Irish race news...

Posted in At the Races by Rene Borg on Fri 02 Jul '10

© John Shiels /

Summer is high and the racing is still very much on over in Ireland. Rene Borg reports on Trooperstown and the Rogaine. Two very different events, resulting in one very similar outcome – a win for Irish mountain-dominator Eoin Keith…

Tight Formation at Trooperstown as Keith and McAuley win

Those wishing for a return to more open spaces and less congested crowds had their wish fulfilled at the brown hulk that is Trooperstown Hill. Looming lonely on the far end of Glendalough with the scenic Clara Vale behind it, the Trooperstown massif sports two major summits that runners must navigate.

First up is the smaller unnamed summit at Clarabeg, marked by a set of boots belonging to an old hiker. Fast trails lead you back towards the major summit of the day Trooperstown Hill itself and the infamous scree descent before the final journey home through Trooperstown Woods.

© John Shiels /

Eoin Keith

Eoin Keith may have lost his Leinster League title but he helped end his campaign on a high note winning ahead of CNOC’s Niall McAlinden and UCD’s Niall Fox. The race saw some of the tightest finishing in the league so far as runners could just not be separated on the mountain.

In the ladies’ Sli Cualann’s Olympian Jenny McAuley had good gaps on Kate Cronin, Raheny Shamrocks, and Catherine Devitt.

The ladies team competition has petered out a little bit with Crusaders winning unopposed for the third time running. More action in the men’s where seven teams still competed and UCD proved a formidable force with three men in the top-ten ahead of a strong Boards AC team and an experienced Sli Cualann side. A significant result for the university club who have now moved within seven points of Boards in second before the final showdown at the Sugarloaf.

Full results at IMRA.

NB **** As a great fan and former resident of Trooperstown, this journalist hopes that the low numbers are seen as reflecting the progressed stage of the season rather than any disenchantment with the route and that its maiden voyage in the Leinster League will not be its last

Irish hills bristle with Rogainers

The thirteenth Rogaine took place last weekend. This long-distance cross-country navigation event is organised by Setanta Orienteers and a major fixture on the off-road running calendar in Ireland. With the only dedicated Mountain Marathon taking place in Northern Ireland, the Setanta Rogaine is not only the premier event for the sport of rogaining in the country but an ample replacement for a mountain marathon.

Interested in the coming year? Well, don’t hesitate to read through the excellent information page on the Rogaine on Setanta’s website. In essence, the objective of the exercise is simply to score points by finding as many checkpoints as possible within the allotted time for the event. Teamwork is an essential element with competitors competing in teams of two or more.

2010 Winners

The winning pair in 2010 will be at least partly familiar to MST readers: Eoin Keith and Chris Caulfield won ahead of Fred Hamond/Kevin Grogan and the trio of Ivan Park, Mark Hudson and Paul McArthur in the overall competition for the 24-hours competition. There were prizes also to the winners in Mixed, Mixed Vets, and Female Vets categories. Setanta member Hazel Thompson won the 6-hour event together with Terry Lawless.

This year’s event started from the Turlough Hill Power Station high up beyond the Wicklow Gap surrounded by many of Wicklow’s highest and wildest mountainscapes. With the Irish summer staying fairer and June the warmest recorded in forty years, this year’s sojourn would undoubtedly have been among the most pleasant in memory for the many regular competitors on the course.

Results at photos can be found at Setanta Orienteers.

Reactions so far
  1. Rene Borg Jul 2, 12:44 PM

    it’s some coincidence but just today I randomly ran into a guy who was one of the two young lads to have the memorial boots at the top of Clarabeg bronzed and who helped carry up most of the stones who make up the now rather impressive cairn.

    Like me, most of them lived at or frequented the Clarabeg estate at some time during their lives (they in their early childhood), I just recently.

    The boots are in memory of a mutual friend of theirs who had this viewing point as his favourite spot and who died of SADS at the tender age of 36. A charity walk takes place every year to commemorate him and we hill runners can hope he rests easier hearing the sound of studded feet crest the summit.

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