Flagstaff to Carlingford [L] (C, UC)

Flagstaff to Carlingford [L] (C, UC)




You must be member of IMRA to qualify for the Ulster Championship

Sunday 16th June 2024 @ 11am
Category: Long
Distance: 11 miles
Climbing: 3000 feet

Race Route (SEE MAP BELOW)

Race Route

The race follows the ridge of the Cooley mountains to Slieve Foye and hence Carlingford. The route is about 10.3 miles long, with 3400 feet of climb (depending on route choices!).

Start: about 150 metres up the road from the track entrance GR 112194


1. Anglesey Mt 104176

2. Clermont 099171

3. Black Mountain 099158

4. Carnawaddy Mountain(Cairn) 113139

5. Windy Gap 131136

6. Slieve Foye 169120

Finish: Carlingford (lane into main street) 188116


Armagh AC’s “Flagstaff to Carlingford Mountain Race” takes place on Sunday 16th June 2024. This is a 10.3 mile (16.5km) Mountain Race with approximately 3,400 feet (1000m) of ascent and as with all mountain races navigation and local knowledge are essential skills. This particular route and terrain is vulnerable to poor visibility with mist and poor weather. Even in favourable weather conditions. So, full body cover will be required along with essential kit. Race Director will undertake a mandatory Kit Check before boarding Coach to Start. Free Coach Transfer to Start for first 70 Athletes Registered. Unfortunately, no Entries on the Day. Min. age is 17 years old. Registration from 0930Hrs at Tourist Information Office Car Park, Carlingford.Coach to Start leaves Tourist Information Car Park at 1030Hrs (sharp).Prizegiving & Refreshments afterwards at The Foy Centre, Dundalk St. Carlingford, A91 D42A.


Archaeological monuments

If you are pre-viewing the route you may be interested in the following:

Along the route of the Flagstaff to Carlingford Mountain Race The most famous monument in the area is Clontygora Court Tomb, Grid Ref 098 194, over 6000 years old) situated near the Flagstaff view point which is not that far from where the race originally started in 1980. Unlike a lot of other ancient monuments, Clontygora Court Tomb hasn’t been completely destroyed by stone robbers and builders although many of it’s stones were removed to build the lock on the Newry Canal.


Checkpoint 3 on the summit of Black Mountain – grid reference 098 157 – is called Clermont Cairn after a local 19th Century landlord of fairly ill repute but the correct name is Carn na breid naire – the heap of shamed stones. It’s a much ruined passage tomb over 4500 years old. There are lots of other sites of interest near this cairn including Lissachiggel (the fort of the rye) which is an old circular stone – built village enclosure containing foundations of stone huts. Then there is the Cadgers’ Road a path along which herring fishermen from Omeath more than 100 years ago carried creels of fish loaded on donkeys.


Checkpoint 4 on Carnavaddy Mountain – grid reference 113 138 – is another 4500 year old tomb named after the burial place of Finn’s dog Bran – Carnavaddy translates as the Hound’s Cairn.


Checkpoint 5 is near ‘the Long woman’s grave’ and the site of another destroyed court cairn – it was destroyed during road building operations when the stones were used as road foundations. There is a very romantic but sad story about this site associated with Lorcan O’Hanlon one of the O’Hanlon sept of South Armagh who married a Spanish lady of high position. When O’Hanlon brought her to the Windy Gap to show her his vast estates of which he had boasted she fainted and died from the shock at the sight of the barren bogs and mountains all around.


Of course the finish of the race is in Carlingford which is full of Norman remains including the 13th Century Castle dating from 1210 popularly known as King John’s Castle but built originally by Hugh De Lacy sometime before the arrival of King John. However Carlingford has many more historic monuments dating from this period and later and of course there is a local tradition that St Patrick landed here on his 2nd visit to Ireland and also went from here to preach on the Isle of Man.


Note: The forest path halfway around will be out of bounds this year. Those who use it know the path I am talking about. This will be announced at the race briefing.


There is a new map of the Cooleys available from East West mapping:


Info from their website:

3. Delivery Information:

Postage & packing cost to Ireland & Northern Ireland is as follows: €3.00 for orders up to €16 in value, €4.00 for orders €16 to €30, €6.00 for orders €30 to €50, postage free for orders over €50. If ordering from Northern Ireland, specify country as Ireland and Carlow for county. Otherwise fill in full address.

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