The popular Garmin Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race is a 35k race, incorporating 3,370m (11,057ft) of accumulative ascent, set in the heart of the scenic Mourne Mountains in Northern Ireland.
The event, which is now going into its 6th year, will take place on Saturday 19th October 2019, starting at 9am.
Entries open on Thursday 14th February 2019 at 7am, via www.mourneskylinemtr.com
The race has reached capacity every year and in 2018 this happened in record time, after 5 hours and 25 minutes – early entry is therefore strongly advised!
The event has been part of the Skyrunner UK & Ireland Series (governed by the International Skyrunning Federation) since its first running in 2014 and has attracted athletes from across the globe; there has also been some outstanding feedback attributed to the well-organised event:
“Watch this space as I reckon this race will become one of the best events in the UK, if not Europe, in years to come and it may not be too long before we see even more of the World’s running royalty gracing these inhospitable fells.”(Robbie Britton – IAAF 24-hour World Championship medallist and 2013 ‘UK ultra-runner of the year’).
The Mourne Skyline MTR starts and finishes in the seaside town of Newcastle, County Down, with competitors enjoying the magnificent scenery on what can only be described as an exceptionally tough but rewarding course.
“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 so hard! I loved it!”(Stevie Kremer – Skyrunner World Series Champion 2013 and 2014)
The route comprises mainly of epic mountain trail, forest paths, fire roads, single track grass and granite trail, with a small road section (approximately one mile) around the half way mark.
It covers 10 significant peaks, with the Slieve Donard (850m), Northern Ireland’s highest mountain, well-placed as the final challenge, prior to a super-fast 5k descent to the finish line in Donard Park.
There are generous prizes on offer for the front runners, with the top first three male and female athletes receiving cash prizes. In addition to this, there are also prizes for the male and female winners of the following categories: Vet35, Vet40, Vet45, Vet50, Vet55 and Vet60.
The male and female champions also receive a unique, hand-crafted winners medal designed and made by sponsors, The Steensons. All participants receive an event t-shirt and finishers receive a prestigious professionally designed medal.
Race Director Ryan Maxwell spoke of his team’s excitement ahead of the 2019 event:
“Since we started the Mourne Skyline MTR in 2014, we have been truly humbled by the support we have received from fellow runners and mountain enthusiasts. We are incredibly lucky to have a fantastic race team and its these people who have made the event the success that it has been. Looking ahead to 2019, we are excited to have finalised the race date, which will be Saturday 19thOctober 2019 (9am). We have also listened to feedback in terms of race entries opening and brought the date forward to St Valentines Day, Thursday 14thFebruary 2019 (7am). Our preparation for race day itself is well underway and we will strive to deliver the best edition of the event to date; as we do every year!”
We’ll leave the final word on the epic Mourne Skyline MTR to several high-profile athletes who have completed the event:
“This was a great finale to the whole (Skyrunning UK) Series. There was definitely an air of something special throughout the whole event: the entire field of runners was really friendly; the Mourne Skyline organisers were all really good, of course a huge thank you and respect to the marshal’s for helping point us in the right direction and enduring such strong winds. The course was well marked out all the way, especially where it mattered, which is no mean feat over such terrain. There is obviously a great local running community in such a friendly town, I will be putting this on the calendar for next year – and hopefully spend some more time out there exploring afterwards.” (Jayson Cavhill – Podium finisher at two of the Skyrunning UK Series events in 2014).
“At 35k with 3,370m of ascent this race was everything a Skyrace should be”(British Ultra Running Champion Jo Meek on the Mourne Skyline MTR).
Full details on the Garmin Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race can be found on the official race website at www.mourneskylinemtr.com