NIMRA 2022 Championship Preview
Time to get the calves warmed up as the clock is ticking down to the start of the 2022 Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association Championship, with just over a month to go until the first race in March beginning the series. After a very brief null & void 1-race championship in 2020 (right before the first lockdown), 2021s race series was able to be completed through a (restrictions permitting) condensed timeframe between June and September. Despite the hurdles thrown in the way of the organising committee, credit must be given for ensuring all races went ahead smoothly and the background effort was clear to be seen and much appreciated by all the competitors.
Last year Mourne Runners took a clean sweep on the podium in the men’s championship with Timothy Johnston, Adam Cunningham and Jonny Scott leading the way, whilst in the women’s championship a familiar winner crowned with Esther Dickson (Newry AC) topping the table ahead of Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers) and Debbie McConnell (Jog Lisburn). This year we are hopeful a combination of factors should see new runners join the series progressing from road or cross country to fell. As well an ever-improving field of runners already there and experience acquired, will no doubt be looking to strike higher positions on the league table or their age category, and we might see some familiar faces not seen for a while returning for another rattle at it! An increase in participating numbers & clubs which makes the races bigger and better for the coming year is always welcome!
The calendar at present has the 9-race championship spread over 6 months from March to September (along with some additional races in between) hosted by various clubs across the north. The majority of these take place in the Mournes, varying in distance of short category (under 10k), medium category (10-20k) and long category (20k+). In order to qualify for the championship standings your best result in 5 out of the 9 races below is counted to the league standings, with at least one to be completed in each of the three categories, and two more of your choice. Feel free to enter all races below to give yourself the best chance! To sign up to 2022 membership please visit our website www.nimra.org.uk and our Facebook & Twitter pages will also regularly update you to links to the online entries to each race once they go live, as well as results & photos later on the day of the event.
Saturday 12th March: Glenariff (Short)
Saturday 19th March: The Fallows (Medium)
Thursday 28th April: Slieve Martin H&D (Short)
Saturday 21st May: Annalong Horseshoe (Long)
Sunday 19th June: Flagstaff to Carlingford (Medium)
Saturday 2nd July: Spelga Skyline (Long)
Saturday 6th August: Seven Sevens (Long)
Thursday 18th August: Scrabo Hill Race (Short)
Saturday 24th September: Buzzards Roost (Medium)
Saturday 26th March: Slieve Gullion – Race Entry Open
Saturday 9th April: Mourne Seven Sevens (British Championship)
Saturday 4th June: Cairncastle Classic Fell Race
Saturday 17th/Sunday 18th September: Mourne 2 Day Marathon
*At present one race entry is open which NIMRA are delighted to announce hosting a round of the British championship which is the classic Mourne Seven Sevens race on Saturday 9th April, please follow the links on the website to enter, entries are selling fast for this one! Will follow up soon with race previews for Glenariff & The Fallows, our first two races in the calendar in due course.