Fiona and Helen (current CUOC) and Paul (CUOC-to-be) all took part in the Mourne Mountain Marathon last weekend. Everyone entered the B class; Fiona and Helen made up a team and Paul ran with a school friend.
Day 1 was 25km and although plenty of water was found underfoot in the form of mushy peat bog, the weather was a perfect combination of sunny and breezy. The course swooped round from the east of the Mournes to the north and included some interesting route choices and plenty of crags to negotiate.
Helen and Fiona were blamed at the campsite for being “too chirpy”. Their mood was not even dampened by the discovery that that their tactical weight-reduction plan- leaving behind some unnecessary tent pegs- had backfired somewhat, and the youngest Pružina sibling was commissioned to whittle some new ones. The boys’ team, meanwhile, had not quite been in long enough to have a nap. It transpired that Paul’s shoes had failed him on the journey; the loss of a sole, however, does not seem to have slowed him down as his partner, Jack, introduced himself to Fiona as “Paul’s former friend”.
Day 2 was only 19.5km and the course wiggled its way back to Tollymore Mountain Centre along the northernmost mountains. It was quite breezy with fog on the hilltops, but lower down the visibility was good and the main mistake of the day was Helen’s complete failure to correctly mark grid references. Helen and Fiona found some more cliffs, this time requiring some fun and slimy vertical sliding.
Paul and Jack finished 4th on the B class and Fiona and Helen were 21st and third ladies’ team in. Good fun was had all round, and Fiona was set back on the plane to her next internship with plenty of unscrubbable Mournes muck as a souvenir.