by Tim Murphy

Long Course 26k

Climb  1,000m

There was an eclectic mix of clashing colours gathered at Glencullen Adventure Park, on a bright November 20 morning – bandanas and buffs; trail shoes and runners; shorts and leggings; sunglasses and tattoos; rain jackets and t-shirts. 1,800 feet ready to tackle either the 13k or 26k route. I am writing about the 26k race, whilst Olive has the honour of telling us about the 13k of fun.

The Run the Line race raises funds for the Dublin & Wicklow Mountain Rescue Team (DWMRT). This great team of about 60 highly trained volunteers provide a 24-hour service to respond to emergencies in the upland areas of Dublin, Wicklow and Louth. Most of the Run the Line (RTL) participants enjoy the beauty that these areas offer –  hiking / running / camping / cycling / picnicking in the area, and value the service provided by DMWRT.

It was great to meet up with Neil (and Olive and Eileen 13k) before the race started.

The 26k race was first to set off. Along with myself, was Caroline Conway, Neil Purdy and Shay Brady.

1.5k uphill before a steep climb (walking) and a levelling off, as we move towards Fairy Castle. Terrain is rocky underfoot at this stage. A tough start, with the biggest climb, and a few small bottlenecks, before the field spreads out. Down from the Fairy Castle high point, towards Tibradden next. The 13k crew branch to the right, towards Ticknock.  Into Tibradden Woods the 26k crew go, for a fun downhill run on the pine; twisting and turning; jumping roots and the odd mucky patch. We arrive at Pine Forest, and cross the Road and Owendoher River, before tackling the long drag up Cruagh; and then the reward of a fun fast downhill stretch, jumping rocks en route.

Half way reached 😊. I have enough water – no need to stop at the water station. Feeling stronger than I had expected, given my patchy training. But I know there is the challenging climb up Tibradden again, this time following the waymarked trail. Past the ‘Tibradden Cairn’ and heading on up towards Fairy Castle, we branch off towards Ticknock, and follow the 13k route all the way home. I pick up speed on the slight downhill towards Ticknock, and start taking encouragement from the fact that I am passing people; and that I haven’t passed out yet. I know that the bulk of the climbing is behind us. We are on lovely trails – can now see Dublin below us, and the sea to the East. I am wondering whether Olive is finished her race and is now enjoying a sea-induced recovery. Before I know it, I shudder to a walk at the commencement of the final big climb. 1k up and ready for the final 2.4k down. I am feeling the legs now, and it seems like I am not alone with this.  Had I known that Caroline was not too far ahead of me, I might have put in an all-out effort to say ‘hi’ (though I suspect I wouldn’t be able to talk). Shay is long finished, by this stage !

Was a fabulous day out. Shay finished in an amazing 15th place overall.  Caroline was an awesome 10th Lady home. Neil and I prioritised the views. Indeed, I think Neil was brushing up on his photography, and is flying with that, judging by the photo I saw. Run Glencullen 18k is up on 18 June 2022. Another great run. Nice technical t-shirt. Early bird registration open now. Put IMRA 2022 annual membership on your Christmas wish list 😊. €10. Races throughout the year €7 usually.

Wherever you run. Whatever your speed. Have fun 😊.