Turkey Trot delivers close racing

With Christmas Day left overs still sitting in the fridge a collection of 73 brave souls decided that running off the turkey over the Mountains of Mourne is just what is required. The host club BARF have always put on a brilliant race and this year would be the same. Due to the new start/finish location at the magnificent Meelmore Lodge the course has been modified slightly making the length slightly shorter, I didn’t hear too many complaints about that. The other good news is new course means new record and a guaranteed PB.

The weather always plays a part and the rain over night left the rivers swollen. Thankfully the mist lifted before the race began and it could even be described as pleasant running conditions.

As is the way these days the full Covid 19 protocols were in place which would see a new rolling start instead of the usual mass start. Once the runners had dibbed it would be Eoin Lennon and Paul Pruzina leading the way with Adam Cunningham not far behind. The runners headed into the mist of their way to the Meelmore/Meelbeg col it would be Eoin holding a slender lead as he hit the run home through the wet and slippery happy valley decent. With Paul closing the finish I am sure was a welcome site as Eoin would claim the victory and the record in a time of 38min 41sec. Paul Pruzina would take second with Adam Cunningham completing the podium.

Stefanie Ervine taking the ladies title

In the ladies race it was a Stefanie Ervine from Keswick AC who would take up the lead on the climb. It would be Rachel Collins that would keep Stefanie honest all the way to the Meelmore/Meelbeg col. Alas Stefanie would prove too strong on the decent for Rachel and take a convincing win in 52min 33secs. Karen Wilton would put in an impressive performance to take the final spot on the podium.

Eoin Lennon picking up the winners trophy from Jim Brown

Finally with all the runners safely home and everything cleaned and put away it was time to wish everyone a Happy New Year.

Results can be found 2021 Results – Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (nimra.org.uk) with the photos on BARF | Facebook and NIMRA | Facebook facebook pages

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