Mt. Claragh: A Blend of Fog, Bog, and Pure Mountain Racing Excitement

March 19, 2024

Last weekend, on Saturday, March 16th, Claragh Mountain in Millstreet became the setting for a thrilling test of endurance and skill as the IMRA (Irish Mountain Running Association) Munster Fog in the Bog league continued its journey. The event promised exactly what its name suggested: fog and bog in abundance, creating a challenge that only the boldest runners dared to tackle.

With 71 enthusiastic participants lining up at the starting point, anticipation hung thick in the air. The essence of the race was beautifully encapsulated by one succinct description: "great race, straight up, straight down, nothing fancy." This sentiment hinted at the raw, unadulterated nature of the event, where the terrain itself became both the adversary and the ally.

In the long course, spanning a challenging 7 kilometers with an elevation gain of 340 meters, runners faced an unforgiving course that tested their mettle at every step. Emerging triumphant in the fiercely contested women's category were:

  1. Kealey Tideswell
  2. Carol Finn
  3. Faye O'Riordan

Meanwhile, the men's category witnessed remarkable displays of strength and determination, with the following runners claiming the top positions:

  1. Finn Yore
  2. Henry Browne
  3. Cillian Fleming

However, amidst the seasoned veterans, two shining stars emerged, showcasing not only their talent but also their youthful vigour. Faye O'Riordan and Finn Yore, aged just 15 and 16 respectively, left everybody in awe with their exceptional performances, hinting at a promising future in the world of mountain running.

On the shorter course, Martha Kelleher emerged as the victor, navigating the rugged terrain with finesse and determination.

None of this would have been possible without the dedicated efforts of Race Director Jeremy Kelleher and the army of volunteers who selflessly braved the elements to ensure the smooth conduct of the event. Their unwavering commitment and passion for the sport shone through.

As the fog lifted and the runners caught their breath, thoughts turned to the next challenge on the horizon. The IMRA Munster race calendar marches on to Torc Wood in Killarney on Sunday, March 24th, marking the sixth race in the Coillte Winter/Spring Trail league. With each race presenting its own unique set of obstacles and triumphs, the race promises to be nothing short of exhilarating for participants and spectators alike.

Featured Image: Barbara Gill.

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