I have slowly been getting up the Antrim hills, first up was the Glenariff race, next was the Christmas Knockdhu charity race and on Saturday there I ticked Lurigedan off the list.
Shortened to Lurig, tradition has it that it was once the home of Finn MacCool and his son Ossian. Sitting at a height of 380m the race route goes up the steep Northern side of the mountain.
The race is always a sell out with nearly 400 people taking on the challenge and is part of a week long festival in the picturesque village of Cushendall. I though it’d be good practice before the Ben Nevis race 3 weeks later.
My charity I have chosen to raise money for is SANDS NI. (Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity). They do great work.
Here’s my just giving link.
The sun was out, I arrived in plenty of time to get a warm up in and saw for myself the path that we were all about to scramble up.
The race attracts locals and people like me up for a change of scenery and a free packet of tasty Glen’s of Antrim crisps.
The locals come out in force to cheer every runner over the line, local houses act as makeshift water stops and the atmosphere is excellent.
Doing my usual going out far too hard I soon slowed down on the long laneway before heading onto the open mountainside.
Steep is an understatement, what the Antrim hills lack in length and height it’s made up for the grassy steepness. I was grabbing the grass on sections before reaching the summit and throwing myself back down.
The quickest way down was on my backside and I have the grass burns to prove it. A simple out and back route, only 3.8 miles but enough to turn my face purple and need a banana milk on my way home.
I got in under the 45 minutes I hoped for and have to say it was a tough, quick and fierce way to get grass burns.
The atmosphere makes this a great race and one I’d be tempted back to.
Ben Nevis though holds a lot more climbing and distance, bring it on.