Irish Mountain
Running Association

NC Series

Joe LalorSep 20 2022, 9:27amSeries Results


Paul Mahon 6:39:27
Angus Tuner 7:48:29
Kathryn Barr 8:33:06
Paul Smyth 11:25:59
Brendan Delaney 11:48:08

Short Course

Andrew Hanney 6:10:36
Sandra Pegman 6:17:49
David Jackman 7:52:22
John Greene 8:11:53
Linda Rowden 8:21:30
Fia Moore 8:31:27
Vivian O'Gorman 9:13:03
Peter Cannon 9:19:50

Hugh Kinsella and Ger Power did all three NC races but fell foul of cutoff rule on one occasion.
Joseph Boyle did two short courses before stepping up to the long
Joe LalorSep 20 2022, 9:34amNC Report

This is rather too long for a forum post but if filed as report there is no scope for responses which are welcome.

This races series is on the go since 2003, set up as training for those interested in doing the Mourne Mountain Marathon which was quite popular with IMRA runners back then. Race calendars are much more crowded now and it is difficult to get a 3 week run up to the MMM (the World Masters made things even more complicated this year). A draft IMRA calendar is usually drawn up in Nov each year for the following year and taking numbers into account we in the NC community do very well getting 3 dates in a row.
Speaking of numbers we should look at this. In the main competition (Navigator of the year) 5 runners completed the series. Average numbers on the long were 20 while 19 in the short. Considering these numbers, the entry price and the spread at the finish it is no surprise these events are run at a loss. I am not suggesting that they should be discontinued but it is worth considering the format.
Their function as prep for the MMM is defunct as they are leading nobody not already committed in that direction. So is the end of August/ early Sept a good fit?
Against: holidays, end of season fatigue, counter attractions
In favour: longer days (some folks stay out there rather a long time), better weather (Fair Mountain in foul weather anyone?)
Is there a need to have them on consecutive weekends?. How about one a month?
Venues: Most venues in Wicklow have been used multiple times. This year we tried moving further a field but the numbers were disappointing.

Stuart ScottSep 20 2022, 10:43amHi all,

Joe, you didn't happen to be a school teacher in a previous life, were you? :-)

I think the format is working really well. Numbers are up on previous years and the small but dedicated sub-community is growing rapidly.

The only changes I'd make is to change the series competition to Best 2 of 3, and change the event prize format to First Male and Female on both Long and Short (i.e. 4 prizes in total) rather than the 6 prizes solely for Long, which is currently the case. Of course there might be the odd complication from Best 2 of 3 but in general, I think all three events are fairly evenly matched. Oh yes, I'd also ban Paul Mahon from winning. It goes to his head :-)

I think the late summer dates fit perfectly for the reasons you mentioned, and I felt this year's dates worked very well. Consecutive weekends risks people missing the whole series due to holidays and if they're spread too far apart you lose the momentum. The only suggestion I'd have is to try to avoid having Stone Cross and a Nav Challenge on the same weekend, if possible, but I know that's easier said than done in such a packed calendar.

As for a purpose, we used to think that the nav challenges would help encourage people to do the unmarked weekend races. But at this stage, it's more the other way round. It would be great to see those who were so hyped up about the Four Peaks race come along to a nav challenge. It was basically the same as Liam's event, just without the chance to recce!

All in all, I think they've gone really well and I wouldn't change much. Thank you again for your hard work coordinating it all!

Andrew HanneySep 20 2022, 11:48amThe NAV series are my favorite races of the year.
I believe that an essential part of mountain running is knowing were you're going. To look at points on a map and figure out how to link them up, without the yellow IMRA tape to do the work for you.
I think the races have a good community. I think we could publicize the events slightly better to give them more attention.
Maybe if we go further afield again next year, a weekend could be made of it, a NAV challenge on the Saturday, a championship race the next .
There are also a few things that people don't know about these races, that you can team up with people, that you get to see the master map before starting if you need, that there is more cake per person than any other race etc.
John MurraySep 20 2022, 12:23pmThe NAV series of races is a great series in my opinion and an excellent way to build nav experience and confidence in a more controlled localised area.

It's the perfect stepping stone for those who want to do the longer Nav races like Stone Cross, Glacier Lakes, Reeks Skyline, Circuit of Avonbeg, Galty Crossing and other unmarked races and leagues like the Leinster Championship.

I wouldn't change much either in the format but would suggest maybe spreading the 3 races further throughout the year might increase attendance at all 3 races. Possibly a winter, spring and summer race to experience different weather and growth conditions at different times of the year. Again, building confidence and not just being a fair weathered runner. :)

I always try make these race but didn't manage to get to any of them this year as they simple clashed with other life events and Stone Cross. Definitely not having one of the races the day after STCL would mean better attendance. :)

I'm also not sure spreading the series across the country would help numbers, but I do think IMRA Munster could set-up a similar NAV Series down south to cater for members down there who maybe want to try it without having to travel too far. Also gives those regulars of the Wicklow races scope to travel if they want to run somewhere new.

Lastly...these races are nothing but good craic! 3 per year is not enough in my opinion. :)
Warren SwordsSep 21 2022, 10:20amI've only done the NC series once and it was pivotal in me becoming comfortable in the mountains with a map and a compass.

Always tricky to find a suitable date. Perhaps having the three races on a consecutive weekends could be an issue and perhaps unnecessary?

Maybe one a month? One in September for a summer nav race, October for autumnal and then November for a winter race.

But as I said, ask 100 people what dates they prefer and you'll get a 100 different suggestions.
John GreeneSep 21 2022, 2:46pmI really enjoyed this year's NC, the 3 events were just right level of difficulty to bring you back undeterred.

Seems the NC races are in unusual position, in that if the numbers get to high, it becomes a procession. Imagine a 100 runners setting out on the short course all looking for the boathouse last Sunday!