Irish Mountain
Running Association

After Lockdown; alternate race routes

Mick HanneyApr 23 2021, 3:09pmWe all can't wait to get back running in the hills and get back to normal, or as-good-as in due course. Has me thinking of what routes would make for nice IMRA races as we tend to stick to what we know. And this might be more a discussion for a future year's calendar.

I'll start the ball rolling with 2 from my general locality.
Keadeen up and back from the Ballinabarney gap;
Lugnacoille via Ballineddan.
Turlough ConwayApr 23 2021, 3:29pmCooley Peninsula:
Slieve Foye via Barnevave famine village
Brendan LawlorApr 23 2021, 3:51pmThe new car park opposite Pier Gates could be a nice option for a race.. going North or South out on the Wicklow Way for example. This carpark was very useful for last years Maurice Mullins Trail and Ultra events

Parking is always an important consideration even for weekend races
Laura FlynnApr 23 2021, 5:41pmSome nice ideas there and we may be in touch for some more info. We’re working away on things in the hope and expectation of getting back to action over the Summer. With the numbers taking to the hills in the past year parking will indeed be a big consideration. Places like Crone, Tibradden, Ticknock are so busy at now we will have to look at other parking options, probably private lands, and also avoiding some of our old routes that have been discovered and rediscovered by a lot more people.
Thanks for the very welcome input and ideas.
Mark QuigleyApr 23 2021, 5:53pmSlieve Felim Way (44k)would be a great race . You could add in keeper Hill summit to make it a 50k ultra
Brian KitsonApr 24 2021, 7:51amThere’s a route I very much enjoy that starts in Crone Woods and takes in a loop of the following four peaks; Djouce. War Hill, Tonduff and Maulin. A bit of a variation on the Wicklow Round section but with a nice line from Tonduff to Maulin. Good racing potential with lots of open mountain, just over 16km, 900m vert.
Dave DochertyApr 25 2021, 8:28amI was thinking about a modified 3 rock race. Using the parking in the new Fernhill Estate and reception in the Blue Light.
Andrew HanneyApr 25 2021, 8:44pmI would like to see about arranging the next visit to Downshill as an uphill mile race.
Val JonesApr 25 2021, 9:17pmIf the field used for parking for Brockagh could be used again, there are options for a route up the southside of the valley to Derrybawn.
Robert CostelloApr 28 2021, 11:34pm'I'm a little teapot' PWS run. Start at Cloon Wood, north to Prince William, west to Knocknagun, south at the teapot, east back up to Knocknagun and PWS then back down to the car park. Approx 13km distance and 600m climb of single track, fire trail, open mountain, bog and pure bliss.
Alan AylingApr 28 2021, 11:44pmRob - sounds delightful in the dry, heavy going in the wet. The route down from the teapot mustn't be quite such a well kept secret as I thought! (I think strictly speaking the kettle and the saucepan in the cairn predate the teapot?!)...
What route between Cloon CP and PWS had you in mind?
Seán HigginsApr 29 2021, 4:53pmThe Kyle loop in Tinahely would be a nice one.
Brian FureyApr 29 2021, 9:03pmI was thinking of that one too Rob. Up through Cloon Wood forest (various single tracks there) to the top at the fence - left and over to Knocknagun, then back over the main track to PWS - then back down a different way by the Wicklow way to the finish at Glencullen/WW Leg 2 finish place.

Not a new route but Seefingan and Corrig routes should be raced more often, as they are fairly quiet still, if parking could be got up there in Dublin West mountains. I reckon could get parking in a farmers field.
Alan AylingApr 29 2021, 11:40pmSeefingan/Corrig present conservation issues - deep peat, erosion concerns, won't get permit for any sort of large numbers :-(

Was up Cloon this evening for a walk. Gorse central.
Used to be a great wee mtb spot but now unrecognisable from its former self. That said, a route to the hill might still be possible... lot of recent thinning in the upper forests there.

Anyway, keep the suggestions coming. They mightn't all work out, but there could be a gem waiting to be revealed.
Gavin DooleyApr 30 2021, 10:46amI am very new to this, never done a race yet but I think West Wicklow sugarloaf, Lobawn and Pinnacle loop from Donard would be good, you would have 3-4km on roads but it would be a cool loop across some peaks.
David PowerApr 30 2021, 11:55amA few ideas:
Saggart Hill / Cupidstown Hill
Glen of the Downs
Lough Bray /Kippure (from Glencree)
Gaelan ElliffeMay 4 2021, 7:37amThere are a number of possible routes in the Slieve Bloom Mountains, some short medium and long routes.
One interesting route would be Monicknew - Clear Lake loop.
It is approx 19km long with 500m of ascent. Some trails, Fireroad and open mountain.

It has plenty of parking and most of the route wouldn't meet many people.

It is centrally located and convient for many to drive to.
Sarah BradyMay 4 2021, 10:03amWould be great to see the Keeper Hill race in Tipp back on the calendar, it's a class route! I haven't done the race but I see it was about 13km. I've run it a couple of times starting at the car park a little lower and it comes to about 16.5km with 570m elevation. The route is already marked and there's lots of parking and it's never too busy. :)
Laura FlynnMay 12 2021, 5:09pmSome great ideas for new routes here. Thanks for all the contributions. Lillian will be in touch with some of you for additional information with a view to looking at these, if not for this year, possibly for 2022.

In the last few years we’ve invited suggestions for new routes toward the end of the racing season and in advance of putting together the following year’s calendar. When doing so, we usually ask that the proposers get involved in the organisation of that race, whether in planning/mapping the route, race directing or similar.
Hopefully that won’t put any of you off and I know some of you already do this for other races. Remember, we have Race Director Refresher taking place on the 19th, next Wednesday, which should be useful for anyone who might be interested in taking on the role this year, or even next year.
David PowerMay 19 2021, 8:51amDublin Mountains Initiative policy paper - interesting read on some less popular mountain locations which could be used (subject to assessment/access/suitability). Includes some mentioned above, including:
- Saggart Hill (Slievethoul)
- Lugg / Slade Valley
- Featherbed Forest
- Ballinascorney / Ballymorefinn
- Seahan
- Butter Mountain
- Crooksling
- Tallaght Hill (Knockannaveagh)

Btw, I recced Slievethoul and there's definate potential there. Let me consider parking location in nearby field, as golf club car park too small probabably.
Michael McSweeneyMay 20 2021, 7:13pmMaybe a return to Dingle in 2022.
Some great running back there in May 2019.
Inch Beach Park Run Saturday morning, followed by breakfast in Daingean Uí Chúis. Then on to Mount Brandon for the main event.
Sunday morning race in Annascual with refreshments in the South Pole Inn afterwards. Not a bad weekend.