Perhaps two margaritas a feed of Mexican food and two glasses of port (medicinal of course) were not the best pre race fuel but what’s a girl to do when these wonderful things are placed in front of her.
Saturday was to be my first fell race of the year due to the MDS and really using this as a good excuse. I was planning to do the Annalong horseshoe but the weather was absolutely foul and 10odd miles in the mist, rain and wind wasn’t appealing to me. I’m so glad I didn’t race as there were a few navigational errors and drop outs due to the horrific conditions.
The Bernagh Classic race is just over 4 miles but packs a punch with three summits in quick succession, Meelbeg, Bernagh and Meelmore starting and finishing in the Happy valley. There really isn’t anything ‘happy’ about this valley apart from the massive spread of buns and sandwiches laid on at the finish.
The rain eased slightly for the start but mist was shrouding the summits. I set a bearing for the descent off Meelmore that Sam from the oh so mighty ‘mourne runners’ told me would get me back in one piece.
Taking off up Meelbeg I soon realised that I was totally out of mountain shape and let everyone pass me. I was hanging like a bat as the saying goes, wishing that I fell into a hole and got an injury so I could hobble back to the finish.
Soon I finally reached the summit glad that the route was marked out for the junior race also on that day. By this stage I was feeling very sick and the taste of salt from my sweat was fierce. The feed I had the previous evening was not good. I had my emergency loo roll with me but thankfully didn’t need it.
The next 40 minutes or so went by in a sweaty blur and sure the next thing I knew I was following my bearing and managed to get back to the not so ‘happy valley’ car park in one piece. 1hr 20 minutes of nausea, sweat, mud and climbing.
After a cold bath in the river I washed all the mud off and sat in the freezing cold water laughing to myself as to why I really thought fell running would be a good sport to take up. It’s tough, wet, vomit inducing, crazy and only the mad seem to partake but I do love it. I may be wick at it but that does not seem to matter as its all about just getting round and having some craic and buns.
Next up is the Mourne 2 day Marathon with big Paddy the superfit Irishman.
Thanks for reading.