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.
Mark King, Dominic McInerney & Stephen Wallace at the start of their “DRR”.
The annual member’s presentation took place at last weekend’s Mourne Mountain Marathon. The certificates were presented by Madeline Rankin.
Its 2:45 am and the Slieve Donard carpark is practically empty as Nigel, Denis, Robbie & I line up under the arch and set off on our merry way. It’s a beautiful night, the temperature is much warmer than expected and the visibility is excellent. As we went up the Slieve Donard path, I was thinking to myself how long it had been since I had done a 24-hour event. The banter was good as we chit chatted and remarked how obsessed we had gotten with the weather over the past few weeks. This night was to be cold per the weather forecast but that wasn’t to be the case. Off came my jacket after 30 minutes and there it would stay until the last 2 hours or so. Indeed we were blessed with the weather. Continue reading
On Sunday 5th August, Karina set off on a clockwise round and lowered the existing female record by 4 minutes.
For umpteen reasons, we decided the weekend of 21st/22nd July had to be the one when we would give the Denis Rankin Round a go. Off the back of a number of recent hill race events, we were hoping our knowledge of the Mournes and the sheer pedigree of the team (terrier, greyhound, red setter and family labrador) would see us over the route.
At 2am, the first challenge was getting through the arch without getting knocked down by an irate taxi driver. We took off across the car park, and proceeded to head in four different directions, looking like a scene from Monty Python’s Silly Olympics. A super start.
What else would you be doing at 2am?