Hugh & Leslie’s Round Report

Familiarity with the path is lost when the sun sets. In daylight your spatial awareness uses the landscape, the horizon and the route ahead. Now all you have is a small pool of light from the head torch and a compass bearing.

Slieve Donard was easy navigation, up and down to the Brandy Pad. Slightly more concentration was then required to clear Chimney Rock and find a route to Rocky.

Continue reading

Round Report

Friday 9th/Saturday 10th August 2019 

Intro: Adam Ervine

“The Denis Rankin Round” – those words were first muttered about 2 years ago as a pipe- dream by me, but I have learnt that Dave just saw that as a window into getting an attempt lined up. Lesson – don’t joke with Dave about endurance challenges. As the chat got a little more serious this year we quickly had a group of 7 people keen to take the challenge on. In terms of experience the group was fairly varied. At the higher end, previous race experience included the Bob Graham Round, TDS and Dragon’s Back while at the lower end the Annalong Horseshoe was the biggest feather in my cap. This led to some trepidation in the lead up but before starting we were all of the understanding that we would stick together as best as possible. After the Hill and Dale Series finished Sarah and I turned our attention to planning recces of the course. Our preparation was pretty thorough with Google Docs being invaluable in keeping the other 5 (all based in England) in the loop. However, judging by some of the group’s knowledge of the route on the day though, maybe the amount of detail I had gone into ensured they didn’t read it at all! In hindsight what might have been handy in the recces would have been a personal cold shower, a blindfold and constant ankle covering groundwater throughout just to mimic the conditions on the day. The recces were great fun though and the highlight had to be coming off Donard with the night torches and startling half a dozen deer as they went scampering off through the forest. The week prior to the attempt was filled with some intense weather watching. Thunderstorms and heavy rain were to be the recurring theme but unfortunately as the majority of our group were coming from England, we had no option but to forge ahead as planned. We went for a 21.30 start, which went against what most Members had done previously but from the previous experience of the group, getting the dark over when you are freshest and hopefully finishing in the light held an advantage. In hindsight the early navigation in the dark was very tricky but given we were in cloud throughout the first three legs, it being light would not have made much difference in any case. We arrived at Donard Car Park half an hour before our departure time and we were all full of nervous energy. Waterproofs were donned, trackers turned on (cheers Rowan and Eddie for sorting us with those) and the obligatory photo at the arch taken. 21.30 and we were off. Safe to say, our bodies were to feel slightly different at this spot nearly 24 hours later. 

Continue reading

Denis Rankin Round: Discovering My Ultra-Ego

By Lee O’Boyle

It was back in February, on a cold evening, Micky had arrived at the hub in Mallusk and I could tell he wasn’t himself.  When I questioned him, it transpired that he was planning to do the Denis Rankin Round that weekend, but his support had fallen through and he was going to cancel.

Little did I know that my actions over the next 10 minutes would ultimately set me on a path of discovery of my own over the next 5 months…

Continue reading