Commedagh Chase Race Report 2017
On Saturday the 30th of September the Mourne Runners hosted the last race of nine in the Podium4Sport NIMRA Champs.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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 Hell and Bethany Haugh were closely matched for second, and third places, respectively.
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.
As always there was a great spread and some good banter in the Mourne Runner marquee at the finish.
Thanks to all that ran and helped.
The next NIMRA event will be the prizegiving. Details to be announced soon.