Turkey Trot 2021

The Turkey Trot will return this year after last year’s Covid surge prevented us from putting it on. It will be on its traditional date of the 26th December (a Sunday this year) but the big change will be the starting venue. Meelmore Lodge (grid ref 305 307) will be our base this year as it can provide adequate parking and toilet facilities and also allows us access onto the hills to join up with the traditional Turkey Trot route. 

Unfortunately Covid is still with us so we have decided not to have a prize giving or mulled wine this year but we hope you will still enjoy a jaunt in the hills to burn off some of those excess festive calories. Off course this is all dependant on what the current regulations are in December so keep an eye on the website for updates. Entry will be on line in due course. Also a parking fee will be due for each vehicle parked at Meelmore Lodge and will be collected on the day by the proprietors. 

The race will start in the field behind Meelmore Lodge and follow the lane way up to the gate in the wall beside the Mourne Way. From here runners will circuit Slieve Meelmore in a clockwise direction, initially working their way towards the Trassey Track to get to the ford (grid ref 314 296) which will be marshaled. From this point onwards the race is effectively on the original course, climbing to the col between Bernagh and Meelmore, (grid ref 309 282), then traversing round to the second col between Meelmore and Meelbeg (grid ref 303 281). This section will be marked with canes and both cols will be marshaled. The fast descent of the Happy valley leads to a marshaled marker close to the style at the bottom of the valley (grid ref 294 294). The final section follows the Mourne way back to the turn off to the lane leading back to Meelmore Lodge and the finish line. The total distance is 7.5 km with 400m of climbing which is a kilometer shorter and 60m less climbing than the original course, so new records beckon. 

As this is a winter race it is essential that all competitors arrive prepared for any eventuality, so make sure you have appropriate clothing plus a good water proof jacket and leggings, hat, gloves, emergency foil blanket or bag, map, compass, whistle and some energy food. If you have them bring some safety pins as well for your race number.

Have a great Christmas and looking forward to seeing plenty of Turkey Trotters on Boxing Day.

Jim Brown.

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