Annalong Horseshoe Final Instructions


SATURDAY 18th MAY 2019



TO ALL PARTICIPANTS – please read these instructions fully before race day – it is not the organisers intention to read all of these items out at the race briefing.


This year is the first year this race is being run from this venue, after 38 years at Dunnywater. Entry to the complex is available from 9:00am. Please note that there is an entrance charge per vehicle to gain access to the complex, payable at the entrance booth. All participants are encouraged to car share where possible as while car parking appears to be plentiful, the complex is not exclusively for the use of the race and is shared by the public. Race car parking officials on the day will indicate where race participants’ vehicles are to be parked – all participants are requested to obey race officials.


Public toilets are available on site for use by race participants.

3.         REGISTRATION.

Race registration will be in the Board Room within the NI Water administration building, adjacent to the cafe. Registration will be from 9:45 to 10:45. Participants will be issued with their timing chip and race number and go through the kit check. On the day registration will be available for the sum of £15 for registered athletes, £16 for unregistered athletes. Please bring your safety kit to the registration for the kit check. Once the participant has passed the kit check, they will be permitted to clear and check their timing chip. A key box will be available for those wishing to deposit their vehicle keys during the race.

4.         KIT CHECK.

All competitors must carry the following;

  • Map of the entire race route
    • Whistle
    • Compass
    • Waterproof jacket with integral hood, with taped seams (windproof not acceptable)
    • Waterproof trousers with taped seams ( windproof not acceptable)
    • Hat and gloves (buff acceptable)
    • Emergency food, equivalent to one chocolate bar. This food must still be in your kit at the end of the race, unless you have had an emergency.
    • Foil blanket

This list is a minimum requirement. Participants will not be permitted to start the race should their presented kit not meet the above standards. Weather conditions may dictate that additional kit may be required, an additional warm layer, a survival bag, a mobile phone (recommended) for example. Participants should ensure that all possible required kit is brought to the race as weather conditions can change rapidly.

Random kit checks may take place at any stage of the race, including the finish. Anyone found without the relevant kit without good reason after having passed the initial kit check will be disqualified. Tiny bum bags will be viewed as suspicious.

Participants are advised to carry as much food and water as they think is necessary to be able to safely complete the race. There are water sources on the route but these can run dry in prolonged periods with no rainfall.


The course will be as below and as previously advertised.

START                         GRID REF       308218            (north of gate and adjacent to ‘plug hole’)

CHECKPOINT 1          GRID REF       315254            (style at Ben Crom Reservoir)

CHECKPOINT 2          GRID REF       328261            (Slieve Lamagan summit cairn)

CHECKPOINT 3          GRID REF       336271            (Cove summit cairn)

CHECKPOINT 4          GRID REF       346286            (Slieve Commedagh summit cairn)

Marshal position         GRID REF       350280            (Donard/Commedagh col) cut off 13:30

CHECKPOINT 5          GRID REF       358277            (Slieve Donard summit style)

CHECKPOINT 6          GRID REF       364257            (Chimney Rock summit cairn)

CHECKPOINT 7          GRID REF       320245            (Slieve Binnian north tor south side)

FINISH                        GRID REF       308218            (north of gate and adjacent to ‘plug hole’)

The route is not marked – participants take their own route between checkpoints, which must be visited in the order listed above. A control box will be located at each checkpoint location and participants must register their timing chip at each checkpoint. Two radio checkpoints will be installed on the course, one on Commedagh summit and the second on Chimney summit. These radio control boxes will relay timing chip information to the race organisers as each timing chip is registered.


The route between Binnian and the finish is the runners own choice. There is a stock fence running between the access road from Silent Valley to Ben Crom, on the Binnian side of the road. There are access points onto the access road from the open mountain at Ben Crom dam and at the Binnian tunnel. There are no further access points onto the road after the Binnian Tunnel entrance and race participants are expected to approach the finish along the Ben Crom access road. On no account are participants permitted to climb on this fence to gain access to the road. Any participant found climbing on this fence by race officials will be disqualified.

The fence can be straddled, vaulted or hurdled, but not climbed on. A mobile race official will be journeying along the access road during to race to check that this rule is adhered to.

The mountain terrain crossed by the race is potentially dangerous, particularly in poor weather conditions. Participants are reminded that they are responsible for their own safety during the race and map reading skills and competent compass use are essential.


A bad weather course will be selected to be run if the weather conditions are deemed to be too extreme to permit the full course to be run safely. This decision may be made the day before the event and will be published on the NIMRA website and Facebook page as soon as possible before the race.

START                         GRID REF       308218            (north of gate and adjacent to ‘plug hole’)

CHECKPOINT 1          GRID REF       315254            (style at Ben Crom Reservoir)

CHECKPOINT 2          GRID REF       332267            (Slieve Lamagan/Cove col)

CHECKPOINT 3          GRID REF       342279            (Beg/Commedagh col)

CHECKPOINT 4          GRID REF       350280            (Donard/Commedagh col) cut off 13:30

CHECKPOINT 5          GRID REF       364257            (Chimney Rock summit cairn)

CHECKPOINT 6          GRID REF       315254            (style at Ben Crom Reservoir)

FINISH                        GRID REF       308218            (north of gate and adjacent to ‘plug hole’)


A race marshal will be positioned at the Ben Crom checkpoint.

One marshalling checkpoint will be located at the Commedagh/Donard col, on the most sheltered side of the Mourne Wall. At this checkpoint all participants are required to present themselves to the marshalling position, shouting their race number out on the approach, please display your number to ensure that it is properly recorded. There is no control for your timing chip at this location.

Race marshals will be at various locations on the Ben Crom access road as participants approach the finish.

A ‘Sweeper’ Marshal will follow the race route at the back of the field until the Chimney Rock checkpoint, where the marshal will return to the marshalling point at Commedagh/Donard col.

All check points have a first aid kit, as will the Sweeper Marshal and there is first aid at the finish.

Participants must always obey marshals instructions.

To all participants, please help any runner in need.


There is a cut-off time of 13:30 at the marshalling point on the Commedagh/Donard saddle.

All participants arriving at the marshalling point after this time will be instructed to retire from the race. Participants who retire from the race must return to the start/finish area to report to the race officials and to return their electronic timing chip. The most straightforward way is to return along the bottom of the Annalong Valley. On no account must participants continue along the race route if they fail to reach the marshalling position before the cut-off time. Participants who do this will be barred from all B.A.R.F. organised events for a FIVE year period.

Those who retire due to injury, illness or exhaustion are required to accompany the marshals to Donard Park in Newcastle, where arrangements will be made to transport participants to Silent Valley.


  • 9:45             Race Registration opens;
  • 10:45           Race Registration closes;
  • 10:50           Race Briefing at the start location;
  • 11:00           Race Starts;
  • 15:30           Prize Presentation.


It is the race organiser’s intention to provide post race refreshments to all race participants. There is also a Cafe located within the Silent Valley complex.


As this is a new venue for this race and a slightly different route than previously, a few teething problems may be encountered. The race organisers welcome all feedback from participants and marshals after the race for both the race route and organisation, either through verbal communication or social media outlets. Please remember that a lot of people come together over many months to make this event happen, all of whom are volunteers, some who go to extremes in relation to time and commitment in order to make this a positive experience for all participants.

Thank you to the NIMRA committee for selecting this race as a long race counting in their Championship for this year and for their continued support to the organisers.

Thanks also due to NI Water in permitting our use of the Silent Valley complex.

Please take all of your litter home and recycle it where possible.

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