Mourne Mountain Marathon

I wasn’t planning to enter the MMM this year, but a message from a stranger on a walking forum led to me saying yeah, lets go for it.  Paddy seemed like a fit irish fellow, he done the Mourne 7s this year in 7 odd hours so he was gonna be somebody ill be struggling to keep up with.

We entered the C class as it was his first MMM and we hadn’t met before so seemed like a sensible decision.

This is us before, fresh and ready for some mountain navigation.  The Route was to be in the Westerly Mournes which I’m not so familiar with but I was looking forward to getting out in areas new to me.

From there it was head down, plough through bogs, fall over lots and keep following the big Irish man in front of me.

The sweat was stinging my eyes, I could taste salt and I missed having a path to follow.  All was great navigation wise and the big man was doing a great job with the map, we got through all the clues until one from the last when we went up pigeon rock but the clue was in the valley, this put on about 50 minutes to our time.  Ah well, the extra training did us good.

Campsite was chilled  and after a 1000 calorie dinner and chat with a few other teams it was lights out at 9pm.

The elite and B classes are on a different scale, extra distance and very tricky clues with more decisions to make.  Maybe some day.

Sunrise with 700 calories of porridge, nuts and lots of water.  Hydration and food intake went well yesterday so I wanted to start day two as ready as I could.  Climb climb climb at the start to warm the legs up and soak my t-shirt in sweat.  More new ground and the clues were pretty straight forward, the good visibility makes it easier but thats a bonus in my book.

This picture was taken near Slieve Martin Summit looking back at our path, hard ground to get through with more bog but once we got through it the path to the finish was in our sights.  Another hot one but fantastic views to be had, I caught a few but it was mostly of the big mans backpack and calf muscles.  A steep descent to the finish marker and a slip then a slide down the grass, hit a big stone and rip a hole in my leggings and underwear.

Once we finished the sea looked too inviting and a swim in the cold water was bliss.  The team that was only formed the day before did really well and a good team effort brought us in as top mixed in the C class.  We didn’t expect this and had out lunch and headed home.  I was all biz with the t-shirt as it was pink!  22miles over two days, great training for me.

Hopefully it will be a partnership we reform next year, the big man bested me through the mountains which I loved, he was like a machine.

Teamwork = dreamwork.

Thanks for reading x