Commedagh Chase Race Report 2017

More photos by Jayne Bell

On Saturday the 30th of September the Mourne Runners hosted the last race of nine in the Podium4Sport NIMRA Champs.

The calm before

The race in question was the Commedagh Chase which is an out and back course from the bottom of Trassey Track to the top Commedagh via the Hare’s gap.

After a couple of weeks of quare wet weather the ground underfoot was greasy and tricky to negotiate.

The chasing group

Sixty hardy souls lined up on a crystal clear, but chilly, September morning to take on the challenge.

Ian Bailey and Seamus Lynch led the race up the lane. Followed by a group containing Timmy Johnson, Colly Murtagh, David Mckee, Shane Donnelly, Oisin Brennan and Alex Brennan (no relation).

Ian leads Seamus towards the finish

Initially Ian and Seamus were elbow to elbow, but as the climb progressed Ian managed to get a 30 second gap on Seamus. He held this lead all the way to the top of Commedagh and back to the finish.

The battle for third place

Following in their wake Timmy and Colly were battling for third place. They were together on Commedagh summit and managed to stay this way all the way down the tricky route back with Timmy managing to edge the sprint for the last podium place.

Shane lives

Just behind them David Mckee was gaining on the pair before giving his foot a wild prang which knocked the wind out of his sails.

Winner Winner

In the ladies race the hard woman of NI mountain running, Shileen O’Kane, led the race up the climb and back to the finish.

Martje takes no prisoners

Martje Hell and Bethany Haugh were closely matched for second, and third places, respectively.

Cross country time for Mari

Further back in the pack freshly crowned vet 70 world champion and all round legend, Jim Patterson, was running what was reputedly his last mountain race. Chapeau to Jim. I am sure we will still see him out and about training hard.


Of course not all of the action happens in the race. The Commedagh marshalls, let’s call them Richard, Gary and Sam, decided that they could walk to the top of Commedagh in an hour; bear in mind Ian Bailey ran it in 38 minutes or so. At the Hare’s gap these hapless gentleman checked their timepieces to see that the race had started and they were still along way from their position. Feeling under pressure they ran the Brandy Pad before scaling Commedagh. Thankfully they were in place two minutes before Ian arrived at the summit so disaster was averted and no one can talk about the inefficiency of the Mourne Runner organisation.

Marshalling on Commedagh

As always there was a great spread and some good banter in the Mourne Runner marquee at the finish.

All sorts of crazies out on the hills – for more info that’s ladies 🙂

Thanks to all that ran and helped.

Tough climb up

The next NIMRA event will be the prizegiving. Details to be announced soon.

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