Irish Mountain Running Association Winter League 2010
The IMRA Winter League is a series of five races held on Saturdays/Sundays between January and March. The race routes are well marked and are generally between 7 and 10km in length with a mild to moderate climb. The races are very popular, typlically attracting a field of between 120 and 180 runners of all ages, colours, religions, sexes etc. The cost to enter a race is €7 per race plus an annual IMRA membership of €10.
The Winter League is an ideal way to introduce yourself to trail running. The atmosphere is very friendly and welcoming and the majority of runners are there just to enjoy a trot, in fantastic scenery, in the company of like minded individuals. That said there is plenty of competition all through the field – some of the fiercest rivalries are in the M70 category where a little sculdugery is not unknown.
Last year a number of us ran the Ran the Howth Winter Race (1st race in the Winter League) and ended up getting hooked. Your intrepid reporter ended up entering 17 races – and will be doing at least that number next year. Mr. Wall was our secret weapon in Howth getting to the top of the first hill in 3rd position and finishing in a very impressive 10th.
Sean Wall, Howth Winter 2009 (photo by John Shiels, IMRA)
Over the course of last year we had many enjoyable outings to IMRA races. Some of the regulars are shown below. Unfortunately the photo does not show Mr Kilgnanon who was last send heading south from Ticknock at high speed. We also had some ladies including Brid Higgins, Kate Healy and in a fantastic debut season Helen White winner of the Lugnacoille race and Irish Team member at the European Championships in Telfes, Austria.
Kate Healy, Howth Summer 2009 (photo by John Shiels, IMRA)
Girls take note that if you can get 3 of you to turn up for these races you are almost guaranteed the team prize!! The boys will need a couple machine guns to have any hope of a similar result.
Sportsworld Hill Runners, Crone Woods 2009
For more details on this series see the IMRA website by clicking here.
By Paul Mitchell