Welcome to the junior section of NIMRA. Here you will find information for juniors who are interested in mountain running and information for their parents.
Mountain running, also known as ‘hill running’ or ‘fell running’ is a sport which keeps growing every year. It caters for every type of runner from fun runner to dedicated international athletes. Races can vary from 3 km to 128 km and are run over a variety of terrains from forest tracks to rough open mountain-sides but all include a large element of climbing. Most races, but not all, involve running up and down. Improvement and confidence comes from experience and training. Hazards include slips, trips and falls on the rough terrain with potential steep sections, rocks, tufts of vegetation and holes. Junior courses are selected to minimise these risks.
The season generally runs from March to September with local, national and international races to compete in.
Juniors races are generally shorter and less exposed than senior races so similar kit to XC races would be adequate. Shoes should have a good grip and it would be worthwhile investing a dedicated pair of ‘fell’ running shoes. You should also bring a lightweight waterproof jacket and trousers, a compass, map of the course and whistle in case the race requires some safety kit. This won’t usually be a requirement for most junior races but always bring to races in case it is required. A bumbag or similar to carry these items in would also be useful.
Races for juniors are limited for distance depending on age, in order to protect younger athletes developing bodies. UK Athletics has specified the maximum length of course that juniors can race.
U13 – 3km
U14 – 5km
U16 – 7km
U18 – 10km
Additionally race organisers may impose more restrictive age limits depending on the nature of the race.
Senior races are split into the following categories:
Short – 10km or less, over 16’s may participate if course director allows.
Medium – over 10km but les than 20km. Juniors not allowed to enter.
Long – over 20km in length. Juniors are not allowed to enter.
Current races for 2020
Juniors are allowed to participate in the following races. Please see notes for individual races for age restrictions. ‘C’ denotes a NIMRA Junior Championship race, details below.
|Race||Age||Date||Organisers||Distance / climb||General Information|
|Slieve Guillon||16 and over||7th March, 2020||Armagh AC||6.3 km / 340 metres|
|Short race heading up the north ridge of Sl. Guillion. Please see NIMRA site for more info.|
|16 and over||14th March, 2020||Glen Runners||9.7 km / 370m|
|‘The Potato Run’ which heads up Glenariff mountain from the village|
|U18 World Champs Trial||16/17||2nd April, 2020||St. Malachy’s HS||5 km / 150m|
|Trial for the U18 World Champs in Ambleside, Lake District. ENTER 5KM ONLY if seeking selection|
|Hill & Dale CastlewellanC||16 and over||9th April, 2020||Newcastle AC||8km / 300m|
|Tour of Castlewellan Forest park|
|Hill & Dale Tollymore|
|14 and over||16th April, 2020||Newcastle AC||6,6 km / 330m|
|Includes NAC junior race though Tollymore to the Hill with no name.|
|Hill & Dale Sl. Martin|
|16 and over||23rd April, 2020||Newcastle AC||6.6 km / 520m|
|Up through Kilbroney woods to summit.|
|Hill & Dale BinnianC||14 and over||30th April, 2020||Newcastle AC||2.6 km / 550m|
|Includes NAC junior race. The only Uphill only race!|
|16/17||3rd May, 2020||IMRA||6.5 km / 320m|
|Must be registered with IMRA to run.|
|Hill & Dale Rocky|
|16 and over||7th May,2020||Newcastle AC||6 km / 380m|
|Tour of the West|
|16 and over||16th May,2020||Newcastle AC||9.4 km / 840m|
|The Big One!|
|Hill & Dale|
|16 and over||21st May,2020||Newcastle AC||7.2 km / 443m|
|Trassey, Slievenaglogh and Luke’s|
|Hill & Dale |
|16 and over||28th May, 2020||Newcastle AC||7.2 km / 500m|
|Donard Wood through to Millstone and down|
|Hill & Dale L. Shannagh|
|16 and over||4th June, 2020||Newcastle AC||6.7 km / 475m|
|Circuit of Lough Shannagh including Doan|
|Hill & Dale Meels |
|14 and over||11th June,2020||Newcastle AC||4.4k m / 500m|
|Traverse of Happy Valley|
|Hill &Dale |
|14 and over||19th June, 2020||Newcastle AC||5.4 km / 257m|
|The last one!|
|U18 World Cup|
|16/17||20th June 2020||WMRA||5 KM / 240m||https://www.amblesidemountaincup.com/|
|European Champs, Portugal||16 – 19||4th July 2020||European Athletics||More details to follow|
|BernaghC||16 and over||1st August. 2020||Mourne Runners||6.1 km / 680m|
|Happy Valley to MeelBeg – Bernagh -Meelmore to Happy valley|
|British & Irish Champs Trials||16 and over||22nd Aug,2020||NIMRA||TBC – provisionally 22nd August||Try out for U17 and U19 squads|
|British & Irish Champs||16 and over||12th Sept, 2020||NIMRA||TBC||U17 and U19 Squads|
League Series and Championships
Juniors have access to Newcastle AC (NAC) Hill and Dale Series and the NIMRA Junior Championship.
NAC Hill and Dale series takes place over 10 races. Anyone over the age of 16 can enter all the races and compete for the U18 title. However within the series are 4 junior races for 14 -15 year olds with the overall winner gaining the U16 title. These races run alongside the senior races and give a great insight into the skill of mountain running. Please see NAC’s website for more information.
The NIMRA Junior Championship includes the following short NIMRA races;
In addition, it includes The NAC series outlined above with the athletes best four results to count. Athletes are competing for U17 Male and Female Champion and U19 Male and Female Champion.
The Championship will be decided based on an athletes best 4 Hill & Dale results combined with the best result from one of the 3 races above.
1 Nimra + 4 Hill & Dale = NIMRA Junior Championship 2020
British and Irish Championships
The B&I Championships take place in Northern Ireland this year on the 12th of September based in the Mournes. Athletes race in either the U17 or U19 categories. The trials for this race will take place in August with dates and venues to be confirmed.
The European U20 Championships take place in Cinfaes, Portugal this year. Trials for the Irish Team are on the 3rd of May at Mt. Leinster in County Wexford. More details to follow.
World Championships U18
The World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) are holding the U18 World Championships in the English Lake District in the village of Ambleside. NIMRA are holding a trial for selection to the squad at the St. Malachy’s High School Race in Castlewellan on the 2nd of April. Athletes will compete in the 5Km race. See calender above for entry details.
World Championship U20
The World Championship takes place in Lanzarote on 13th November. Trials for the Irish Senior and U20 squads will be held in Wicklow on Saturday 3rd Oct. https://www.imra.ie/events/view/id/1961
Further details to follow.
Any questions can be directed to Phil Hodge, Junior Development Officer –
Or alternatively approach any of the Junior Sub Committee at School, club or at mountain races:-
Jackie Newton – Performance Director Athletics NI
Jim Hayes – Former International Athlete and current Mountain Running Coach
Zak Hanna – 6th in 2019 Mountain Running World Cup, WMRA Athlete Delegate
Alan Magee – Dromore AC Coach and Junior Mountain athlete parent.