Shane’s Record-Breaking Winter Round Report

I get great enjoyment in the planning of challenges like the Rankin round. With living within an hour of the Mourne’s getting out for recce’s was not going to be a problem and as an orienteer spending time looking over the Harvey’s map is a pleasant pastime. My first recce’s were way back in July 2018 when I split the round in two ~40km loops at Loughshannagh. Completing the South West half one day and the North Eastern half three days later (with the exception of Meelbeg and Meelmore). I summed up then that both these sections were very different in nature, the SW less hilly but rougher, but with some fast trail running. While the NE was hillier but well trod with some more technical steep descents.

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Paul O’Callaghan’s Mid-Winter Solstice Round

Anti-Clockwise Denis Rankin Round

39 mountain summits

Solo. Unsupported. Map and Compass.

20 hours 48 minutes

Although myself and Hazel were staying in the Avoca hotel, beside Donard car park, getting to the start at the White Arch proved a bit tricky when the time came. It was after 1am, and people were spilling out of the pubs at the end of the last Saturday night before Christmas. When we opened the hotel door to leave, a young guy, very much worse for wear, tottered in, clueless of where he was, and we had to turn him around and head him down the street. As we walked toward the car park with ten minutes to spare, we came upon a number of lads in doorways, at least one of them passed out, and there were boy racers flying up and down the car park. We decided to go back and wait in the doorway of the hotel, and with 2 minutes to go we flew around to the arch. On our way we passed two lads, one shouting incredulously “are you going for a run?” When I replied “yes”, he laughed and shouted “my mate just ran into a lamp post!” Hastily we took a picture, counted down and then ran in the opposite direction.

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