When is the Garmin Mourne Skyline MTR 2017 race?
The race is held on Saturday 21st October 2017 (9am).
Where does it start and finish?
Newcastle, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. The race starts on the Promenade close to the Newcastle Tourist Information Centre on Newcastle Main Street/Central Promenade. The race finishes in Donard Park, which is approximately 400m away from the start line.
How far is the race?
The race measures 35k in distance including 3,370m of ascent over technical terrain.
How can I enter?
Online entry will be available via the Garmin Mourne Skyline MTR website HERE from St Patricks Day (Friday 17th March 2017) - 7am. Please note there will be NO 'on the day' entry available for this race. There are only 250 places available, so early entry is strongly recommended.
I am an experienced mountain runner! Do I really have to go to the race briefing?
This is an absolute necessity! Given the nature of the course, the Race Director may have to make slight changes to the route right up until the last moments. Any changes will be fully explained at the Race Briefing. This briefing is for YOUR safety.
How fit do I need to be?
A high level of fitness is recommended. Experience in off-road running and technical terrain would also benefit competitors, as would experience at races over half marathon distance.
What kit do I need for this race?
Appropriate off-road footwear, good waterproofs, gloves, headwear, and plenty to eat and drink (however there will be water and food stations throughout the course - exact locations and specifics of each aid station are shown in the 'About' page). We'll release a mandatory kit list which you must carry for your safety one week prior to race day. The basic principal is to dress comfortably and safely, in the gear that you know and trust. A mandatory kit check will take place when you are collecting your registration pack, so please bring your kit to registration.
Can I use race/hiking poles during the event?
Race/Hiking Poles can be used during the event but will NOT be permitted during the mass start; this is for the safety of all competitors. We would also ask anyone using hiking/racing poles to be aware of people around them whilst using the poles. It is IMPORTANT to note that if you start with poles, you MUST finish with them. Failure to comply may lead to disqualification.
Where can I leave the kit I want to have at the finish?
Participants will be able to drop their finish line kit (warm/dry clothes etc) at the Donard Park Pavilion en-route to the Start Line. Absolutely NO kit can be left at Race HQ. Please ensure that you leave sufficient time to make your way from Race HQ to Donard Park Pavilion and onto the Pre-Race Briefing at the the start line on the Promenade close to the Newcastle Tourist Information Centre for 8.50am.
What if I get lost, injured or pull out?
Organisers will have tail runners in place as well as full medical resources. The route will be fully way-marked (with temporary re-moveable items) as per Skyrunning rules, on top of this there will also be marshals on the course who will take note of runners numbers going through significant Check Points so as we can pin point any runners location within a certain area.
Each runner will be asked carry a mobile phone as part of their mandatory kit, within this, they MUST have the Race Director's phone number stored so that they can relay the fact that they are injured, lost or have withdrawn from the race. The Race Director's phone number will be on the final race instructions, which will be released at least one week prior to race day.
Is there a cut off time for completion of the race?
Yes, 8 hours is the cut-off time. This is to ensure that significant numbers of runners are not left on the mountain as darkness falls. In addition to this and with the safety of everyone in mind, there will also be a cut off at the furtherest point of the course, anyone who does not reach the NI Water Service Treatment Works (15k) by 12.15pm (race starts at 9am) will be withdrawn by a Race Official. By entering the race, all participants are agreeing to cut-off times; anyone who fails to listen to Race Official will be disqualified.
Can I walk the course?
No. Due to the nature of the event, athletes will be required to run the course, however this does not include the steep peaks and technical areas where running may not be possible.
Are there many areas for spectators to watch?
The best area's to watch the race will be at Check Point 1 & 5 (Slieve Donard/Commedagh Col) and Check Point 2 & 4 (Hares Gap) as runner will pass these points twice. The section of road on the Slievenaman Road, Newcastle will allow spectators to watch athletes. We would advise anyone 'following' the race to ensure that they park safely and obey any DOE road signage. A map showing Check Points is available HERE.
Can I run with my dog?
No, although we do love animals, this is STRICTLY forbidden. We are allowed to use much of the land within the Mourne Mountains by the Mourne Mountain Trustees. As they have sheep on the land, dogs are NOT allowed to be there.
Can I wear headphones?
You may wear headphones on the majority of the route, however, you MUST NOT wear them on the one mile section of road at the half way point (as you leave Fofanny Dam). Whilst you are off-road and wearing headphones the volume MUST be at a level were you will be able to clearly hear instructions given by marshals. This is absolutely essential as this could be important information in relation to the route/danger.
If I enter and can't race, can I get refund/transfer my entry?
Unfortunately not, entry fees are non-refundable. Once we have received and accepted your entry, you will not receive a refund if you cannot participate. You may not transfer your application to the following year, nor can you allow another person to use it. This will result in disqualification.
Entry fees are also non-refundable if the race has to be cancelled or postponed due to circumstances outside our control; for instance due to major incident, adverse/dangerous weather conditions or on police/outside agency advice.
Please Note - Based on the above and relating to adverse weather conditions; as per Skyrunning UK regulations, we have an 'alternative' low level course earmarked should dangerous conditions force us to revise our primary route. This will only be used in extreme circumstances, but if it is, unfortunately we cannot provide a refund, nor can we transfer entries to the following year.
Does your race support charitable causes?
Each year, NiRunning/Mourne Skyline MTR will select a charity who has a direct connection with the Mourne Mountains and offer a donation.