On the way to Northern Ireland for work, I was looking up possible long running routes for a day off I had two and a half weeks later. I only then came across the Denis Rankin round, and the story of Denis Rankin himself. I’m amazed it’s not more known about in England, but hopefully, it will be in time. I had been to the Mournes once before and had run up Slieve Donard in the mist, so didn’t really know the route at all. However, it looked inspired, and since the only real downside was the chance of failure, I planned to give it a go. Continue reading
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
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.