Kilbroney Youth Trial 2016 Report

by Phil Hodge

10 enthusiastic young athletes competed in the N.Ireland Youth Mountain Running Trials in Kilbroney Forest Park today. They were competing for a place on the team heading to the International Mountain Running Youth Cup in June.

The boys had been invited to participate, based on their performance in the Ulster Schools XC Championships earlier in the year.

The lads prepped to run

The lads prepped to run

Starting from the Forest Rangers hut in Kilbroney Forest Park, the athletes made their way up to Fiddlers green, turning left onto a track that would come out at the bottom of the upper carpark. From there it was onto the infamous ‘zig zags’ and the summit of Slieve Martin.

The course is 4km in length and climbs in total approximately 500m.


The early pace was set by Jack O’Farrell of St Colmans, Newry, closely matched by Peter Gracey from Aquinas GS, Belfast. They exited in that order at the Upper carpark with Scott McKeag in 3rd.

It was after exiting the carpark onto the ‘zig zags’ that Scott used his fell running experience, climbing strongly and overtaking the two in front.

He summited Slieve Martin in a time of 25:02 closely followed 5 seconds later by Jack O’Farrell, who in spite of his early pace finished strongly 5 seconds ahead of Peter Gracey.
Aaron Harrison was next followed by Ethan Dunn to complete the top 5.

Congratulations to all the lads on strong performances, especially from those who haven’t done a hill race before, and can’t get their head around the fact that you can win walking!

Thank-you so much to the marshals and parents who helped out, and made the event such a success!

Youth Mountain Running Trial 14th May 2016, Kilbroney.
Position Race no. Name Time
1 53 Scott McKeag 25:02
2 51 Jack O’Farrell 25:07
3 60 Peter Gracey 25:12
4 54 Aaron Harrison 25:44
5 56 Ethan Dunn 26:16
6 57 Tom Magee 28:00
7 52 Brendan McKey 28:23
8 58 Conor McNally 29:36
9 55 Conor Gorman 30:30
10 59 Eoghan O’Callaghan 33:15

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