Cunningham and Dickson win Seven Sevens
It is hard to believe that we are in August with this changeable weather but that didnt stop runners choosing to take on the Seven Sevens.At around 19 miles and 8700 feet of climbing you know the Seven Sevens is going to test any competitor. The race starts at the Shimna College and this year the direction of travel was Clockwise around the mountains meaning a very hard slog up from the Dam to Meelbeg. The weather was humid and the cloud would hide all of the peaks meaning all that navigation practice would be tested.
The race would start and a 4 runner group would form at the front with Adam Cunningham, Joshua Mcatee, Shane Lynch and Jonny Steede swapping places. They say this race isnt won on the first mountain and many found that out as the tough course took its toll. With the amount of rain we have had the terrain from the Dam to Meelbeg was always going to test the legs. At the front it would be Adam Cunningham from Mourne Runners who would make light work of this and pull a sizeable advantage which he would hold until the end completing it in a time of 3hrs 54mins. Joshua Mcatee made a telling break on his way to the dam and would hold off Shane Lynch for second in a time of 4hrs 6mins. The silver lining for Shane Lynch was that he would claim the Vet 40 prize for his efforts.
In the ladies race Ester Dickson would take the lead early on and hold that throughout the course and finish in a time of 4hr 59mins. Bernadette Quinn would take second place with Alexa James completing the podium. Ester’s finished in 14th place showing she is still the lady to beat on the long mountain courses.
For the rest of the runners they were plenty of stories of going too hard too early and the wheels coming off, epic stories of people almost being swallowed whole by the mud as the traversed across to Meelbeg from the Dam and the usual complaints of faulty compasses (a common fault when the mist comes down).
What everyone can agree on was that the spectacular event was well organised with Race Director Jim Brown working with BARF and the LVO. They say hero’s don’t all have capes, and it should never be forgotten to thank the many volunteers who gave up their time to marshal at the checkpoints, sort out the results, feed the competitors and look after any first aid issues.
The results can be found here and if you head to the NIMRA facebook you can find a few photos.