On Saturday 25th May the Mourne Runners club trio of; Ciaran McAleenan, Stephen Bickerstaff and Ricky Cowan completed a clockwise Denis Rankin Round to become members 42, 43 and 44 of the club.
Charmian and I have been coming over to the Mournes for a few years and have enjoyed the Mourne 2 Day and the various British Championship races. I had heard vaguely of the Denis Rankin Round but my interest was piqued when Konrad Rawlik set the current record in April 2017. We made a concerted effort to recce all the legs at least twice and Dale and Denise Mathers were able to offer valuable advise regarding route choice especially around the tricky Crenville area. It has been in the back of my mind for two years and so with an extended holiday planned after the 2019 British Champs race, I hoped to give it a good go.Continue reading
28 July 2018
Six weeks after making a casual comment to Brian Layton as we were leaving Tring Running Club and the two of us were stood side by side beneath the Donard arch in Newcastle a few minutes before midnight on the last Friday of July. It felt familiar but all so different. We were setting off on a joint attempt of the Denis Rankin Round – a loop of 39 of Northern Ireland’s most significant mountains – to be completed within 24 hours.
The attempt had been somewhat thrown together during the tremendous heatwave that was taking place. A start date and time had been agreed in advance to try and coax some local support and knowledge out onto the hills. The only disbenefit of the fixed start time was being at the whim of the weather…
Leg 1 – Newcastle to Silent Valley – The Dark leg
At midnight on Friday 5th October, “Newcastle AC” runners, Mark King, Stephen Wallace & Dominic McInerney, along with a team of assisting runners left Donard Car Park at the start of their attempt of “The Denis Rankin Round”.
The Denis Rankin Round (or “DRR”) is a circuit of all the major peaks in the Mourne Mountains over 400m in height, covering 90km and 6500m in ascent. The challenge is to complete this within a 24 hour period, however, in this instance, the trio were aiming for a completion time of 22 hours 42 minutes.