Run The Line, is a fundraising event for The Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team. Although relatively new to the mountain running calendar, it has established itself as the top winter race. This year’s staging attracted 850 runners from around the country to the short (13k) and long (26k) course races.
As a regular IMRA runner, I have to say that Run The Line is superbly organised from its base at the Glencullen Adventure Centre. I could list all the good stuff that happens to make the race success but I think what stands out overall is the effort by endless numbers of Wicklow Mountain Rescue volunteers and their families. Before, during and after the race they ensured everything went smoothly and they did it with a smile. We just had to turn up and run! And run we did, and climb and hike and scramble up and down winding fire tracks and stoney heather bordered trails, through stunning woodland with beautiful carpets of leaves underfoot, across babbling streams and of course over the grassy and sometimes muddy Dublin Mountain pastures – really just a hilly version of the Sportsworld Sunday run in the Phoenix Park!
Seven Sportsworlders made it to the starting line this year (after maxing out Martin and Peter’s car batteries huddling around their heaters until the last minute) and everyone to a man and woman had a great day out.
Eileen as the club’s sole representative in the short course race did us proud. Her time of 1h.28 saw her home 4th in her age category. Grainne excelled in her first-ever mountain race. completing the long course in 3h20. That’s a brilliant time for a novice when you think of the 840m total climb that goes with the 26k! And that’s saying nothing about the 840m descent which was a challenging mix of terrains that meant you had to be 100% focused to avoid a tumble (my post-race research revealed that Peter was the only one of us to stay on his feet for the duration!).
Andrea came home in 2h.46 for the long course which saw her claim a fantastic 6th place overall in the women’s results. I have to tip my hat to Denise who I hadn’t seen since an IMRA half marathon back at the end of March, which she tells me was her last race. 3h.23 is some brave effort in that context. Fair play.
Though we were outnumbered 4 to 3 (Martin, Peter and yours truly) the guys had adventurous outings. Martin flew around in 2h.33 using his unique technical ability to speed up on the descents (tumbling :), while us two Masters hung out up in the hills together for most of the day, coming home in 2h.47 (Peter) and 2h.51 (your reporter). We were buzzing afterwards (probably helped by the copious quantities of energy-enhancing jelly babies doled out at the drink stations) and savoured our hot soup with chocolate muffins (yes, soup and muffins, you read correctly) around the welcoming braziers at the finish line.
IMRA – https://www.imra.ie/ – is the Irish Mountain Running Association. Join up and enjoy the challenge and beauty of running the hills and mountains that are on your doorstep. Chairman Michael is a big fan and asked me to mention that it is not always cold and muddy (who is he kidding), it’s great training for cross country racing with the club and you get to be in the Sportsworld IMRA WhatsApp group (34 and growing!).