Mourne mountain marathon

Teaming up for the 2nd year myself and Padddy moved up to the B category.  We knew it would be tough but I have to say I didn’t think just how tough.

Plotting map corrections

The distance over the two days is 45km though that’s dependent on how you choose to get from checkpoint to checkpoint. 
Day one was long (nearly 17) with lots of climbing and brought us from Bloody bridge and finishing somewhere in a field near Hilltown.  We had lots of choice on our route and overall I think it was pretty good. Though scrambling up Ben Crom was a little hairy. 
My view for two days heading up the steps to the saddle

The main difference I found was that clues were harder to locate and then find. Definitely ate up a fair bit of our time where the more experienced guys find them far quicker. 
This race was the first proper test of my MDS pack, shorts, underwear, t shirt and sleeping bag. I packed light and with 1.6l of water had 6.5 kg.  I was interested to see if I would have any chaffing and how the pack would feel after a long day carrying it.  Pack and kit fantastic, felt really comfy. 
Paddy was as usual a machine, I thought I was fitter this year but still he is miles fitter. 
Once we ate dinner and hydrated to an inch of my bladder I went to bed. 
Dinner, 1300kcal’s of super noodles and pepperami

Sunset over camp
Day two is usually shorter and once we plotted the clues we realized that map reading was going to be tricky. The weather was due to cloud over too which makes trying to spot then harder.  Big mistake on the marking of the map as we mismarked a clue and ended up missing 4&5 which were on Butter mountain not far from the last one at all. Paddy said do you want to go back?  We both didn’t fancy a steep climb back up it so we just went on knowing that it would be a disqualification.  
Ben from dam in the distance heading down to the small pond

After a tricky climb round a big pot near Commedagh we trotted back in to tollymore. A few clues we made hard work off and of course just didn’t get. 
The step from C to B class is big not really the distance but the extra skill needed to look at the ground on the map and choose the best route. 
Starting day two all smiles, my shorts are on back to front and I never realised until near the finish 

Another great weekend at a fantastic event. We went up a class but next year I’m going to get my map skills up a notch.  
Thanks for reading. 

2 thoughts on “Mourne mountain marathon

  1. Claire, Marc's friend from NYC, Clive – if I'd known you were there I'd have made a point of looking for you at the camp! Hard lines missing out the couple of marks on Butter, but well done to you and Paddy for completing the course. As you say and as someone who's done a fair few of these over the years, it was a tough course, particularly yesterday, both long and with a fair bit of altitude gained and lost. A shame you missed the couple of marks today, a credit to you to keep motivated and complete the course all the same! Look forward to meeting you next year so.. and maybe you'll get Marc out too..!!

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