The committee of the Denis Rankin Round will be accepting notifications of attempts on the Round from 15th June 2020, but this will be subject to you accepting and putting into practice the following advice.
We have made this decision in recognition that travelling to the Mournes for exercise and outdoor activities is now permissible under the government measures to reduce the spread of COVID- 19, but we are mindful of the advice to stay local and avoid unnecessary journeys and at all times to practice social distancing and avoid unnecessary strain on emergency services.
The nature of the Rankin Round is that social distancing on the route, or at crossing points where support teams may gather, is easily achievable. However, by any standards, it is a demanding endeavour and so there is a risk that emergencies could occur which would involve a call-out to the Mountain Rescue team. We consider that risk to be low – there has never been a call-out yet by any participant and those attempting the Round are usually very well aware of their capabilities and know when to carry on or pull out. However, we must advise those considering the Round at the moment to only do so when they are confident it is well within their capabilities so as to minimise the risk and inconvenience on the Mountain Rescue Team if a call-out was required.
We would thus recommend a thorough reconnaissance of all the sections of the course, the use of support runners, good communication with support teams and back up plans that are within your own resources in the event of an incident.
We remind you that the Denis Rankin Round is deliberately a tough challenge where navigation skills, mountain sense, and self-reliance are every bit as crucial to success as the ability to run safely over tough terrain.
Mourne Mountain Rescue Team – MI COVID Statement:
“We’re so grateful to the outdoor community for abiding by guidance and ensuring our task has been any easy one over the past few weeks, with only one team tasking since the onset of COVID. Like so many, we can’t wait for restrictions to ease and to be able to return to the outdoors to do our thing, be it walking, running, climbing or cycling and enjoying the Mournes. That said, the additional risk and subsequent challenges posed by COVID will remain and potentially increase as restrictions ease and folk start to head out again. As such, we remain compromised in how we operate, and although we will endeavour to respond to the best of our ability, COVID will ultimately dictate our response. As well as the risk to individual members and their families, COVID also poses an additional and greater risk to the entire team in that it has the potential to render the team completely inoperable. It is possible that a single team tasking could leave the Mournes with an exceptionally limited level of cover or none at all. We would therefore ask that as you decide to get outdoors again, that you do so only within Government Guidance, only if you genuinely believe you are COVID free, only if you are able to work within your personal competence and only if you have considered what to do in the event of an emergency. Also, we appreciate entirely that accidents happen regardless and we would encourage anyone that has undertaken to get outdoors, that for whatever reason believes they may need assistance, to not hesitate in calling for help. As already stated, we will always endeavour to respond to the best of our ability and often an early call for assistance makes our task so much easier with a better outcome for all involved.”