Dargle Four Peaks Race 2024: Innovation, Navigation, and Nature

April 16, 2024

Last weekend witnessed the thrilling spectacle of the IMRA Dargle Four Peaks race, an event that has steadily gained acclaim since its inception in 2022. Located amidst the picturesque landscapes of Co Wicklow, this innovative Leinster Championship race challenges participants to conquer four distinct peaks: Djouce, Maulin, Tonduff South, and War Hill. What sets this race apart is its unique format where each runner can craft their route, selecting the order of peaks and the paths in-between as they see fit.

On the brisk Saturday morning of April 13th, nearly 60 eager participants embarked on this arduous journey, greeted by clear skies and a brisk westerly wind propelling them forward. However, the weather's mood swiftly changed, throwing fierce squalls that tested the resolve and navigational skills of the runners, who relied on traditional map and compass navigation due to the prohibition of GPS devices.

Enda Cloake emerged as the victor in the men's race, displaying exceptional pace and setting a blazing course record of 1:32:40, a feat made even more impressive against the challenging weather conditions. Following closely behind were Eddie O'Connor and Joe Warnes, who also showcased stellar performances securing the 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.

The women's race witnessed an equally thrilling competition, with the top three finishers separated by a mere 31 seconds. Kathryn Fitzpatrick, a seasoned mountain guide, clinched her first IMRA victory with a time of 2:27:48, showcasing both endurance and navigational acumen. Defending champion Orla McEvoy closely trailed in 2nd place, a mere five seconds behind Fitzpatrick, with Bernie Byrne securing the 3rd position, just 26 seconds behind McEvoy.

Beyond the competitive spirit, the race volunteers demonstrated a commendable commitment to environmental stewardship by collecting several large bin liners of rubbish from the course, which were then sorted and recycled. This eco-conscious effort underscores IMRA's dedication to leaving minimal environmental impact, preserving the natural beauty of the race's backdrop.

As the Dargle Four Peaks race concluded with exhilarating triumphs and displays of endurance, the Leinster Championship marches on, with the upcoming Circuit of Avonbeg race slated for Sunday, May 26th, promising another riveting chapter in Ireland's vibrant mountain running scene.

Featured Image: Orla McEvoy , Kathryn Fitzpatrick, Bernie Byrne. Photo credit: Caoimhin MacMaolain

Related News