The 2021 edition of the Seven Sisters Skyline will see 200 participants take to the start line on Ireland’s most demanding mountain running route.
The out and back course takes in all seven peaks of the Derryveagh Mountains with all but the highest peak, Mount Errigal, being covered twice, covering over 4,000m ascent in the now 55k route. A new start will see competitors take in a loop around Dunlewey lough before the first ascent at 5k.
With sections called ‘Bridge of Tears’ and ‘Heart Attack Hill’ this will not be an easy day out. Competitors will have to contend with everything from soft, wet underfoot conditions as there has been lots of rain in recent weeks; heathery bog and open mountain to rock and scree, often having to scramble on hands and knees over the loose stone.
In the men’s field we will have a new champion as Shaun Stewart 2020 winner isn’t competing. A very open field could see some surprises, for those very well prepared for this brital course. Aidan Mc Moreland was third last year, Lonan O’Farrell third the previous year are back, and other names that could contest the top spots are Shane Lynch; Paddy Hamilton & Marek Wojnarowski. With 3k extra on the route this year a time of 7hrs 30mins would be expected for the male winner.
In the Ladies event, a great race is guaranteed with lots of quality women toeing the line. Laura O’Driscoll Ireland’s top adventure athlete who took first place last year in a fantastic time of 8:22:43, and a top 10 finish overall is back to defend her title, and will be the one everyone will be chasing.
Other notable names to watch for include last years second and third place finishers Ellen Vitting & Karalee Mc Bride, and Bernadette O’Kane who was top 3 the previous year. Helen Brown from the UK make her first trip to the event, and broke the South Wales Traverse record in 2020, a former British fell running champion will relish the running on this course.