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A new print run will take place of our sky blue seamless neckwear asap.
This is the last print run of this colour way and a new design will be produced for 2015.
Delivery is expected, w/c Nov 3rd.
Please email use the form below to order. Costs are £12 inc P&P within UK
Misty skies, gale force winds, relentless climbing, technical terrain and an incredible field of runners made the inaugural Mourne Skyline MTR a day to remember.
Concluding Skyrunning UK’s first year, the Mourne Skyline MTR really was a fitting end to what has been an incredible year. The course, organisation and the field of runners made this a special and unforgettable day in the mountains.
The addition of Skyrunner® World Series champion (2013 and 2014) Stevie Kremer did provide some icing on the Mourne cake. However, ‘Pocket Rocket’ was not isolated… Jo Meek, British Ultra Trail Champion, provided more than enough pressure on the Colorado based Skyrunner on what proved to be one of the most exciting ladies mountain races I have followed for some time. Sharon Trimble, Diane Wilson and Shileen O’Kane would bring local knowledge and fell experience to the mix making this a classic in the making.
As expected, Kremer pushed hard from the off and after leaving the Donard Forest the trail became steeper and more technical playing to the Colorado runners strength. Although a gap opened up, it was nothing substantial and Meek maintained a gap keeping Kremer in sight. After passing over the saddle, runners were hit by gale force winds and low cloud as they headed out to Slieve Bearnagh, Slieve Meelmore and then an anticlockwise loop that would eventually return them to Slieve Meelmore and then run back to the finish. Conditions were brutal… thankfully the previous nights torrential rain had disappeared. Had it not, runners and marshals would have had a very testing day!
Wilson, Trimble and O’Kane in many respects were running for third such was the pace of the front two ladies. On the flat, Meek would catch Kremer and then pull away. The relentless and rollercoaster nature of the terrain and mountains would then allow Kremer to pull back and pass on the climbs. This to and froing made for an exhilarating competition of willpower, mental strength and endurance. The latter half of the course, on paper, looked made for Kremer as climb and after climb would allow her to open a gap. However, Meek was having none of it. Running with blinkered vision, Meek fought the technical terrain and chased. ‘I was swearing at the terrain and my own frustrations in managing my technical ability,’ said Meek. Kremer was having no easy ride too, ‘that is the hardest race I have ever done! Harder than Zegama Aizkorri it was just brutal. Relentless climbing, technical and with the wind it was just soooo hard!’
After CP4, Kremer opened up a gap and extended this on the steep ascent to Slieve Commedagh. Battered by the winds, Kremer put her head down and now pushed hard to the highest point of the course, Slieve Donard. Turning at the summit and descending down the lead extended and on the final technical descent to Newcastle the gap really opened up eventually providing Kremer a winning time of 4:24.2 to Meek’s 4:30.3. The time gaps don’t reflect how close this race was! Post race, Meek was very philosophical, ‘I really did push and race hard but the relentless ankle twisting and gnarly terrain beat me down and in the latter stages as Kremer pulled away I eased off a little knowing that 2nd place was secure.’ Diane Wilson placed 3rd producing a great run on home soil in a time of 4:45.4.
In the men’s race, local man, Allan Bogle pushed hard in the early stages closely followed by Kim Collison, Eoin Lennon and just 5 seconds back, J Marshall Thomson. It was close, and unlike the ladies race a winner looked likely to come from any of the front contenders. Particularly when one looked at the contenders looking for honours. Ally Beaven, David Steele and Paul Navesy all showed previous results that would mean they could never be ruled out of a podium place.
British Ultra Trail Champion, Collison showed his class at descending and moved away from the other men but Lennon was never going to relinquish the lead without a fight. These two fought a hard battle all day and Lennon showed the wounds of war as blood tricked down his leg.
Revelation of the race, was Colorado based J Marshall Thomson (Stevie’s fiancé) who raced in the top-5 all day and despite having never raced on ‘typical’ UK terrain pulled out a top-drawer run to place 3rd. ‘That was some of the most crazy terrain I have ever run. It was relentless. The terrain was beyond technical. You had no idea where to put your feet and I can’t tell you how many times I fell over… I loved it!’ said Thomson.
Collison won the race in 3:57.0 an incredible time in very tough conditions. Ryan Maxwell, race director for the Mourne Skyline MTR had predicted a win time of 4-hours, however, with conditions on the day, we expected this to be optimistic. For Collison and Lennon to both run sub-4 is a real testament to the competition between the two front men.
Thomson moved up into 3rd place and brought a truly international flavour to the men’s podium, his time of 4:08.3 reflecting his ability.
The 2014 Mourne Skyline MTR has firmly established itself as a must-do race after just one edition. The combination of location, local infrastructure, great organisation, enthusiastic locals and a brutal course will guarantee that demand will be high for the 2015 edition.
Covering 35km and a total elevation gain of 3370m, the Mourne Skyline MTR is everything a Skyrunning race should be. I for one can’t wait for 2015.
RACE IMAGES HERE
Thanks to the Mourne Skyline MTR Team, marshals, staff and in particular, Ryan and Justin Maxwell
RESULTS WOMEN Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race
Stevie Kremer 4:24.2 (10th overall)
Jo Meek 4:30.3
Diane Wilson 4:45.4
Sharon Trimble 5:02.1 Shileen O’Kane 5:03.1
RESULTS MEN Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race
Kim Collinson 3:57.0
Eoin Lennon 3:59.4
J Marshall Thomson 4:08.3
Ally Beaven 4:12.0 David Steele 4:15.0
Many thanks to our sponsors
Ryan Maxwell, race director for the Mourne Skyline MTR provides us with an in-depth preview of this coming weekend’s Mourne Skyline MTR. The final race in the 2014 Skyrunning UK calendar.
This coming weekend, will see the phenomena that is ‘Skyrunning’ reach the shores of Northern Ireland for the first time. The Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race, hosted by popular running website www.nirunning.co.uk, will see a plethora of talent take to the stunning Mourne Mountains.
The Mourne Skyline MTR will see a sell-out field, including Stevie Kremer (Team Salomon), who last weekend was crowned Skyrunner(R) World Series Champion, over the ‘Sky’ distance for the second time at the incredibly scenic Limone Extreme in Italy where Kremer covered a 24.5k course incorporating 2000m of ascent. Stevie will have strong competition from Jo Meek British Ultra Trail Champion, Comrades 5th place and The Coastal Challenge race winner and course record holder.
Covering a gruelling but incredibly scenic 35k course incorporating 3,370m of ascent. The Mourne Skyline MTR includes Northern Ireland’s highest mountain, Slieve Donard, which stands at 850m above sea-level and it will be the final peak, before the athletes descend quickly into the Donard Park finish area.
Kim Collison (England), Paul Teirney (Ireland), Jayson Cavill (England), Paul Navesey (Centurion Ultra Team), J Marshall Thomson (USA), and local men Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) and Andrew Annett (North Belfast Harriers) look to be the strongest candidates in a field littered with talent from across the globe.
Former adventure racer and newly crowned British ultra-running Champion Kim Collison will be high in confidence after his victory at the Lakeland 50 trail race in July (2014). This noteable achievement followed an excellent (joint) win at the notoriously tough Fellsman 61 mile ultra in the Yorkshire Dales in April (2014). Kim, who completed the Bob Graham Round in 2009, also collected a prize at the Scafell trail race and finished well up the field at the Transvulcania La Palma Ultra.
American athlete J Marshall Thomson (Dynafit) hails from Colorado and is an experienced and successful trail runner, with numerous mountain race victories to his name. Most recently, Marshall secured a win at the Power of Four 50k in Aspen, having smashed the course record. Looking back,Marshall also proved his worth at the Pikes Peak marathon, where he narrowly missed a podium spot after finish fourth in what was a classy field.
Irish international Paul Teirney proved himself over 100 miles when he claimed the runners up spot at the Lakeland 100 mile race in 2012; since then, Paul, a former Wicklow Way 82 mile Ultra record holder (13 hours 38mins), finished second at the Wicklow Way Ultra in both 2013 and 2014.
England based Jayson Cavill has been one of the most impressive performers of the inaugural Skyrunning UK Series, having placed on the podium at two of the three races. The Pickering Running Club member followed up his second place finish at the V33K with a win at the Peaks Skyrace; he (Jayson) also won the gruelling Blakey Blitz Fell Race back in April (2014).
Paul Navesey (Centurion Ultra Running Team) is another athlete worth watching; after a note-worthy 2013, Paul has brought his form into 2014, winning the Centurion South Downs Way 50 miler in a new course record. The talented distance runner also showed his speedy age when taking second place at the Canterbury 10 mile road race in 56:27.
Another man known for his ability over shorter distance and not mentioned above is Jens Jakob Anderson (Denmark); the ‘www.runrepeat.com’ website creator has a 5k personal best of 15:58, which he may hope to put to use on the final 3.1 mile descent off Slieve Donard to the finish in Donard Park.
On the local front, Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) has already proved himself against the best in the UK this year. In memorable foggy conditions, the City of Derry Spartan secured an excellent win at the British Championship race at Slieve Donard just before the summer. He (Allan) went on to take sixth place in the overall British Championships standings. Also on Allan’s CV are wins at the Balearic Mountain Running Championships inMallorca and an impressive top spot at the Lurig Challenge 2014.
Although having raced sparingly in the mountains recently, North Belfast Harriers man Andrew Annett has a classy history and if focussed on this event, he’ll play a major part at the front. In 2013, Andrew, who was part of North Belfast Harriers winning team at the NI & Ulster (Road) Relay Championships two weeks ago, finished in thirteenth place at Snowdon International Mountain Race last year (2013). More recently, he has clocked 1:11:31 for his first ever half marathon (on the road), and 5k and 10k bests of 15:48 and 32:38 respectively.
Established Irish international Martin Rea (North Belfast Harriers) will also toe the line as he prepares for the World 100k Championships in Doha (November 2014) and he’ll be joined on the men’s start line by no less than eleven Northern Ireland international’s, which will include the in-form David Steele (Newcastle AC), Deon McNeilly (Newcastle AC), Sam Herron (Mourne Runners), Dale Mathers (Newry City Runners) and Ryan Stewart (Dundee Hawkhill Harriers) amongst others. Shane Donnelly (Acorns AC), Billy Reed (East Antrim Harriers), Nicki McPeake (Unattached), Matthew Hewitt (East Coast AC) and Gary Bailey (Unattached) all have vast knowledge of the Mourne Mountains and will therefore have high hopes of finishing well up the field.
In truth, the ladies field at the Mourne Skyline MTR has attracted a lot more attention in the international press than the aforementioned men’s line-up. Much of this is because of the addition of current Skyrunning World Series Champion Stevie Kremer (Team Salomon). The American international burst onto the scene after winning the World Mountain Running Association (WMRA) ‘Long Distance’ event in 2012; Stevie proved this wasn’t a ‘one hit wonder’ when she went on to take second place at the world famous Sierre-Zinal Mountain Race in the same year.
From there, the down to earth athlete has grown in stature, winning the Limone Extreme, Marathon Du Mont-Blanc Skyrace’s in 2013, and with it, the Skyrunning World Series. Now, Stevie is one of the superstars of the Skyrunning circuit and one of the most respected (and in-form) athletes in the World. After wins at the Matterhorn Ultraks, Zegama and Sierre-Zinal this year, and a second place finish at the Limone Extreme Skyrace last weekend, Stevie retained her Skyrunning World Series Champion status (at ‘Sky’ distance).
Another athlete who is in-form at the moment and will also grace the Central Promenade start-line is Jo Meek (Winchester AC); theEngland based athlete has enjoyed an incredible 2014. After finishing in second place at the Marathon Des-Sables in 2013 it would have been easy for Jo to sit on that success, but the dedicated runner took confidence from it and hammered into 2014, and on doing so, she (Jo) has won the Le Grand Trail du St Jacques (70k), Transylvania Trail Traverse (106k), Iznik Ultra (80k) and the Pembrokeshire Coastal Marathon (27.8 miles); interestingly, in Pembrokeshire, Jo finished in first place overall! An excellent year was made all the better when Jo was crowned British ultra-running Champion after winning the Lakeland 50 trail race in July (2014).
The list of Champions continues in the form of Sharon Trimble (North Belfast Harriers) and Diane Wilson (Dromore AC). Originally from Northern Ireland, Sharon is an Irish international who lives in Scotland – Alongside Sarah McCormack (’GTR’ competitor), Sharon is a World Mountain Running Championship medallist. The 2:51:44 marathoner is also a former Scottish ultra-running Champion and a regular on the podium over all terrain; with her knowledge of the course and if she is on top form, Sharon is a real threat to Stevie and Jo. Diane is the current Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) Champion and a lady who knows the Mourne Mountains exceptionally well; Diane also won the Hill & Dale Series in 2014 and clocked a new course record when winning the Carrantuohill mountain race in Ireland; interestingly, Carrantuohill is Ireland’s highest peak. Diane also claimed a top ten finish at the Ben Nevis mountain race in Scotland this year (2014), taking seventh place.
Former NIMRA Champion and current Northern Ireland international Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) will also play a major part in proceedings. Despite suffering a broken wrist over the summer, the talented athlete, who placed within the top ten in her Vet45 category at the World Masters Mountain Running Championships in last month (September 2014). Respected ultra-runners Susan McCartney (Up and Runners) and Joanne Curran (BARF) should also finish well up the field – Like, Shileen, Susan has enjoyed an excellent year despite setbacks. The England based athlete had knee surgery earlier this year, but has still managed to win the Mourne Way 52 mile Ultra and claim a very credible twenty second place in the CCC race at UTMB (Ultra trail du Mont-Blanc). Comrades Ultra finisher Joanne Curran has really begun to show good form beyond marathon distance and a win at the Causeway Coast Ultra earlier this month, where she came through late on, has re-iterated her potential over the longer distances.
Runner up at the Peaks Skyrace, Kim England (Pickering AC), will also perform well, as will the likes of Hazel McLaughlin (Lagan Valley AC), Taryn McCoy (BARF), Anne Sandford (Lagan Valley AC), Violet Linton (LV), Denise Mathers (Newry City Runners), Miriam Bridge (City of Derry AC), Angela Stevenson (Newcastle AC) and Kathleen Monteverde (BARF).
2014 has bee the inaugural year for Skyrunning UK. The Mourne Skyline MTR is the final race of the series and looks set to be a classic!
It’s difficult to believe that in less than 12-months, Skyrunning UK has grown in to ‘the’ series to be involved in. The line up for the 2014 Mourne Skyline MTR confirms we are on the up…
As runners arrived at 0400 on the morning of Saturday 4th October at the High Terrain Race HQ for the 3×3, Skyrunning UK’s 3rd race in 2014. They may very well have thought the apocalypse had started!
Yes, the rain was that bad!
The race had a capacity field of 300 entrants; expect the normal drop out race of 10% and after pre race registrations on the evening of Friday 3rd October, it was correct to assume that 250+ starters would toe the line. In reality, less than 190 started.
It’s a sign of how bad the conditions were. Ian Mulvey, race director for the 3×3 had consulted with his team and a decision had been made that the first summit at Scafell would be missed with an alternative re route in place. It was a great call… no race wants to make these decisions, however, safety is key and paramount. Remember folks, it’s only running!
Considering everyone taking part was likely to have 9-hours+ on the course, to take runners to such a low point in the first 2-3 hours would have potentially impacted on the race as a whole and may well have not only stretched the runners but logistics.
So bad were the conditions that I personally wasn’t able to make the first ascent due to severe flooding; yes, it was potentially 2009 all over again.
With just under 40km’s covered and on the ascent to Helvellyn, a clear pattern had started to form with Lee Kemp pushing the pace, Donnie Campbell chasing and ever present Skyrunning UK competitor and Peaks Skyrace winner, Jayson Cavill chasing 20-minutes back.
The ladies race had Lakeland 100 course record holder, Lizzie Wraith out front with a convincing lead chased by Sally Ozanne and Great Lakeland 3-Day winner, Kerstin Rosenqvist.
The weather was playing a key factor in the whole day, however, the Biblical conditions of the first couple of hours calmed to leave an ever changing and gusting day.
Over Helvellyn and then dropping down to Keswick runners headed up to Latrigg and then took on a tough anti-clockwise loop of Skiddaw. Over the summit the wind was gale force and the wind chill was close if not below zero. Cloud bursts; heavy rain and even a hale storm made the day impressive visually but something to endure from a running perspective.
Lee Kemp somehow lost the race lead over Skiddaw, as he ran past me he shouted that he had taken a wrong turn… I will clarify this later. This mistake by Lee opened the door for Donnie Campbell and looking strong he pushed to the line without actually realising he was the first to cross it! Lee Kemp held on to 2nd and Ed Batty placed 3rd after Jayson Cavill withdrew from the race. Ever present Centurion race winner, Ed Catmur placed 4thand local legend and recent Wainwrights FKT record holder, Steve Birkinshaw placed 5th.
Lizzie Wraith never relinquished the ladies race lead, however, over Skiddaw the gap was reduced considerably. Sally however couldn’t close and the positions remained the same all the way to the line with Kirstin Rosenqvist finishing out the podium.
The 3×3 was a real test. The conditions added to the adventure and from first to last, every single runner should be extremely proud of finishing such a tough race. Ian Mulvey and the High Terrain team did a great job of managing conditions, ensuring everyone’s safety and in the process they have made the 3×3 one of the must do events on the UK calendar.
At the awards ceremony, fell running legend Billy Bland arrived to provide a very natural and humble ending to a great weekend of running.
Attention now turns to the final Skyrunning UK race of 2014, the Mourne Skyline MTR in Ireland.
- Donnie Campbell 8:28:56
- Lee Kemp 8:38:49
- Ed Batty 9:00:17
- Ed Catmur 9:23:48
- Stephen Birkinshaw 9:29:24
- Lizzie Wraith 10:42:23
- Sally Ozanne 10:50:18
- Kerstin Rosenqvist 11:12:21
- Jamie Aarons 11:18:02
- Lauren Woodwiss 12:15:08
Race Images are available HERE
Over 4000m (13,000ft) of ascent await participants of this weekend’s 3x3Ultra providing every participant an opportunity to cover three classic Lakeland peaks in an accumulative distance of 80km’s. It’s going to be a tough challenge and a fitting conclusion to the Skyrunner® National Series for the ULTRA distance.
Based on the classic ‘Lakes 3000’s’ the 80km route will include Scafell Pike, Helvellyn and Skiddaw. An amazing circular route over the best mountains available within the UK, it promises to be a tough challenge.
The race route combines all the elements of a classic Lakeland run with aspects of European racing; technical terrain, beautiful mountains and hills.
Ian Mulvey, race director for the 3×3 event confirmed just days ago that race is a sell out, ‘we have 300 entries, 263-men and 37 ladies. The spread of athletes is phenomenal, we have runners representing, Sweden, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, Unites States, Spain, France, Norway, Slovakia, Latvia, Holland and Ireland.’
It just goes to show the growth and demand for tough and technical races within the UK, ‘We have exceeded expectations in our first year,’ said Skyrunning UK director, Ian Corless. ‘Our aim was to introduce the sport gradually and build a following over three years. In year one we will have had four very successful races and following the 3×3 we have the Mourne Skyline MTR with Skyrunner® World Series Champion, Stevie Kremer taking part. It’s been a brilliant year.’
We may not have the required altitude that a Skyrunning race would require in France, Spain or Italy but we can compensate for this with steep short climbs and technical terrain. The UK has brilliant and committed athletes who love racing.
The Skyrunner® National Series has been made possible with sponsorship from ROCKTAPE, inov-8 and Raidlight UK, without this support the series would not have been possible.
Grab a seat, sit and wait for the action to unfold in the early hours of Saturday morning as the 3×3 gets underway. It’s going to be an epic battle.
Now in it’s fourth year, V3K Ultra crosses all the mountains over 3,000ft in Wales, also known as Welsh 3,000s or 15 (formerly 14) Peaks, it’s a classic route loved by anybody with any sense. It is also unique as a UK route because of its successive 2-3000ft ascents and descents (plus one more near 3,000ft and many smaller ones). V3K Ultra starts at Nant Gwynant then climbs over the first ridge of Bwlch Main to Snowdon, second and third ridges of Carnedd Ugain and the knife edged arrete of Crib Goch then down via North Ridge. Next the Glyderau, starting with a huge slog up Elidir Fawr, then Y Garn, Glyder Fawr, Glyder Fach and Tryfan. Then the third and final section which takes in 7 of the Carneddau, Pen yr Ole Wen via the track leading to Glan Dena over Carnedd Dafydd, Yr Elen, Carnedd Llewelyn, Foel Grach, Carnedd Gwenellian (marked Carnedd Uchaf on older maps), and Foel-fras, over Drum and down following the fence over Drosgl and then descend into the village of Rowen for celebratory food and cheer.
Entries are available HERE
Read the race report for 2014 HERE
View images HERE