Circuit of Avonbeg opens in style
The new Circuit of Avonbeg course is one of the closest things you’ll experience to one of the long English fell-races in Ireland and is a route brilliantly conceived by Paul Nolan, the former national coach and Irish international.
After a steep climb of 2600 ft. high Clohernagh, runners take in Wicklow’s highest mountain Lugnacoille followed by Camenabologue, Conavalla, Lugduff and Mullacor on a classical “ridge-run” before dropping back down into the valley of Glenmalure.
Colm Hill, CNOC, and Niall McAlinden, TCD, set the pace early on and threw down the gauntlet to reigning Irish and Leinster Champion Peter O’Farrell who stayed close.
Route choice played a great part in circumnavigating the Avonbeg River at the quickest possible time, and in the end Peter O’Farrell wheeled in first Niall, midway through the race, before recording his first win of the season ahead of Colm Hill with a better route choice off Mullacor. Adrian Tucker, the last man to complete the Wicklow Round, showed “rounding” serves you well for this type of race taking both the M50 and fourth overall.
Caroline Reid, Dunboyne, took the women’s and now leads the Long Distance Challenge with just the Dublin Peaks race remaining in the series. Roisin McDonnell, Crusaders, followed in second with Setanta’s Eileen Walsh in third spot.
This inaugural running took place in the sunniest driest conditions you could wish for but should it return on a rainy day the next batch of contestant will look forward to a much harsher challenge than this Sunday’s exertions!
Full results and images are now online at the IMRA site…