The 2020 Skyrunner UK & Ireland Series kicked off this last weekend in Ireland with the first edition of the Gaelforce Sky Run.
With anticipation high, a storm of racing was expected on the 22km route, however, the weather gods did not play ball and Friday weather reports of extreme weather were taken into consideration by Mona Purcell, the race director, and the bad weather route of 24km was put in place to protect the runners.
Saturday morning started out a blustery and the conditions deteriorated as the day went on with race marshals spending a long and tough day ensuring the safety of the participants.
Top skyrunner and world-class mountain runner, Finlay Wild was always going to be the man to beat and he started the day as he meant to go on pushing from the front setting a relentless pace that could matched by no one. He revelled in the tough conditions and crossed the line in 2:08:44. George Snee and Aidan McMoreland battled hard for the 2nd and 3rd podium slots and they crossed in 2:25:55 and 2:27:11 respectively.
Runners were heavily challenged by the fact that there was no trail and the energy zapping effort of the soft ground, it was a total baptism of wind and rain.
Ireland’s Isabel Oakes lead the charge in the women’s race ahead of Sophie Bubb who won the 2019 Mourne Skyline MTR race. The duo battled hard but it was Oakes who took victory in 2:45:07 five-minutes ahead of Bubb;s 2:50:07. Becky Quinn placed 3rd in 2:51:10.
“This place takes your breath away. It was hands and knees up those climbs” – Rachel O’Callaghan
- Isobel Oakes 2:45:07 (Irl)
- Sophie Bubb 2:50:07 (UK)
- Becky Quinn 2:51:10 (Irl)
- Finlay Wild 2:08:44 (Scotland)
- George Snee 2:25:55 (Irl)
- Aidan McMoreland 2:27:11 (Irl)
Full results here – http://www.redtagtiming.com/results/2020GF_Skyrun_22km.html
Points are awarded to the top-20 men and top-10 women with all participants obtaining 1-point for participation.
After one event, Finlay Wild and Isabel Oakes are the series leaders.
As a participant, you must run 4 events* and points are accumulated based on finishing position. The top man and woman at the end of the series is the one who has accumulated the most points. If a runner participates in more than four races, the best four results count.
* Please note runners based on mainland UK must run one race in Ireland and/ or Northern Ireland. Runners from the island of Ireland will need to race in at least one UK mainland event to qualify for the series.
Attention now turn to Snowdon Skyline 2/3rd May )