David Hicks and Martsje Hell emerge victorious from epic Mourne Seven Sevens Mountain Race!

Seven Sevens Mountain Race 2018:

David Hicks (Newcastle AC) and Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers) emerged victorious as just shy of one hundred athletes completed the Mourne Seven Sevens Mountain Race (Saturday 4th August 2018).

The event, hosted by Belfast Association of Rock-Climbers and Fell-Runners (BARF), was the ninth race of the ongoing Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) Championship. Competitors covered a gruelling 19 miles with 8,700ft of ascent.

This year, the race took athletes in a clockwise loop around seven of the highest summits in the Mourne’s, in the following order: Donard – Commedagh – Lamagan – Binnian – Meelbeg – Meelmore and Bernagh.  Additionally, runners visited mandatory check points at Donard/Commedagh col, Lamagan/Binnian col, Ben Crom dam, Meel Beg/Meel More col and the Hares Gap.

Experienced Northern Ireland international David Hicks came through late on to secure a well-deserved win.  David took charge as the competitors raced towards Slieve Meelbeg and never looked back as he put five minutes between him and his nearest rival as he raced toward the finish line, breaking the tape in 4:08:20 (1st place).

East Down AC’s Neill Andrews, who had been amongst the leaders throughout, followed in 4:13:14 for 2nd place.  Behind, Mark Stephens (Unattached), who had also played a prominent part at the front, completed the top three in 4:15:31 (3rd place).

The ladies race wasn’t just as closely contested, but that took nothing away from three very strong individual performances.

Martsje Hell continued her excellent run of form with a dominant performance, leading from start to finish – the North Belfast Harriers athlete clocked 5:07:18 for 1st place.  The always impressive Gillian Wasson (Ballymena Runners) crossed the line in 5:15:36 (2nd place) for the runners up spot, before Sarah Graham (Mourne Runners), who was competing in a race of this distance for the first time, impressed with a 5:23:33 finish for 3rd place.

Full Results: Seven Sevens Mountain Race 2018 Results

Photo by Paul Fegan.