IMRA Winter League 2008 – Carrick Mountain

Saturday’s Carrick Mountain race was “interesting”.

It had all the ingredients of a great day out – a beautiful Spring morning, mixed terrain underfoot and a tough ascent followed by a couple of excellent descents.

Once I’d finished slogging up to the peak, I overtook a bunch of people and crazily tore down the first steep descent straight towards cameraman John Shiels. Thumbs up for the camera, big grin on my face, I turned right and went back uphill with John shouting something after me. It was only a couple of minutes later when I looked back to check that no-one was catching me again did I realise that he’d basically been shouting “You’re going the wrong way you big eejit!”. Doh.

After that, it was a bit hard to stop cursing myself and get back into it, but I did and started counting off the number of people I’d re-taken. On the final descent through the woods, I remember overtaking someone and thinking “that’s number eight” as we barreled down through a mucky cross-roads. Thirty seconds down that track, I realised that all the runners around were stopping and shouting at each other. It turns out that 10 or 15 of us had managed to get lost and had to turn back uphill again to get back on track. Double doh.

At that point, you’d think there every ounce of competitiveness would be gone, but when you hear someone sprinting up behind you at the finish, you’re not going to let them take your hard won 66th place, are you?

Racing – Taken by Darragh Sherwin

Fair play to Darragh for that shot. Hopefully we can the rest of his photos on the IMRA site when he’s got them processed.

From the race report, forum, Rene’s blog etc., it’s clear I wasn’t the only one getting lost up Carrick, which is some consolation. I’d agree with the sentiment, thought, that if I thought it could have been marked or marshaled better, then I should have been out marking and marshaling. It’s clear the organisers of this one had put a lot of effort into coming up with a new and exciting route. And it was certainly that … 🙂

Next week I’m off for a wholly different mountain experience … Skiing in Söll, Austria with a group of friends. Hopefully I’ll hit my first black slope this year. Can’t wait for it now …