The Mourne Skyline MTR 2016

Flying back from Belfast I get chance to reflect on the past few days. The Mourne Skyline is a 35km race covering the nine highest peaks in Norther Ireland, its brutal and punishing on your body, but worth every hour of pain to cross the finish line.

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The race started at the seafront where 200 competitors huddle together like penguins waiting for the chance to start and get warm. From the start line you could see the black clouds covering the course and it turned out to be a tough day.

Within minutes of leaving the start line we got hammered by the weather, heavy rain and gusting winds didn’t ease off for about an hour, leaving all the competitors soaked to the core.

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Photo by Ian Corless

After eight mountains ticked off it was the last and biggest Slieve Donard, this would be the last climb of the day but still hard on already fatigued legs.

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Photos by Ian Corless

After 30km and more ascent than I can comprehend it was time for the descent, the small granite blocks that make up the path were slippery and unforgiving if you misplaced your foot, it was not a time to lose focus.

Clearing the trees the finishing line came into view and the suffering was over. Hours of fatigue and pain end in a wave of elation and joy, you have finished and its a great feeling

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Photo by Jayne Bell

Huge thanks to the organizers and marshals for staying out in some terrible weather just to keep us safe. Great atmosphere and one of my favorite events of the year.

 

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Photo credits

Ian Corless www.iancorless.com

Jayne Bell – Mourne Skyline MTR 

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