Irish Mountain
Running Association

Wicklow Way Relay

Rene BorgJan 23 2022, 3:05pmA quick (and early) notice that the current plan is to open registration for the Wicklow Way Relay 2022 on April 9th. This may still be revised but team captains can start loose planning under the assumption that you need a team to submit by early April if you want to secure one of the covetted spots when registration opens.
Rene BorgMar 5 2022, 3:59pmJust posting a reminder that anyone planning to organise a team for the Wicklow Way Relay you should plan to have your initial submission ready to enter the team on 9th April. Usually the 30 spots are taking up within a day or two of registration opening.
Rene BorgMar 16 2022, 2:26pm3 weeks until registration opens.

Overview of the legs as they are at the moment here:
Katie O BrienMar 18 2022, 3:24pmHi Rene,

Are there certain criteria that teams need to meet depending on the number of runners they have?

Rene BorgMar 18 2022, 6:43pmYes Katie, have a look at the Organiser's instructions for all criteria and requirements in the 2019 event:

we will be adding this to the 2022 event as soon as we Jason (race director) has the access. But requirements are expected to be the same.

Teams that don't meet the criteria related to gender and category runners can still run but will be labelled 'NC' (non-competitive) - i.e. such as an all-male team or a team without two runners over 40 etc.
Katie O BrienMar 19 2022, 2:25pmGreat, thank you.
Vanush PaturyanMar 25 2022, 4:31pmHi All

the google docs file linked as "Registration Form 2022" on the Wicklow Way Relay 2022 event page ( says "Wicklow Way Relay 2020 Entry Form". There are few more references to 2020, and the rule about changing the team members sayt it is ok to do so up until 5pm May 15th (one day AFTER the race).
Jason KehoeMar 25 2022, 11:09pmHi Vanush,

Thanks for flagging! That document has been updated now. Probably a few more edits to come over the coming days regarding handover points and registration process.

Sean Sheridan-O'GormanApr 11 2022, 10:25amMorning all,

If there are any teams looking for a runner, I'd be buzzing to get involved!

David MulrooneyApr 11 2022, 1:47pmI'd be really keen to join a team if anyone would have me!

email at please

Jim McGourtyApr 11 2022, 1:56pmHi

Looking to join a team too. Had previously posted here but a few messages appear to have disappeared since the website issues over the weekend.


liam kennyApr 11 2022, 2:12pmhi all,

also looking to join a team, or maybe form a team through this forum seems to have enough interest here,


Aoife O BrienApr 11 2022, 4:29pmHi All. If anyone needs a team member I'm happy to fill the space!
Vanush PaturyanApr 11 2022, 7:06pmSo, what's the story with registering for this event?
Jason KehoeApr 12 2022, 8:27amHi all,

Since the website issues the website has been restored from an older backup version (last tue) so the event details for registration are incorrect. Please don't send emails with your team details and wait for further instructions here.

Bill HallidenApr 12 2022, 4:07pmHi Volunteers if you have not received an email from me at this point it is because I don't have your contact details. If you have not got an email can you contact me on
Jason KehoeApr 14 2022, 9:38amHi Captains,

After some trojan work by the fully voluntary IMRA tech team we can finally announce registration for the Wicklow Way Relay will open tonight at 9pm. Tickets should be purchased in the IMRA shop page. There is no longer a need to send your team sheet via email, it is all done online now. Please read updated event details page.

Many thanks for your patience!

Rene BorgApr 14 2022, 9:09pm24 spots sold in first 6 minutes.

In the meantime here reposting the updated leg descriptions on Plotaroute lost with the technical issue:

To see individual legs click the 'Info' icon on the leg in the collection and the link 'view this route in'
Caoimhin MacMaolainApr 15 2022, 7:53amHi. Just checking if the 'vets' requirements for team members for this race are o35 or o40? Thanks.
Rene BorgApr 15 2022, 8:15amVet requirements stays at over 40 for this event.
Caoimhin MacMaolainApr 15 2022, 12:03pmPerfect. Thanks Rene.
Jason KehoeApr 15 2022, 3:11pmAnother very quick sellout of the 35 team spots for this 18th year of the Wicklow Way Relay! A reminder to captains that they should enter in their team details and provisional runners the following link if they have not already done so:

Future communications with teams will be done directly with captains via email, including mandatory team volunteer positions.

General enquiries about the event can be made here as normal from all participants.

Rene BorgApr 17 2022, 9:25amanyone noticing diversions, issues, and obstructions while running the Wicklow Way over the coming month, please post it here.

Currently there is a tree down across the final zig-zag descent on leg 4 above the Glendalough Hotel. You can easily get around it but good to be aware of it as you come down at some speed there.

Obstructions like this may be gone again ahead of race day.
Bill HallidenApr 18 2022, 9:01pmHi Ger Power and Derek Hay Thank you for volunteering to marshal for this event - can you email me on so that I can see where to slot you in as a marshal
Eoin Flynn80Apr 19 2022, 6:15pmHi everyone, we´ve a good preview of the race on this weeks show of the Trail Running Ireland podcast, lots of good tips and insight from Rene:

Or on Spotify or Apple Podcasts: Episode 45.
Laura FlynnApr 19 2022, 6:35pmThanks Eoin for highlighting that here. The interview with René was excellent and really captures what the WWR is all about.
While I’m on here I just want to congratulate you on the podcast and thank you for broadcasting IMRA stories and events, especially the recent one on our juniors with Miriam Maher.
I know the podcast is free but you always mention at the end that you can subscribe for a nominal sum. I can’t find a link to this on your website so maybe others have the same issue and you could point out here?
Eoin Flynn80Apr 26 2022, 5:39pmMany thanks for the kind words Laura, apologies only seeing the note now, a pleasure to help support IMRA and promote the sport. IMRA has been very good to me for over 10 years so nice to give a little back. If anyone would like to support the podcast, here´s the link:
There´s a 3 euros option that can all add up, thanks guys.
Rene BorgApr 27 2022, 11:50amPlease find a link to the provisional teams entered for the Wicklow Way Relay 2022:

Final team constitutions will be posted on Friday 13th around 7 pm.
liam kennyApr 28 2022, 5:47pmHi guys

If a team has a drop out I am looking to race in WW relay fall in to M35, family fahave done good few sections of WW , give me a shout thanks, and best of luck everyone
Paul JoyceMay 1 2022, 1:58pmQuery on the correct route for leg 2-

Just after the Crone Woods carpark at the 5km point there is a left turn which seems to have become "de facto" route (and is that taken on the listed PlotaRoute for leg 2), but which seems to cut a corner off the existing WW. Which option is correct?
Ciaran AylwardMay 1 2022, 3:54pmPaul - my thinking is you stay on the main fire trail which is the official Wicklow Way. Plotaroute appears to be incorrect.
Paul JoyceMay 1 2022, 6:58pmThanks Ciaran- that makes sense. Official Wicklow Way trumps everything else (unless a diversion flagged on the forum).
Enjoying the recces and the planning so far, roll on the day and the chat back in Shillelagh!
Jason KehoeMay 3 2022, 2:59pmHi Paul,

Yes WW established trail and signposts trump the plotaroute. I'm sure those in contention of a podium place or aiming for top ten etc. will be keeping a close eye on their competitors potential infractions! ;)

Paul JoyceMay 3 2022, 4:38pmThanks for the confirmation Jason, much appreciated.
Rene BorgMay 3 2022, 4:52pmI have amended Plotaroute with the corrected leg 2.

But to emphasize with an extreme example: if you run your leg Friday evening and then come back Saturday morning and find an official diversion sign - then that is the route to follow on Saturday. The Wicklow Way as 'marked on the day'.
Jim McGourtyMay 4 2022, 10:13pmAny team need a last minute M35 substitute I'd love to be involved. Thanks.
Eoin KennedyMay 6 2022, 8:34amHi all,

I'm trying to find the email with the link to edit the team already submitted.

Does anyone know the email address that it was sent from or do I just resubmit the team again?

Eoin HamiltonMay 6 2022, 8:59amMorning Folks. Not sure if there is space, but would love to volunteer for this.
Rene BorgMay 6 2022, 3:13pmhi Eoin - the link to edit is in the confirmation email that you should have received when you submitted the form.

if you don't have this, we can make a small edit to your team entry and then that email will be resend to you.

email me on rene.borg at outlook dot ie if you want to do it this way.
Piotr BergelMay 6 2022, 5:38pmHi Rene
Would it be ok if I submit a new form with some team changes? I never got a confirmation email relating to the first form with editing options.

David PowerMay 6 2022, 6:10pmSame here - Jotform didn't send a confirmation email, so no link to edit team submission. I'll email Rene with changes.
Jason KehoeMay 6 2022, 11:32pm-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Just a week left to get those last minute recces in. Will your runners make it to the start line in time? Will they take the correct turn at "that tricky junction"? Will they hit your estimated times? Will they park sensibly and not litter to avoid a team penalty? Just some ot the questions team captains will be asking themselves right now. Oooohh the pressure, It's great!

Please find the list of entries for this year and the assigned team number which needs to be screamed as your runner come into the handover points so the marshall can hear it. The first 16 teams are all returning since 2019 and have been ranked as they finished back then. Teams 17-35 are either new teams or returning from a short absense so who knows who will break into the top ten or possibly even podium!

2. Rathfarnham Runners
3. Mountain Swifts
4. Ticknock Trailers
5. Trailrunners
6. Glendalough/Parnell
7. The 795ers
8. Sportsworld
9. Brothers Pearse A.C.
10. Le Chéile AC Hill Runners
11. Clane AC
12. Grass Routes
13. Bravehearts
14. Rush Running
15. Pearse Street Physio
16. Blackrock
17. Tinahely Tri club
18. A-Team
19. Celtic Tri
20. Clash Clangettes
21. Coffee and Buns
22. East Cork AC
23. fitnessgooserunclub
24. Flight Club
25. Gowran AC
26. Laragh Locals
27. No Wrong Turns
28. Over The Hill
29. Polish Athletics Ireland
30. Prom Queens & Kings
31. Sli Cualann
32. Team Luna
33. The Beer Hunters
34. Wicklow Waysters
35. YBC

Good hunting!
Mick HanneyMay 8 2022, 3:08pmHi,

Don't see a mention of a jacket being mandatory? Asking to be sure.


Brendan LawlorMay 8 2022, 3:29pmHi Mick

‘Standard IMRA jacket rule applies’

From team briefing to captains

So yes, jackets are mandatory
Santina DohertyMay 8 2022, 7:49pmHi just checking if there is a mass start in Drumgoff or other cut off time to be aware of? Apologies I did read everything but may have missed it.
Santina DohertyMay 8 2022, 8:11pmSorry please ignore - I just found the info.
David PowerMay 9 2022, 8:44amDo all runners need 2022 IMRA membership?
I remember last month seeing info on reg form or event info saying, NO (as it's included in the €144 registration fee), but now Event info #12 says YES.
"12. All runners must have IMRA membership for 2022."
Thanks for confirming
Jason KehoeMay 9 2022, 1:23pmHi David,

Yes, all runners should have purchased 2022 membership (€10). This is so they are covered by IMRA insurance as well as to record their results on the website.

Diana Whelan PorterMay 9 2022, 1:44pmJust to make people aware the fallen tree mentioned a few weeks ago is still lying across the path on the zig-zag descent into Glendalough (as of Saturday 7th).
Paul JoyceMay 9 2022, 3:13pmHi Jason,
Previous years have offered one day membership (no charge) for those who will only run this one IMRA race in the year. Why is this not an option this year? A significant proportion of entrants will now have to pay an extra €10, which makes the race very expensive, and it’s not like IMRA as an organization need the money. Surely a signed form for one day membership would suffice as previously?
Ger OTooleMay 9 2022, 8:51pmRe Leg 6 of the relay. If the Leg 5 runner finishes before 1:15, does the Leg 6 runner start when the Leg 5 runner finishes (and not have to wait until 1:15)?
Rene BorgMay 9 2022, 9:14pmGer - the mass start only applies to teams whose runners are not already through that hand-over. It's a tool to ensure the marshals on leg 6, 7 and 8 do not have to stay on their posts until the early evening.

generally the majority teams arrive before that and there are only a handful of runners in the 'mass start' at 13:15.
Jason KehoeMay 10 2022, 12:33amHi Paul,

We had the initial website problems where old event content was republished with the rollback however the new stipulation of having to have an annual membership was in place again on the event details page at least 3 days before registration opened. Captains had the choice to accept this or not enter the race. This is not a last minute change to the rules.

Over the years we have ruthlessly strived to make the event less onerous on ourselves and the organisers of the future. The one day membership is no longer an option as there is a fair bit of manual overhead to do it and we want as free flowing as possible registration and publishing process. Having a race number makes the publishing and historic record keeping of the results much easier.

I suppose you could equate it to the one day Triathlon Ireland licence (€15-€25) which all competitors who don't have an annual membership are required to purchase. The IMRA €10 annual membership is a bargain in comparison and if anything it may encourage them to participate for the remaining 7 months of 2022.

I don't know the exact numbers but I would hazard a guess that it is a minority of runners that are in the situation that they aren't an IMRA member already or that they have no intention of using their membership again in 2022.

Lest we forget the Wicklow Way Relay was established 18 years ago as the main fundraiser event for the youths section and hence its pricetag. We have other underlying costs which help make the event bigger and better such as the new online trackers, parking fees, podium prizes etc. which all eat into the fundraising profit.

Thanks for asking for clarification and I hope that addresses your points? If they are really stuck I'll buy them a couple of pints in Shillelagh to make up for it or I can slip them a tenner myself ;)

Best of luck on Saturday!
Paul JoyceMay 10 2022, 7:36amThanks Jason for your comprehensive answer. Any pint-buying should only go in your direction, its a lot of work you take on and is much appreciated. Roll on the big day.
John ShielsMay 10 2022, 9:36amin relation to the mass start at 13.15hrs. how will the GPs tracker be handed over or will a second on e be supplied to the team?
Jason KehoeMay 10 2022, 9:37amHi John, a second tracker will be given to the mass starters by the Primal Tracking crew then an adjustment will be made to the timings.

Emma McAuleyMay 10 2022, 2:46pmRe the IMRA chips used for normal events, will this interfere with the Primal tracker we are to carry for the WWR?

My chip is VERY securely tied to my shoe, but I can remove it if it'll be an issue - will need to do this at home with sharp cutters which I won't have on the day ;-)

Thanks, and good luck to all on Saturday - weather looking good.
Katie O BrienMay 10 2022, 4:38pmHi all,
Would any parking marshalls be willing to do a swap from Lough Tay at 8.30 to a later time slot in the day? Thanks!
Miriam MaherMay 10 2022, 5:00pmHi Katie, I could do the 8.30 am car parking slot (arrving for 8.00am) if you can take over the 12.30 (arriving for 12 noon) car parking slot at Crossbridge? If that's what you are asking?
Alan SorohanMay 10 2022, 5:04pmMiriam just got in ahead of me :-) I was about to make the same offer of a swap for the Crossbridge slot.

Any other teams out there that would like to swap an earlier slot for Crossbridge? Thanks.
Conor O'FarrellMay 10 2022, 8:01pm@Emma

There will be no interference between the IMRA chip and the GPS tracker. You can leave you IMRA chip firmly attached to your shoe.

Katie O BrienMay 10 2022, 8:41pmThat's perfect, thanks Miriam!
Conor McElroyMay 10 2022, 10:48pmHi race directors

Sorry for the obvious question - I've read a your directions but cant find:
What time do you require leg number 1 runners to show up for registration / receive tracker?


Jason KehoeMay 10 2022, 11:27pmRace starts at 7:00am on the button. They should be there 30mins beforehand to get their trackers.

They also need to bring the teams armband / bumbag etc. that they will use to carry the tracker in which they will hand over to their leg 2 runner.

They must not carry the tracker in their hand or stuff it in a pocket where it wont get a signal.
Aoife MundowMay 11 2022, 12:04amHi all,
Would any parking marshalls be willing to do a swap from Drumgoff at 10.35 to an earlier slot in the morning? Please & thanks!
Dave DochertyMay 11 2022, 9:33amJust trying to sus out logistics is there anybody able to give me a lift from the end of leg 1 back to the start of leg 1? I might be able to offer lifts to the start of leg 1 from Milltown/Dundrum area if required. I'll be heading back to Dublin after leg 1. OH Eight Seven 8 two 9 eight three 2 nine. Thanks
Dave DochertyMay 11 2022, 12:05pmSorted for a lift. Thanks IMRA forum peeps!!! We really are the best.
Diana Whelan PorterMay 12 2022, 9:34amHi,
Would anyone be able to give a lift from Glendalough to Oldbridge at about 10.45? Need to be there around 11, though would be OK if it’s a bit earlier too. My email is

Piotr BergelMay 12 2022, 10:39amHi Jason
Are we allowed to carry the tracker In the waist belt /t-shirt with pockets?
Or the armband is mandatory?
Brian O'GormanMay 12 2022, 11:05amHi, I assume we don't wear our IMRA race numbers on the day? Haven't collected mine yet as had to pull out of Maurice Mullins due to Covid
Jason KehoeMay 12 2022, 12:58pm@Piotr Bergel - That should be fine as long as it's not buried in a pocket or a bag. The GPS coverage is scant at a few sections of WW so this would hinder it further and you may not be able to track your runner or prove they followed the official trail should this be queried for whatever reason. From the 2019 event the fastest handovers I witnessed was by teams using and armband of some sort such as a phone holder. Hope that helps.

@Brian O'Gorman - IMRA numbers are not needed. Just a cool team t-shirt if you were organised enough! ;)
Justin ReaMay 12 2022, 1:02pmLeg 2 runners be aware the waymarker at 3K has recently been removed. This is where trail cuts off to left down to the river just after Youth Hostel and with recent felling it is an easy turn to miss. I will try and put out an IMRA flag on Friday night, but you have been warned!
Conor McElroyMay 12 2022, 1:07pmHI All

Team Pearse Street Physio has lost 2 entrants in our team.

We would like to seek substitutes if there are 2 willing runners out there?

We need a runner for Leg 1 and leg 4

You can email me on :

physioconor at gmail dot com


Jason KehoeMay 12 2022, 11:48pm@Conor - If you haven't gotten replacements yet I would suggest you post on the IMRA facebook page and maybe the type of runner (M / F / Vet) and what legs are availble or whether it's negotiable.
Simon McdowellMay 13 2022, 9:22amHi, Would anyone be able to give me a lift back from the end of Leg 1 back to the start point or close to it if possible. Thanks, Simon
James HeggieMay 13 2022, 9:47amHi Conor I can run in relay if you need someone still
Rene BorgMay 13 2022, 11:20amIf every team wants to ensure the best chance that your team has a consistently good signal on your tracker, it's worth watching this video:

you don't need to watch the early part about the setup (leave that to the organisers) but if you watch from 1:15 you'll get a good idea of the best way to carry it.
Conor McElroyMay 13 2022, 3:44pmthanks for the response everyone

We now have our substitute runners confirmed and Jason / Rene I just emailed you the updated team sheet for Team Pearse Street Physio.


Graham K. BusheMay 13 2022, 4:27pmHi, just wondering...
Is there a link to the live tracking?
Roelie SmitMay 13 2022, 4:38pm@Jason Kehoe, my Saturday family diary suddenly freed up so I put myself down as volunteer if you need anymore helpers. Happy to do anything and help wherever needed. Let me know.
Rene BorgMay 13 2022, 4:44pmGraham: Here it is

(please note any changes made to teams after WEDNESDAY will not show up on the Primal Tracking website. We have the latest team details in the back-end, however, so the correct names will show up in the final results on the IMRA website)
Graham K. BusheMay 13 2022, 4:51pmThanks Rene.

Best of luck to all the runners, captains, crews tomorrow.

Thanks to all the volunteers.
John ShielsMay 13 2022, 5:28pmQuick one Rene/Jason on leg two - finish leg 3 start.
The route planner shows it at the small carpark on the road above lough Tay, my understanding was the WW doesn't go to the road and now runs to the large carpark at pier gates through the woods and this was the change over locations. Is this correct?
Ciaran AylwardMay 13 2022, 5:47pmQuick clarification for me also on Leg 6. At about 7.8km coming down off the board walk on to Military Rd the WW sign directs you right towards a faint grassy trail for about 400/500m before you come on to the road. I assume we should stick to the grassy trail and stay off the road for as long as possible.
Rene BorgMay 13 2022, 6:19pmFinal teams:
Rene BorgMay 13 2022, 6:21pmThe leg 2 to leg 3 changeover is unchanged from previous years - it remains at the barrier at the little JB Malone car park. This does mean deviating off the Wicklow Way for about 40-50m.
Rene BorgMay 13 2022, 6:23pmCiaran: yes, you have to follow the grassy trail as that is the Wicklow Way now. Once upon a time the WW went out on the road and since that is a bit faster any team inadvertently doing so would receive a time penalty.

There are only two deviations from the Wicklow Way:

- the 50m to the barrier hand-over at the end of leg 2/start leg 3 at JB Malone car park
- The final kilometres to Shillelagh after the Dying Cow

Other than that the Wicklow Way must be followed exactly as sign-posted on the day including any official re-routes (i.e. if National Parks put up a redirection tonight without our knowledge then that must be followed tomorrow)
Simon McdowellMay 13 2022, 6:27pmWould anyone be able to give me a lift from the end of leg 1 back to the start point. Apologies for the late ask but just got a spot yesterday. Thanks, Simo
Mick HanneyMay 13 2022, 6:38pmHi,

For those going to Ironbridge, be aware parking at the bridge is quite limited, so please follow the instrucfions of the parking crew who will help direct you. Please don't park on the short section of road from the bridge to the main road. If you do have to park along one of the other access roads please ensure you leave room for a car to pass.


Bill HallidenMay 13 2022, 7:38pm@Roelie Smit Sorry for the late message but if you could help out at the start at Kilmashogue (6.30) or at Lough Tay (08.00) That would be great
Robert CostelloMay 13 2022, 8:57pmHi Rene,
Our team on the final list is incorrect. I think at least one other is too. I submitted the team change two days ago. Will email you now.
Caoimhin MacMaolainMay 13 2022, 9:01pmHi Rene. I submitted 2 changes to team 4 on 6th May (to legs 1 and 5) but they haven't been reflected in the final lists posted this evening. Thanks.
Roelie SmitMay 13 2022, 9:13pm@Bill Halliden, I’ll be at Lough Tay (pier gates) at 8am. That ok?
Rene BorgMay 13 2022, 10:20pmRob/Caiomhin. I checked and your changes didn't go through to the backend

However, send them through now and we will accept them, however, we won't have time to update them ahead of tomorrow. that will have to be done afterwards.
Caoimhin MacMaolainMay 13 2022, 10:50pmThanks a million Rene. I'll do that now.
Robert CostelloMay 13 2022, 10:52pmThanks. I sent on.
Mick HanneyMay 14 2022, 6:20pmPhotos added from the Ironbridge riviera
Roelie SmitMay 14 2022, 7:34pmPhotos added from Lough Tay
Derek HayMay 14 2022, 8:10pmCrossbridge photos added
Mick HanneyMay 14 2022, 9:35pmGreat event today. A super atmosphere at the checkpoint I was at.

An opinion from the side-lines of today. Not sure how much the trackers cost but I'm thinking they aren't cheap. They are absolutely justified in a long distance ultra type race, but I don't think they work well in a relay type event such as the WW. The relay worked fine without the trackers and there was always a sense of what will happen at the next Checkpoint, what surprise might emerge etc. Having trackers, which may or may not work, takes some of the spontaneity out of the race. Even when they work, the trackers are laggy and don't refresh often enough to give a true reading. They also add some moments of hassle to changeovers. Some teams I saw literally stopped on the spot to unload whatever bag they had. If the chip wasn't needed they may not have had to carry said bag. Just saying, keep it simples, avoid technology complication when you can. And yes I can see why the trackers can assist a race organiser but I think the opinions of the teams should be sought too.

FYI, at glacier lakes the plan was to use trackers. They didn't arrive in time and the race ran perfectly well without trackers on a race that was on open mountains and not on waymarked trails.
Laura FlynnMay 14 2022, 9:56pmThanks to everyone who made today happen. Especially Jason, Bill and Rene for their work behind the scenes over many months.
Well done to all the teams who took part in the spirt that they did. There was amazing fun and camaraderie… the back of the field anyway. I know the front end had their own dramas but I guess it wouldn’t be the WWR without that!
Congratulations to my own club Rathfarnham ably led and put together by Dave Power.
It was great to see an all-female team out there today too (not a first I think, might have been a Clonliffe team of Aisling Coppinger, Mags Grennan and other some years ago but I’m open to correction) and that they performed so well. Haven’t seen results yet but they were definitely well up there, maybe 5th or 6th.
On a personal level, huge thanks to Brendan Lawlor and Alice Clancy for putting two teams together and including me. We had a great battle at the back.
Looking forward to 2023 already.
Richard NunanMay 14 2022, 10:49pmWell done to Jason, Rene, Bill and all the volunteers today.
Super event one that the team work hard to improve on every year.

Well done to Rathfarnham, East Cork AC (who have had a few unlucky years) and the Ticknock Trailers in 3rd.

Super atmosphere out there today, really enjoyed it! So many great stories.!
David PowerMay 14 2022, 11:02pmA huge thanks to everyone who made this unique event possible. IMRA sets the bar in making memorable days out. The volunteers give up their day to stand there and allow us run. The sense of camaraderie and competition is great. I love the unpredictability of this race, along with the familiarity of retracing old ground and seeing familiar faces.
A race report will follow, but like I felt after climbing those 100 steps on leg 7 "no puedo más! mañana..."
Richard FoxMay 15 2022, 7:37amThanks so much to everyone involved in organising this event. A truly memorable day out on the hills with some fantastic folk out there competing and enjoying themselves. The whole idea and day and organisation is just awesome.
Lindie NaughtonMay 15 2022, 10:56amWell done to everyone involved in what for me was and continues to be the IMRA event of the year. Big thanks to Jason, Rene and Bill in particular all their hard work - and for allowing me to participate by helping out!! Shout out also to Laura, who not only kept an eye on what was going on but ran herself. Thanks also to Karen and Tim for support and mental arithmetic and to Stef and Fíona, whose nursing skills were called upon at Glendalough. Agree with Mick that the tracking possibly isn't worth the hassle. Paper and pencil may be basic but it works! One thought: how about making teams 50/50 men and women? Here's to next year - and get well soon to Niall.
Caroline ReidMay 15 2022, 11:42amMassive thanks and respect to Jason, Rene, Bill and their team of volunteers for making the relay the the best day in the IMRA is hard to imagine the amount of working that goes into the planning and roll out of the event but the fruits of your hard work is a day of pure magic! Also big shout out to Alice Clancy and Brendan Lawlor, team captains extraordinaire, for their months of organising to put together two evenly matched teams that had a fun filled exciting day in the mountains - roll on 2023!
Lindie NaughtonMay 15 2022, 1:00pmA few pics , mostly from Glendalough, now up at
Jim DurhamMay 15 2022, 4:42pmThanks to all, including the weather gods, for a superb day running the hills. Brilliant.
Brendan LawlorMay 15 2022, 5:23pmReally big thank you and well done to Jason, Rene, Bill , all the handover marshals and all the parking marshals for another epic Wicklow Way Relay.

It was a day of great weather and high drama with more than it’s fair share of controversy. But from start to finish we all had a super day

One of my own highlights was chasing after the Foxy Lady with the flaming burnt Orange hair from the Clash Clangette’s team after the Leg 6 mass start… Ricarda Fox was a vision to behold and hopefully we’ll see some photos soon !

Until next year !
Mick HanneyMay 15 2022, 5:29pmBrendan, as you wish.
Mick HanneyMay 15 2022, 5:54pmLooks like we have a new (amazing) record time on leg 7 from Tim O'Donoghue who held the previous record for the leg, before the introduction of the steep steps up from the Derry river, which shortens the course slightly, but is probably an unwelcome addition to the leg - particularly as its in the final section of it.

A time of 1:12:30 (TBC).
Rene BorgMay 15 2022, 6:28pmI have been away all day so will sit down and compile what will hopefully be the official results this evening. Conor will then take it from there and upload them to the site.

If you see a large anomaly or a small anomaly that relates to a potential course record then please make us aware and we will use the manual sheets to clarify the time. Otherwise where there is no gap in the tracker data, the tracker times will be used.

This means for smaller discrepancies (5-10 secs etc.) we'd prefer not to adjust these as they will be down the GPS hand-over spots being slightly off the The tracker - for its pros and cons (which we definitely want to review) - does heavily reduce the result input process compared ot the 'olden days' where every single result had to be entered by hand.

And thanks for the kind words - I cannot speak for Jason and Bill (although I am fairly sure they share the sentiment) but it's a privilege to organise this event and when the day comes to hand the organisation of the relay over to someone else it will be with a heavy heart.

For now we'll focus on the results and then review what changes can or could be made for future events to maintain the spirit for two more decades - an amazing social event with a unique competitive element attached to it that has evolved organically without the enticement of championship titles, trophies, money, but purely because it's history 'makes it worth winning'.

For the 20th anniversary (in two years) it could be worthwhile doing something 'bold' and different as a one-year once-off (such as a South to North) but otherwise I think gradual evolutoin, testing of ideas and discarding the things that prove a step backwards are the way to go.
Eoin KennedyMay 15 2022, 7:14pmThanks for a great day out! Absolutely no complaints.
Brothers Pearse are looking forward to next year already !!
Richard NunanMay 15 2022, 7:27pmIf you flatten those steps at end of Leg 7 that would be appreciated .. a sting in the aul tail there :-)

I was very appreciative of the Trackers when BA chose to cancel my flight on Friday night Mick. Meant I had a 5:00am start, and we were really to the limit to make it to Iron Bridge, you can last minute get someone to do Leg 7.

They were also helpful for us to track.our runner on Leg 5. She unfortunately went 3km wrong. From a safety perspective it was good to track where she had went.

On such a hot day, they were beneficial to a few. While there is a lag that can be from rather than the tracker. There are definitely some pros and cons from both a race and logistics perspective. We still have the pencil and paper !
Warren SwordsMay 15 2022, 7:39pmGreat organisation as always, one of the very special events in the calendar. Hard to beat the intensity and pressure of a relay.

Thanks to Jason, Bill, rene and all the volunteers.

I did think if reversing the route might be possible. It'd make for a great finishing point/post race party.
Lindie NaughtonMay 15 2022, 7:49pmJust to complicate matters: this was the 19th WWR and was held in its 20th year (the first WWR was held in 2002). So next year - not 2023 - is the 20th race. Confusing eh?
Pól Ó MurchúMay 15 2022, 9:46pmThanks guys for a great day out. Just on the results seems to be some problems with some of the Glenmalure times. It would appear the time penalty was applied to the wrong leg and possibly counted twice? My time was approx 1:08 but showing as 1:36. I got in at approx 13:29.
Peter O'FarrellMay 15 2022, 10:22pm@Rene - A one off you say?

There was a suggestion by Gerry Brady years ago to have a split start. Slower teams at 7am and faster teams 90 minutes later.
Obviously creates some logistical issues and lengthens the time period of the earlier handover areas but has more teams finishing together.

At the time he wasn't considering penalising the faster teams but it would be some craic to have the WWR as an actual chasing start. Quickest teams (top 3) from last two years start 30 minutes back and have to overtake the slower teams to win. 3 slowest teams from last 2 years get to start at 6am.

Trackers all the way in this scenario :)

Speaking of the trackers it was a real pity East Cork's tracker wasn't on as there was mighty dot watching to be had watching Rathfarnham and East Cork chase each other down on legs 7 and 8 this year.
Rene BorgMay 15 2022, 11:55pmFirst set of provisional results can be seen in this Excel sheet:

We will have some cleaning to do before we upload it to the IMRA site, so any major anomalies (more than 10 seconds out, wrong name etc.) let me know.
Richard FoxMay 16 2022, 7:26amHa ha Brendan Lawlor - I was a bit concerned when I heard that heavy deep breathing behind me so was glad when you flew by
.Mick Hanney - there'll be a brown paper envelope full of cool beers for ya if those strange photos of some strange gender unsure individual with flaming burnt orange hair (nice description Brendan) disappear
foxy (aka Ricarda Fox, Foxy Lady)
John RoweMay 16 2022, 8:45amHuge thanks to Rene, Jason, Bill and everyone in the background who helped organise what was a fantastic event.
Rene BorgMay 16 2022, 9:28am@ Lindie: on the team composition. My view would be it should evolve gradually to match the general demographics of the IMRA membership and athletics clubs in general. I don't have those figures to hand but what data I did look at over the last few years suggest there is generally less than 30% women in these races and similar composition in smaller athletics clubs.

In this year's relay 33% of the runners were female (94 out of 277 individuals) so current rules probably do a decent job of representing it.

And it is a minimum not a maximum at the end of the day and 9 out of the 35 teams had more than the minimum required 3 women in the team.

We see a similar trend on vets - only 25% of your team is required to be veterans over 35 but 74% of all the runners in the event are 40 or older (204 out of 277). I haven't had a look yet to see how this compares to previous years but a quick glance at recent results appear to show a slight aging of the 'fields'. It would be interesting to use the IMRA database for a demographical analysis of the sport over time.
Brendan LawlorMay 16 2022, 10:42amHi

I think it would be a backward step to stop using the Trackers. They provide very helpful dot watching for online spectators, are helpful if someone goes wrong or gets lost and the technology will only improve with time.

It appears that this years race was the 20th anniversary version, so we slipped up a bit there. Marking the 20th edition of the race in 2023 would be a good idea and we can have a 25th anniversary in 2027 if we all remember it !
Nora LalorMay 16 2022, 11:36amAllowing for Covid interruptions will next year 2023 not be the 20th actual event now anyway, hard to believe, the stories them little yellow men could tell. Pen & paper good back up but reverting to manual compilation & typing up of results a very backward step. The dot watching fun for those who cant get or stay out is great fun too.
Rene BorgMay 16 2022, 2:44pm@ Brendan/Nora: Whilst it's true 'anniversaries' strictly speaking don't take cancelled events into account a happy balance could be to celebrate the '20th edition' next year and then have an even bigger 25th 'anniversary' in 2026 to mark the half century since the first running.

we are doing something similar for Lap of the Gap this weekend - since the 5th and 6th year didn't happen, we're celebrating the '5th Edition' and that'll do.
Rene BorgMay 16 2022, 5:16pm@ Peter: We looked at doing an 'early start' a few years ago to see could we find a way to increase the number of teams without creating parking havoc. Unfortunately, putting slower teams first means more congestion later on.

I haven't done a full congestion analysis the way we'd do for EcoTrail etc. but just a quick look would suggest the faster teams will catch the teams in the second half of the field on leg 2 or 3 so worsening the congestion at Lough Tay and Oldbridge potentially.
Rene BorgMay 16 2022, 7:40pmAll results queries sent to us so far have been processed and corrected. Conor will begin uploading to the IMRA site soon. In the meantime here is the results as they look now:
Rene BorgMay 16 2022, 7:47pmand a few quick bullet points to go with the results so far:

-Rathfarnham recorded their what appears to be their 5th win and 12th medal
-It has now been 9 years since a team that was not Rathfarnham or TT Racers has won the relay (Raheny in 2013)
-5 new course records: Sile O’Byrne (new ladies record of 32:55 on leg 3), Kenneth Kelleher on leg 4 (38:26), Tim O’Donoghue (72:30) and Lean Ni Chiobhain (1:47:12) on leg 7,
-Two teams finished Non-competitive (down from 5 in 2019)
-YBC set the best performance yet of an all-female team finishing 12th out of 35th in 9:06 (in 2007 Clonliffe Ladies finished 12th out of 28 teams in 9:32)
-Most improved team was Clane AC who improved 12 places from 19th in 2019 to 7th this year
Mick HanneyMay 16 2022, 8:17pmIs leg 3 in 2022 the same as the last time it was run, or different now that it comes around the new Lough Tay carpark?
In which case there is a new record for men and ladies?
Rene BorgMay 16 2022, 9:30pmGenerally when there is a salient change to a leg (such as this year), I have listed the fastest time on that new edition as a 'new CR' unless the leg has become easier AND the new time is slower (in the spirit that running a slower time than the CR run on a harder version of the course is not really worthy of a Course Record although it could be labelled as a 'Best Time' for that particular version). If there was a small change but a massive difference in time, I generally wouldn't consider the new mark a 'candidate' for CR.

leg 3 has the new trail section (removing the remaining road), gained a bit in length (and lost a bit at the end) meaning that net in moved from 8.2 km to 8.3 km with a bit less road.

the fastest time run by a man on the 8.2 km recent version is 30:21 whereas this year (on the 8.3k) the fastest man ran 37:54.

The ladies time on recent editions was 33:13 whereas Sile ran 32:55 according to PrimalTracking (33 min according to her watch) - so she ran a faster time on a tougher and longer version.

I'd be inclined to say the 37 min is not candidate for a new CR for the men whereas the Sile's mark is. But it's tricky enough - the all-time best on all versions of leg 3 (for women) is 30:09 by Fiona Reid in 2010. That course did not have any of the first climb of course - you could hammer straight down the road.
Peter O'FarrellMay 17 2022, 12:25pmAnother tweak could be to use the three bigger parking areas available and lengthen leg 1 to finish at Crone, change Leg two end to finish at that Ballinastoe carpark used in the Luggala Race and Leg 3 to finish at the field used for the Scarr race.

This makes leg 1 and 3 harder and leg 2 easier and does away with that tight transition at the current leg 3 end.
Leg 4 is now the shortest leg.

Parking fields are the way to go so maybe all the later legs could also be changed to suit parking, I don't know the southern end well enough to suggest changes.
Brendan LawlorMay 17 2022, 12:41pmGood suggestions Peter

The field car park at Glenmalure worked really well ( and a big thank you to the Dowling family for allowing us use it)

The Pier Gates/ Luggala car park should not be too difficult to get sorted and is a fairly obvious improvement.

Crone could also work but its a busy enough car park most weekends now , so that would need to be factored

A field car park solution at Oldbridge and Ironbridge would also remove a lot of the car parking challenges at those two notorious bottlenecks. Rene might let us park in his front garden !

But all worth investigating for 2023 for sure.
Rene BorgMay 17 2022, 1:05pmON RESULTS

It's becoming clear that a very large proportion of results are out by at least a few seconds.

What we intend to do is re-run the results again using manual timing sheets only. This takes a little while to do and I am tied up with other activities for the rest of the week, so I suggest we let the provisional results stand for now (as they tell the general story) and then we'll look to try and clean the result next week.

If you see major errors continue to email them to me and I will add it to the list of things we look at during the clean.
Mick HanneyMay 17 2022, 1:07pmJust further on the trackers. From where I was located at Ironbridge the tracker time was a few mins off what the actual times I recorded standing on the bridge. So the CP - from a tracker point of view - may have been some 500m away for all I knew. Doesn't change the split times as I guess the relative gaps between the CPs are consistent etc, but it does show that the trackers are fine - when they work - for approximate runner position, but not useful for exact times, unless the CP is accurately positioned on the tracker.
Rene BorgMay 17 2022, 1:22pm@ Mick: the GPS coordinate is likely not the main problem as we had that down to nearly the nearly the exact marshal spot. I think the problem is the refresh rate - that perhaps the refresh happens a number of seconds before or after the hand-over.
Mick HanneyMay 17 2022, 1:22pmI believe we need clarity and discussion on this.

Can we explain the rationale for the non-competitive results please and how the decision was arrived at given precedence would appear to favour not disqualifying and/or imposing a time penalty instead.
Rene BorgMay 17 2022, 2:29pm@ Mick: there was a debate between the IMRA committee and the race organisation team prior to the 2019 event on how to solve the controversy regarding time penalties (something that caused it's own issues).

It was nearly a 50/50 split between the participants on what set of rules should be adopted but the majority opinion eventually was to adopt the rule below which as been in place since then:

Rule 7: If a runner does not complete their stage route “in its entirety”, they will be deemed ‘non-competitive’.

In the two teams disqualified:

- TT Racers leg 4 runner accidentally diverted of the Wicklow Way after 7.8 km of the 9.4 km and eventually made their way back to the hand-over via a different route. Since he was unable to revert to the Wicklow Way this was a DQ as per rule 7
- Sli Cualann's leg 6 runner ran out on the road at Drumgoff Gap (where the Wicklow Way used to go) instead of following the new route on the boardwalks and the grassy trail. Again rule 7 applied.

This year's situation has brought to light that the benefits of this rule (unambiguous, unbiased, not open for debate) may outweigh the downsides (disproportionate, harsh).

Some discussions have already begun (they really started in Shillelagh) of whether we can find a 'best of both worlds' with the main aim of avoiding totally eliminating teams and avoiding the bad feelings that can create (of course some may argue it's similar to the drama of dropping the baton in a 4x 100m relay).

Any ideas are welcome. It's ultimately about weighing up what sort of time penalty system is fair (and implementable) to cover the wide range of issues (from the smallest of 'cutting across bog between the boardwalks on leg 2' to the medium 'go on the road on leg 6' to the enormous 'running the direct 15.6 km route from Ironbridge to Crossbridge and just ignoring the Wicklow Way'). We'd need to be able to answer the question 'what level of deviation should we disqualify?' as part of any amendment to the rule.
Brendan LawlorMay 17 2022, 3:02pmHi Rene

I don't know the ins and outs of the TT Racers situation so I won't comment on that one

You say
-' Sli Cualann's leg 6 runner ran out on the road at Drumgoff Gap (where the Wicklow Way used to go) instead of following the new route on the boardwalks and the grassy trail. Again rule 7 applied.'

However, my understanding from talking to the runner in question and reviewing the tracker trace was that he followed the boardwalk , missed the grassy trail and ran on the road for about 300-400 meters. I ran the same leg myself and where the WW Arrow was pointing right, there was no grassy trail. The trail was a few meters back and not particularly obvious. I ran the trail myself during my own Leg 6 run (as I'd seen the warning from you on the forum) but I missed in when doing my recce.

In that circumstance I do think disqualifying the entire team was a very harsh penalty. Their advantage from the deviation would have been 30 seconds at a maximum. The runner in question is a very experienced hill runner, and was understandably upset on behalf of his team after the race. In that circumstance I would have thought that a time penalty would have been far more appropriate.

But I take your point that its a difficult area and not as black and white as we might all like it to be. But I think Sli Cualann had a 'moral' if not 'actual' podium finish, despite my ribbing of them in Glenmalure later that evening !
Mick HanneyMay 17 2022, 3:53pmAgree with Brendan.

If the rules are a bit grey - and we shouldn't be overly caught up in rules as a friendly association - I would have thought we go on the basis of what has happened previously and what is fair.

I had spotted the query on the forum before and your answer was that a time penalty would occur.

I think we need to recognise the difference between a genuine mistake - a mistake not intended to gain any material time - as against an incident where someone tried to take advantage. The time gained wasn't a factor in their ranking in any event. To expel the time was unfair and disproportionate. I believe a time addition would have been a reasonable balanced approach.

Additional signage and/or a marshall located in that position in the future would certainly help.
Warren SwordsMay 17 2022, 4:10pmI think we should keep Rule 7. It's what the entire race hinges on. I'd argue Rule 7 is what makes the relay so special, the stakes are so high, one mistake and you're out.

If we started getting into various shades of grey, it'll be a nightmare.

The pressure in the relay is intense and it's that pressure that leads people to pushing too hard or making navigational mistakes.

With time penalties etc the stakes are instantly lowered, the pressure is gone.

And let's be honest, one of the top teams going wrong is an integral part of the race experience, it happens every year. It's the classic tortoise and hare story and many tortoises have made the podium as a result.
Brian FureyMay 17 2022, 4:23pmI dont agree with this Rule 7.

Yes relay is competitive but there has to be balance. Otherwise its not fun - and everyone is anxious they will not run "exactly on the trail"

how you can disqualify a team for that discretion on leg 6 is beyond me. He still ran exact same course - just he ran 300m on the road instead of 10 metres parallel to the right on the trail.
I think this new rule has forced us down this path :)

Could be a case of everyone uploads their runs on strava and top 3 teams are reviewed after the race (following week). If there are multiple shortcuts taken then you could take action/apply time penalties.
Brian FureyMay 17 2022, 4:30pmSorry ignore the above post -

as regards rules - the other rule regarding only one team per Club - TT Racers put 2 teams in every year as they are not an "official affiliated athletics club". However this is an unfair advantage over other clubs such as Rathfarnahm, Crusaders, East Cork etc, who are restricted to one team only.
Andrew HanneyMay 17 2022, 5:08pmBrian, a valid point. A good portion of the reason that I did not enter a Kilcoole AC team this year, was being denied a podium place two years ago by a second TT racer outfit and everyone looked the other way, Run for your club lads, it feels much better.
Rene BorgMay 17 2022, 5:47pmFew points of clarification:

- My comment on Friday evening was incorrect (in regard to the penalty). I was pretty tired as I was dealing with last minute team changes so I made a statement that was the opposite to the rules stated on the page. It should be noted I am not the race director (my role is now to take care of the results and entries).

- I only gave limited input to the decision surrounding Sli Cualann and the details I heard were slightly different from what is described here. Jason/Bill had the full indepth discussion with the teams involved.

@ Brian: The issue of 'unofficial 2nd teams' is probably a debate worth having (especially while numbers are limited - although until this was deemed a problem the Wicklow Way Relay had many great editions that featured 2 Rathfarnham teams, 2 Clonliffe teams, multiple Setanta teams and up to 4 Crusaders teams (!) - yet only once has a club team had two teams on the podium (Clonliffe in 2009).

If a team has no official club then under the current rules no limitations apply to them as they would essentially be like the majority of teams (that are amalgamations rather than team squads - like Hurt Squad, Mountain Swifts, The President's Men, Boards AC in the time before and after their AAI affiliation etc. to name a few).

if we take this year: 13 of the 35 clubs represented clubs affiliated to Athletics Ireland or Triathlon Ireland with 22 amalgamation teams. One of these happens to be TT Racers which, as I understand it, is a 'training group' including club runners and non-club runners. I don't know how we could develop a ruleset that would put limitations upon training groups (whatever their label and level of organisation and competitiveness)

An extreme solution could be to have two categories to compete for: official club teams and non-club teams (amalgamation teams) and then it's really up to individual runners what they feel strongest about representing: a club they are members of (if they have one) or a team that is joined around something else (a group of friends, a project, a training group etc.) or even more extreme to ban club affiliation altogether (all teams are 'unofficial' - if a team wants to put their club name in the team name that's fine - i.e. Lost Crusaders etc.). Both 'solutions' would carry their own problems with them. There may be more I am not thinking of at this moment.
Brian FureyMay 17 2022, 6:34pmThanks Rene - I ve no problem with TT's 2 teams really - they have brought great competition to it.
Also yourself and Jason have really modernised the relay and results process - and made it what is is today. which is great.
Andrew HanneyMay 17 2022, 7:32pmSome good points there Rene and in line with the previous post, you and Jason have made this a fantastic event. If there was some format that could be developed to allow athletic clubs compete whilst also having a competition for the mixed teams. I imagine it would draw clubs from around the country and could be a national relay trail running championship :).
Peter O'FarrellMay 17 2022, 9:45pmJason's post on the then new rule 7 from the 2019 WWR thread says there is still RD discretion. A pity if things changed since then as whilst it puts a lot of pressure on the RD's shoulders it keeps the spirit of the event alive.
It's very difficult to be asking anyone to make fair decisions in the heat of the moment and that is why a rigid interpretation of rule 7 is attractive, it is completely fair and leaves no one open to accusations of favouritism or anything else. Unfortunately it's also too harsh for an event such as this relay.

There isn't a single person (I presume) who thinks the leg 6 runner set out to gain an unfair advantage and in that case the fair solution in the past has been the imposition of a time penalty. 5 minutes would have got the point across, much like it did when Rathfarnham missed a turn on leg 4 and gained about a minute a few years ago.

The TT racers situation was arguably also a bit harsh and this is where I can see the attractiveness of a rigid rule 7. Once again no one can think the leg 2 runner set out to leave the course and lose time for his team.

To be fair to the RD's there's many moving parts and in general they do a fantastic job so well done on yet another great outin with many twists and turns.
Peter O'FarrellMay 17 2022, 10:02pmTT leg 4 runner I meant..

I do like the rigid inability to edit on this forum though :)
Rene BorgMay 17 2022, 10:56pm@ Andrew/Brian: I would favour perhaps organising a sit-down with 6-8 of captains/key crew from the last decade and discuss some of the key points around the relay to achieve goals such as:

- Finding the right balance between fun and fair
- Maintaining the competitive edge without losing the social aspect that sustains the event
- Continue to streamline the organisation and look into how we can create more breathing space for the event (such as revising legs slightly/identifying more parking spots etc.)

It’s always difficult to make major changes as you leave a bit of history behind with it. But should we do a major leg revision the first year of that could be considered a strict trial with an option to revert. We even considered buses at one stage (i.e. The Relay Bus – dropping runners down along the way). This might be popular if it takes people home from the pub too….

The ‘club teams’ are also a bit more nuanced than they can appear at first glance looking just at the hard statistics. My personal experience of the relay only starts in 2008, so I cannot speak too much of the period 2002-2007 except what I have been told. But there appears to have been a concern that large clubs might ‘swamp’ the event. It’s arguable that this risk never really materialised.

Since the event is not a national championship, many of the listed clubs teams are really ‘club-led teams’ or ‘club-labelled’ teams. For instance, several Crusaders teams I was part of had some runners from other clubs (by choice or necessity) including the 2nd placed team in 2011 (one runner from Sli Cualann one from Clonliffe and one from Raheny in that team with similar things occurring in 2009 and 2012), ‘Clonliffe and Guests’ had runners from various clubs including North Laois) and my current club (Glendalough AC) have only had one team that was 100% made up of official club runners in 6 participations (as often as not out of necessity – late substitutes etc.). Rathfarnham too has had good guests –such as Clonliffe’s Brian McMahon in 2015 – although for the greens that is very much the exception and not the rule.

Clubs also seem to ‘come and go’. Raheny has not had a team since 2013. Clonliffe not since 2009 and Setanta not since 2014. Sli Cualann’s appearance this yearar was only their 4th ever. East Cork were absent in 2017-2019 etc.

So perhaps this rule – while well-intentioned – solves a problem that is both vague (‘when is a club team a club team’) and perhaps not a problem at all (‘will removing it tomorrow actually lead to an event with 3 Rathfarnham teams, 3 TT racers, 4 Crusaders, etc.?”) or will things continue pretty much as they were with a few years of ‘extreme interest’ from some clubs followed by long periods of no interest. It’s my observation that a club’s participation is often very much driven by the passion of a few individuals to ‘get in a team’ and this leads to these cycles.

There is very little connection between the 1 club rule and club participation in the relay. Until about 2007 club teams make up 20-30%. In the years leading into the rule (2007-2010) it’s about 40-50%. Since then, club teams (of all types including the ‘not really a pure club’ teams) make up 50-75%. This year it was 48-50% depending on what you count as a club team.

If we could solve parking logistics, we may be able to expand capacity to a level where there is no fear of leaving out teams. Should we suddenly see half the athletics clubs in Ireland wanting to put in teams, then we can probably make an argument for putting on a second relay specifically for that purpose. I somehow doubt that will happen, though, as things stand.

I see enough nuance there to ask the question ‘does having this rule just cause friction and does it actually solve a problem that needs solving?’.
Mick HanneyMay 17 2022, 11:00pmJust listened to the Irish Trail Running Podcast on the event with interviews with Rene and with Dave, the winning captain. Very entertaining, well done lads.
Robert CostelloMay 17 2022, 11:28pmI’m a part of TT Racers and have been since 2013. It’s a special group run by a fantastic coach who gives up a huge amount of time to see others improve regardless of their level. It’s not a club and many of us are members of other clubs. I’m also a member of Kilcoole and have been a member of Rathfarnham in the past. Both fantastic clubs with a history in the Relay. TT Racers have one team every year. It’s called TT Racers. The other teams may be captained by people from TT Racers but they are not club teams. Many are from no clubs at all. Like Rene I have been running the relay since 2008. It’s a special event and it has the right mix of competition, camaraderie and adventure in the Wicklow hills. I’d happily participate in a discussion on how we can improve on it and make it even better for its 20th year.
Brian FureyMay 18 2022, 7:46amI wouldn't mind being part of the discussion group as well Rene. Thanks
Brendan LawlorMay 18 2022, 8:05amHi Rene

I think another voice that needs to be heard in this discussion is the ordinary IMRA member who does not get to participate in the relay because they are not in a club or group, and the relay entries 'sell out' very quickly. This can put some people off trying to form a team

The event is an IMRA relay, and should not be allowed become a club trail relay championship. If Athletics Clubs think that's a good idea, let them organise it themselves

I'd be happy to participate in any review on behalf of the 'fun' end of the field
Rene BorgMay 18 2022, 9:20am@ Brendan: it would be interesting to know alright if there is a silent proportion simply 'not trying to enter'. This year (as in the last few years) we have generally not had any inquiries for 'can I get a late entry' or 'I can't believe I missed out' - but as you allude to they may simply not be telling us. We had one team that disintegrated (Crusaders) and was then replaced with another team that had entered but their order 'was stuck' (Tinahely). The latter would have gotten in anyway as they had placed their order in time.

As we saw from the forum a few people looked for teams but the true number is unknown.

I had considered that we preface a meeting by releasing a short 6-8question survey on the key relay points (like 'have you been unable to enter the last 5 years' etc.) to all the active IMRA membership and anyone else who has run the relay. If we could get even 200 responses it would give some idea on questions such as this.
Alice ClancyMay 18 2022, 10:07amHi Rene, that survey sounds like a very good idea. I think Brendan has raised a good point about there being people who would love to participate but don’t know enough people to make a team. This issue is not unique to the WWR, and is shared by the other relays on the calendar. At Glacier Lakes someone made the excellent suggestion of setting up a relay team function on the website similar to the carpooling one- where those looking to form a team could link up. It may not be possible but let’s see!
Speaking as another ‘fun end of the field’ runner, the WWR is such a brilliant event for all levels of runner and is such a lovely example of the inclusiveness and love for mountain running that is at the heart of all IMRA events. A huge well done to you, Jason and Bill for organising it so well and for listening to feedback and thinking about how to develop the event so soon after running it! Kudos!
Sean ForsythMay 18 2022, 10:20amHI Rene,

To echo Brendan’s point and I suppose give some perspective to some of your own regarding a ‘silent‘ proportion, my 2 cents on it
The entry system seems to be geared towards get in 1st and get in fast to secure a place, and that a lot of teams seemed to be already picked and waiting for the online entries to open, so to that extent it does look like a bit of a closed shop.

I know there are teams of runners who want to win and be highly competitive but as Brendan points out, there are those runners who just want to be part of a team on the day, have fun and their own competitiveness at the middle and back end of the field with other like-minded teams.

Being relatively new to IMRA and not knowing many members, I would have found it hard to find/know a captain, actual or potential. Of course I could always drop a message in the forum or on Facebook page, try find out who the captains were myself but not everyone would read/look there. Unfortunately my perception is that you have to be in the know to get a place.

Would it be possible in the future to have a list of declared captains in advance, allowing members to contact captains regarding places (if GDPR allowed) or possibly somewhere to have team places listed to see if there are ‘vacancies’ and you can then declare your interest?
It is definitely a race that I would love to be involved in going forward.

Jeff SwordsMay 18 2022, 10:55amAnother view from the fun side of things whose teams have been made up of IMRA members, uncompetitive for a podium, but will run for our mid pack and previous years positions just as hard.

Harking back to Rule 7, there was occasions when we felt slightly aggrieved that 2/3 teams ahead of us didn't stick to the route on the day, but yet were giving a competitive finishing spot, leg 4 being one that caught people out, as too the run into the finish after the final leg..

I like to think that part of the relay is knowing the route on the day, teams will spend a lot of hours organising recces in the lead up, often sharing the pick up/drop offs with other teams. Hard work is put in to familiarisation with the route.

Most of the discussion is around how it may affect the top end of the race, but the application of rule 7 can mean others can pick up top 10 spots, the little wins.
Brendan LawlorMay 18 2022, 11:08amInteresting point Jeff.. I think the Tracker data (and maybe Strava too) will be useful in trying to sort out that issue . This years podium controversies should also ensure that everyone runs the correct WW route for their leg in 2023. I'm glad I recced my own Leg 6 as otherwise I'd have ended up on the bold step with my pal Ben Mooney!
Dara O'BrienMay 18 2022, 12:20pmJust reading through the comments, it might be worth considering holding one or two team spots each year for IMRA teams made up of members who have volunteered a certain number of times throughout the year.

It would allow for members to have a chance to get on a team and also encourage some volunteering too.
Brendan LawlorMay 18 2022, 12:53pm@Peter O F

'TT leg 4 runner I meant..

I do like the rigid inability to edit on this forum though :)'

Once Elon Musk buys IMRA we'll have an edit button on here..!
Andreas KuschMay 18 2022, 2:13pmI think we are missing a point here: The Wicklow Way is arguably THE national waymarked trail in Ireland and part of the E8 European Long Distance Walking Route. There should be no room for error. Nobody on the trail should go wrong unless the marking is not up to its job. Well, we all know unfortunately it's not as good as it should be.
Maybe we as IMRA could play a role as "custodians" of the WW. So many members live near it or train regularly on it. We probably all have some point on the trail where an additional signpost or the slightly better positioning of a post would make a big difference. National Parks and Wildlife would hopefully appreciate our input/assistance.

Better carpark locations are the way forward to allow all interested teams to participate.
I think Alice's suggestion for making up relay teams is pure genius.
Mick HanneyMay 18 2022, 3:00pmRe: Parking. Ironbridge doesn't really have a ready made alternative. No obvious field nearby to take cars.
One possibility is to continue leg 6 up the next section of track to higher road where are there trail heads which could be used for parking if we had the barrier key. That, or the quieter road up there might be ok for parking in batches of cars.

That said, I think the parking seemed to go ok on Saturday, and it would be a shame to move the CP from the bridge, where on a warm day runners can have a dip. The downside is the lack of mobile signal.
Paul JoyceMay 18 2022, 6:21pmThanks to Jason, Bill, Rene, all the volunteers, and all the racers, for providing yet another thrilling day out along the Wicklow hills.
This post-race debate is a suitable bookend to the saga of the Relay, and as enjoyable to follow. Rene, there is a lot you put in to this event, and that certainly comes through in your considered replies. Kudos also for the "mea culpa" forum post regarding time penalties- it's a rare thing these days for online authors to admit errors (however minor), and that adds to the overall value of your (significant) contribution.
Having been part of front, middle, and tail teams over the years, I would humbly submit there is very little to fix- every team who wanted to enter was facilitated, there were enjoyable battles throughout the field, and the best prepared team won (no slight intended). I keep thinking that a fair referee would adjudicate Sli Culainns's infraction as trivial as to be ignored; but where do you draw the line when another team then asks for similar flexibility for a slightly more meaningful infraction (and then slightly more, and then slightly more...?) I honestly can't answer that, but enjoying the debate. Probably leaning towards keeping Rule 7 as its fundamental, and teams who fall afoul of it one year tend to come back sharper and faster the nest.
Thanks again to all concerned who gave up their time so we could all enjoy the race.
Paul JoyceMay 18 2022, 10:04pmJust one quick point on joining a team having read the above thread above regarding same- its not difficult to join a team, just post your availability on the forum and you'll likely be snapped up.Things go wrong, injuries cause drop-outs; there's a point where availability trumps all and that's what the forum is for. Don't be shy:) I think joining my first team came from a forum post offering as a plodder; since then as captain I've been lucky to have random posters join (delighted this year to have had Aoife on our team having first posted her availability on this forum, for instance)
Failing that, Rathfarnham (ditto other teams) have historically been very generous in offering runners from those who mightn't have made their one "A" team- always offered in the spirit of good gamesmanship to make for a better race, and always accepted knowing there will be fire in the belly from the incoming runner. All good fun- I'm making the same point again; if it ain't broke, don't fix it.
New Point: Mandatory Vets should be O50 at least to reflect demographics :)
Jason KehoeMay 19 2022, 1:30amThanks for the feedback everyone, please keep it coming. Many aspects of the event to consider and nothing like an old school epic forum thread.

Regarding the TT Racers being made N/C it was 100% the right decision and based on more than just leaving the course. Although he was unhappy I was able to agree these points with the captain. The runner in no way brought himself, his team or the race into disrepute, it was just bad luck. So case closed as far as I am concerned.

Rule 7 was put in place in 2019 to prevent the RD having to spend time calculating whether there was a disadvantage because of long cuts taken or advantage of a short cut taken and to make it black and white. Every captain and runner agreed to this rule when registering for the race, it's not a horrible surprise unless it goes wrong for your team. Some people got it right and some got it wrong, in fact more than some it is turning out.

I've run Leg 6 myself during team recces in 2011 and by god we ran with a map and piece of paper with all the instructions we could gleam from the website and forum discussions and we still went wrong (missing the turn to the new boardwalk coming to military road). Lesson learned and our runner got it right on the day (including following the grassy trail) and I got it right when I raced the leg myself in 2012. Others I have talked to offline who also raced Leg 6 this year and previous years have been of the opinion that you just get it right. It's an unambiguous rule. We had Bens team call him to confirm the error he was seen making by another captain which Ben freely admitted (as he thought this was the correct route) and he said this was the path he had always taken previous years. It's estimated as a 30sec advantage. Now imagine my surprise when I look at the 2012 results a few minutes ago and Ben beat me to 2nd place on Leg 6 by 25 seconds ( The plot thickens! No hard feelings Ben! ;)

With your suggestions to improve the race in general please keep in mind that with any changes should make the organisers job easier in our preparation as well as on the day unless the upside far outweighs the inconvenience to the organisers. Back in the day it was nearly a one man job. We have three of us working on it these years (RD, ARD for volunteers, ARD for timings/records, with lots of crossover and additional help asides this). We want less touch points and less bells and whistles that have to be polished and maintained. For example the latest addition of GPS trackers were welcome (perhaps grudgingly in my case) and they add to the event but they also had their drawbacks e.g. costs 18%~ of our fundraising profits, need to be carried correctly to be useful, they had to be physically collected the day before the event and returned the following day (which all takes time). Upsides: they were going to solve issues with lost runners, finding injured runners, getting timings right for handovers, tracking nav errors for penalties, the joy of dot watching, tracking leg times accurately. Not all the pros came true this year. However, my point is not about the trackers, my point is it's about the return on the effort we put into adding features of the event. When it takes more time we question it deeply.

I have a feeling it wont be until the weekend until a debrief can be made and any additional information deemed necessary to release.

Brian KitsonMay 19 2022, 8:49amThe juice has got to be worth the squeeze.

Well said Jason and thanks to Rene and you for patiently explaining the rationale for past decisions taken and considering all the varying views.

It would be great craic to run it south to north next year for the 20th if that were at all possible.
Mick HanneyMay 19 2022, 11:26amSome relay options for a once-off anniversary. Or we just keep it the way it is :-)

1. South to north. Downside is the early start at the far end of Wicklow; the abundance of public road running for a more congested group; the end-line not being a pub :-)
2. North to south, but full Wicklow way. Addition of perhaps 2 legs to get the WW the entire journey from a relay perspective. Clonegal makes for a nice finish.
3. Random draw. Runners are entered, perhaps with some seeding in place, and teams drawn. Takes out the team aspect, relies more on the social, fun aspect.
4. Dual start - meet in the middle.4 legs N to S; 4 legs S to N. Finish line at Glenmalure. Finish at one of the best pubs around. Duration of event reduced. Working out the leaders/winners would be a sport in itself.
Peter O'FarrellMay 19 2022, 11:34am@Brian Kitson - the reverse direction WWR has to finish leg 8 at a pub ( obviously! )

The simple option is Johnny Foxes but if they don't want us plan B could be Taylors. I would be happy to (very heavily) mark the route across Ticknock in the that scenario.

@Jason, thanks for the response and all the work and passion that goes into this event. Reading the response I was struck by how much goes on behind the scenes and how of that is unclear to the average punter (me) and also by how the desire to keep things manageable and yet fair has led to an empasis on strict rule following with the loss of discretion.

Your quote "any additional information deemed necessary to release" got me thinking too. Are there really 35 car parking marshall positions? Can I see the list? If there are not 35 car parking positions can teams volunteer their mandatory volunteer in other more useful ways?

Could these behind the scenes tasks be made visible? There may be 35 things to be done of which 16 are car parking.

From reading this very thread;

Collecting/Returning trackers
Organising parking fields
Organising prizes

As I say I don't know the list and yes I do have a bugbear with the randomised 35 mandatory marshall positions but this is the thread/time to make suggestions.

Thanks again for all the work.
Rene BorgMay 20 2022, 10:13amI'm going to shamelessly use this thread to put the word out for a late replacement for a crew member for the Lap of the Gap Marathon tomorrow.

I need a manual time-keeper as backup for the timing station just before Sallygap tomorrow (next to a timing tripod and a big sign saying 'King of the Hill'). This is a back-up to the electronics in case they fail to capture the front of the field.

You only strictly need to capture the top-10 so would need to be in position from 8:45 am (first runner arriving roughly 9 am) to no later than 10:45. At that stage drop the timing sheet down to Brockagh Centre in Laragh.

You'll receive 15 eur/hour (or choice of ticket for next year) for yourself or donations to your club/cause plus first choice of any unclaimed tshirts (there should be some) and we'll sort you out for a sandwich/coffee/cake at the finish line should you want it.

email me on
Rene BorgMay 20 2022, 11:01amGot someone, thanks!
Jason KehoeMay 21 2022, 12:25am******************
Only 13 of 35 captains responded to calls of further information regarding their leg 6 runners put out two days ago.

Brothers Pierce
Celtic Tri
Clane A/C
Coffee and Buns
East Cork A/C
No Wrong Turns
Racing 795
Sli Culainn
Team Luna
Ticknock Trailers
TT Racers
Wicklow Waysters

If your team is not on the list above for some reason and you are the Leg 6 runner you now need to contact me ASAP for your team to be listed in the results.

If your captain is uncontactable you should send me an email to: info [at] jktherapy [dot] ie

Jason KehoeYesterday, 10:51pm*********************************************************************************

The 2022 Wicklow Way Relay may not be forgotten for many a year.

This response is in relation to Rule 7: “If a runner does not complete their stage route “in its entirety”, they will be deemed ‘non-competitive’.”
All other aspects of the race and potential improvements will be considered on their own merits at a later time.

Rule 7 was brought in during the 2019 WWR edition to make the organisers job easier. Over the last few editions we have foisted more and more responsibility on the captains to share the load. I think it’s been a success on our end especially the mandatory volunteers (an oxymoron I know) for parking marshals. The role of team captain is quite a responsibility, it’s not a token position, without them it would not be the great event it is.
Hopefully, we will never spend this amount of time trying to sort out a mess like this in the future, it’s been a difficult learning curve but in retrospect and with a glass of whiskey in hand I can say it’s been valuable. Personally, I have spent untold time this week, late into the evenings, after long days at work and a busy family life, to piece together this intricate puzzle (poor me!). I have communicated with every Captain regarding leg 6 as well as talking to lots of you about the race as a whole as well as feedback on the forum.

The universe gave me lots of signs this week and no more so than yesterday. I took 3 hours out of my day yesterday (when I couldn’t afford to) to pay a visit to the now infamous Leg 6 route myself with my little lad Ethan (3 ½ y/o). We happened to stumble across some WW Ultra runners doing a recce who missed the Leg 6 left turn to the boardwalk and were walking back uphill towards us. They missed the turn as they were engrossed in conversation and enjoying the downhill, easily done. We talked briefly as one was an old hockey player, now ultra-runner, which I happened to know. They ran down the boardwalk and low and behold they missed the right hand turn onto the parallel trail right before my eyes! I let out a shout asking if they were on the road. One of them had already realised they made the mistake and another assured the other two that they were correct, he with a map in hand. They won’t make those two mistakes come race day I bet.

The WW marker for the right turn seems to be too high and a little past the less obvious trail to take. I walked down the quite bockety WW trail and then I also retraced and walked back down the road section where runners went wrong. While on the road, to me (a disastrous navigator), it’s very obvious when you come to the gully that the correct WW trail is parallel to the road as even the marker is visible at the side of the road for those coming south to north. At this stage during the race you should hopefully realise something is not quite right and retrace your steps, not re-join the WW. Doing a recce of this section and with leg description at hand, while running at a leisurely pace, it should really be noticed. 27 teams got it correct and 8 got it wrong.

Some teams missed the turn and ran the road all the way down. Some teams missed the turn and then realised their mistake further on and dropped back down to the WW without retracing their steps. Some took the correct turn, decided to jump up onto the road, realised their mistake and then re-joined the WW again further on without retracing their steps. We had every scenario covered it seems, except someone who retraced their steps on that section. What I did note is that the majority of runners that went wrong had 0 to 4 IMRA races under their belt which I thought was an interesting stat, make of that what you will. Personally I’ve gone wrong before on a Wednesday night race and I’ve asked for a DNF result.

This year ALL 8 teams that made a mistake on this section and have not adhered to Rule 7 in 2022 will be deemed as ‘non-competitive’, no matter how small the error. The leg 6 runner will also have a one minute penalty applied to the leg time to try and keep times in line with historical data.

I have come to this decision as I think this will underline the importance in future years of teams getting recces correct and running the official WW come race day. I am aware this will be an unpopular decision for half of you and the correct decision for the other half of you.

There are lots of scenarios where people will potentially fall victim to Rule 7 (recce or no recce) and where it will seem harsh or indeed understandable. Next year I would wager teams will get their recces right as well as the race as the stakes are too high not to. At the end of the day it’s just a standalone race, not a championship nor a qualifier. Indeed, it is special, it is a unique event, a fun event, and it will still be a great day out if teams get their planning correct and maybe also a bit of luck on their side. I’ve taken quite a few penalties in hockey cup matches and missed, it’s a horrible feeling, I felt I let the team down. But we go on, learn from it and strive to improve the next time. This is sport, it is what makes it exciting in my book.

I want to leave you with some excerpts from one of the many emails I received from captains which really captured my own memory of the first WWR I did back in 2008 when my then captain supremo Rene Borg meticulously had us recce what then felt like a great adventure and yet we were faced with a total enigma that was the Wicklow Way Relay to us inexperienced mountain runners.

“Hi Jason, I think what makes the race so special for me is the planning to be ready to firstly try to get an entry, then it is planning to get everyone to recce their stage, arranging the logistics of runners getting to and from stages on race day. It's a proper team effort where everyone has added pressure to not just run well but be an important link in a chain that is vital to every other runner on the team.

From the moment the first text goes out from our first runner that they are leaving our town on their way to the start the buzz of the day starts. I don't think the majority of runners realise the effort a Team Captain puts into making race day happen for a team. I am still mentally knackered from the race!!

The hype in our club, 99% of whom are road runners, around the WWR is brilliant…

Many of the issues are not race organisational issues [ed: regarding bad parking and not following instructions] it's racers doing what suits them on the day and not following the well planned out race instructions.

We held a physical, in person, team meeting on the Wednesday before the race and it was drilled into everyone - if you go wrong back up the way you came until you see the yellow man, then start again. Carry your rain jacket, park sensibly. Any runner we asked to join our team was told straight up if you can't commit fully to the WWR, the necessary stage recces, team meeting and understanding the rules then it's not for you. You want in you need to work for it. We could have had much faster runners line up but they'd be no good when they go wrong because they didn't recce their stages.

Two of our runners were completely new to trail running. We recced their stages on the Monday. Running with one of them I made the comment don't presume the runner ahead knows the course. On race day coming out of the forest into Luggala carpark a male runner ahead of her turned right. She immediately knew it was wrong and so she turned left as per the WW route on the day. The male runner kept shouting back telling her and another female runner behind that they were wrong and that he was following the official WW. Thankfully our runner heeded my advice and stuck to what she had recced. The male runner apparently got to the main road and turned back to go the correct route!!

The Barkley Marathons is a unique event. I'm sure people complain it's too hard and feel it should be made easier so more people can finish it, or that Laz should get a strimmer on the course so people don't get cut by the bushes, or that it is not fair there is no online registration. Fix all that and it's no longer the same legendary race.

I think you, Rene and Bill give everyone fair warning of what they are signing up for. For the record I must add I'm a newbie to this. 2019 was the first WWR we did but the experience left a lasting impression. And I have really enjoyed the IMRA spirit ever since. Fingers crossed we'll be back next year for more WWR fun.”


Hoping to see everyone back for another crack at the challenge in 2023.

Jason Kehoe (RD), Bill Halliden (ARD), Rene Borg (ARD)

Robert AsherToday, 8:55amThanks once again Jason, Bill and Rene - your work organising this race is greatly appreciated. We had a fantastic time running it again this year and looking forward to 2023. Even if we'd been classified non-competitive (which I believe we haven't) we still would have had a great day running a fabulous and unique event and giving it our all.

Fully support your decisions above and also as for the comments of that team captain you quote - they are talking a lot of sense. A lot of food for thought for me if I captain our team in 2023 as well (and very good advice for anyone else looking to Captain a team)
Mick HanneyToday, 12:05pmThanks Jason, Bill and Rene.
Really appreciate the work done before, during and after this event.
While decisions like this will always split the audience, the consideration given to this cannot be faulted and the work & time has been above and beyond. That is very much appreciated.
Looking forward to the 2023 instance.
Laura FlynnToday, 4:45pmThanks Jason for that comprehensive post and for the careful consideration you’ve given to the issues that arose in this year’s race.
The time and energy that you, Rene and Bill have put it before, during and after is really incredible. It’s one of the best hill-running days out in my view and it’s important that we preserve the integrity of the event. While a lot of teams are happy just to take part and finish, the competitive aspect is also crucial. The challenge is not just being able to run fast but also to have your recces done and, even with that, to try not to take a wrong turn with tired legs and head. I did so myself this year even though I’ve run that leg many times over the years. It’s all part of the “fun.”
I think the decisions you made were well-judged and fair. I hope those who came out on the wrong side of them will see that too.
Laura FlynnToday, 5:02pmJust in case of prompts another enquiry, I should clarify that when I went wrong, I retraced my steps and picked up the correct route again !!!