WPFG NIMRA events this coming weekend
The WPFG touches down in Northern Ireland this week. The games is a biennial event for serving and retired police, fire, prison and border security officers. WPFG is the third largest international multi-sport event in the world and will be the largest ever sporting event to take place in Northern Ireland. In 2013 there will be 56 sports held at 41 venues across Northern Ireland.
As part of the games NIMRA will be hosting two races. They will both be held on Saturday August 3rd. The first is a testing trail run around Donard Wood which starts from Donard
Park at 10:00am. The second is gruelling race over Donard and Commedagh which kicks off at 2:00pm.
The entries for the races have been coming in from all over the world including firefighters from Brazil, Trinadad and Tobago and New Zealand and police officers from Pakistan, the United States and all over Europe. It is unlikely that a lot of the competitors will have encountered terrain quite like the Mournes before so it should make for some interesting racing.
In both races there is a local interest with a couple of our finest expected to battle for podium positions. In the trail race Newry’s Don Travers is targeting gold. Don recently won the Sea2Sky race over similar ground and must start as one of the favourites. In the mountain race we have Robbie Bryson who is one of Northern Ireland’s all time greats. Robbie is now in his fifties but don’t let that fool you; he can still run very well in the mountains. Over the years Robbie has set course records on most NIMRA races, a lot these still stand today. He holds the record for the quickest ascent in the Snowden race in a time of 39 minutes. This also still stands today. In his 40s Robbie was the Masters World Champion. To my knowledge Robbie only ran one race in Northern Ireland last year; he turned up at the Hill and Dales Slieve Binnian race and promptly beat all comers. As you can see this man has pedigree and must have podium aspirations.
As well as the mountain running there will be mountain biking events in Rostrevor and the BBC will be down in Donard Park reporting on all of the happenings. It is looking like being an exciting weekend. There is no charge for spectating and everyone is welcome to come down to cheer on the international competitors. Further details on the races and times can be found in the events section on the NIMRA website (www.nimra.org.uk).