy, tan-free, vaguely-defined thigh muscles of an IMRA man slogging his way up that same mountain. Therefore, while short shorts might not be the preferred choice of attire for every male IMRA runner, given these restrictive times, we’re duty bound to don short shorts not just to aid a more unimpeded running experience for ourselves but, more importantly, for the viewing pleasure of others.

It’s up to each man to decide how far he wants to take Sophia’s thoughts on mountain running shorts attire. My personal preference is to raise the hem a few inches like Paul Mahon did at Bray Head 2004 ( ) while the more daring among us may also introduce a risqué side slit à la the great John Lenihan at the Warriors Run 2009 ( ).

Whatever your choice, as we begin to experience the first dizzy sensations of release after months of lockdown it’s time to pop on your favourite short shorts, hit your nearest hill and show a some leg.
Brendan LawlorApr 13 2021, 12:40pm

Never be afraid to show a bit of leg...
Eamonn HodgeApr 20 2021, 4:15pmI remember doing a short road race in short shorts (not sure if they had the risque split up the side) on a Friday evening before one of the Kerry weekends and being solidly beaten by a board shorts wearing James Clancy. We're talking below the knee here.
Brendan LawlorApr 20 2021, 4:24pm

No short shorts here...
Eamonn HodgeApr 20 2021, 4:29pm*Shudder*. Yep, reckon they were the ones alright. The swagger to turn up wearing those!
Kevin O'RiordanApr 28 2021, 10:49pmI think these may be my 2021 race shorts

Not sure where I'm going to fit my mandatory jacket though.
Alan AylingApr 28 2021, 11:35pmOne must be careful here. Due consideration must be given to choice of underwear to complement the short shorts. An error could result in a male "wardrobe malfunction". Also known as a dropout. That admiring female audience would get quite the shock... and the culprit about 6 months...
Gordon PlaceApr 29 2021, 9:29amThanks for the recommendation Alan, are these the ones you meant?

4 star rated and the 'bulge pouch offers good support'.......which is absolutely essential on the Ayling Abyss
Brían O'MearaApr 29 2021, 1:11pmThe most aesthetically pleasing short shorts are undoubtedly those with a couple of judiciously placed barbed wire tears (the placing of which could very easily have led to disaster) obtained when scrambling over some fence or other in a desperate attempt to take a short cut..
Alan AylingApr 29 2021, 1:19pmBrían... a man of your height should have less trouble than most of us getting over barbed wire fences??

Gordon - when it comes to the Abyss one may be better off with the waterproof underwear you posted a link to last year. Help contain things if you scare yourself that bit too much on the descent...
Brían O'MearaApr 29 2021, 1:36pmI was talking about deer fences Alan
Gordon PlaceApr 29 2021, 1:37pmI got a good deal on a job lot of both if IMRA are looking for end of league prizes .....
Warren SwordsApr 29 2021, 1:49pmA classic of the short shorts scrambling over a fence genre.
Alan AylingApr 29 2021, 2:06pmAh Warren did that photo not cause enough trouble at the time? At least until the donkey got Photoshopped out?

Gordon... can you imagine the queue at the back of Lillian's car at the end of league BBQ, being offered that choice? :-)