Donard Commedagh (C)
Distance: 10.9 km
After a couple of years in the wilderness the granddaddy of mountain races returns!
This year there will be prizes (sponsor to be announced) for the fastest descent from the top of Commedagh to the finish.
The race starts at sea level in Donard Park, following the forest road across the lower bridge and onto the rough path, on the south side of the Glen River.
The track continues to follow small paths through Donard Wood, emerging onto a higher forest road which climbs to the granite quarry. (Checkpoint 1: map ref. 371292).
From the quarry, the main climb to the summit of Slieve Donard is next – almost 2,000ft in 2km. The terrain is mostly heather and grass, with areas of boulders as it steepens towards the summit. You will first see the Lesser Cairn, which is 250m before and 30m below the checkpoint (2: map ref. 358277) at the large summit Cairn, beside the tower at the corner of the Mourne Wall.
From this point, Slieve Commedagh is approximatley 1.6km away, with a 900ft descent to the col and a 600ft climb.
The Mourne Wall is followed to the col and for as far up Commmedagh as you decide, before heading out to the checkpoint (3: map ref. 346286) at the summit Cairn which is about 300m north east of the wall across the flattish summit.
It is a short run along the top edge of the Pot of Pulgarve, with a 250ft descent followed by a slight climb to Shanslieve.
The route is then downhill all the way to the finish at sea level – almost 2,200ft of descent in 4km. The section to the checkpoint (4: map ref. 363296) at the stile on the edge of the forest, is a mixture of grass and short heather with stony patches, becoming steeper with some rock when approaching the forest. Take care on the descent if conditions are misty; you will need a compass bearing as the ridge is both broad and deceptive.
From the stile, a firebreak leads down towards a forest road and descends onto small paths through Donard Wood, on the north side of the Glen River into Donard Park, and eventually to the finish.
Registration: 10am in Donard Park
Start Time: 11am
Entry: £7 / £8 (registered / unregistered)
Refreshments will be served in Donard Park afterwards.