Robert Clarke and Martsje Hell claim victory at The Buzzards Roost Mountain Race 2018!

The Buzzards Roost Mountain Race 2018:

Robert Clarke (Unattached) and Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers) topped the podium at the final race of thePodium4Sport Northern Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) Championship for 2018 (Saturday 29th September 2018).

The event, named the Buzzards Roost Mountain Race, was hosted by Mourne Runners in the heart of their ‘home turf’ and covered approximately 7.4 miles in distance with 3,000ft of ascent.

Starting from the gate at the top of Carrick Little lane the route took runners up shadows of Slieve Binnian before sweeping right towards Lamagan Cove Col. At the Col, the race was on to top out Lamagan before picking a path down the rock strewn side of this beast to the Binnian Lamagan crossroads. Encouraged by the sound of a ringing cow bell the racers headed up and across Binnian to the summit followed by an ankle busting sprint down the wall to the finish at the gate.

On the start gun, Mourne Runners athlete Sarah Graham led the ladies early on. Following in her explosive wake were Martsje Hell (North Belfast Harriers) and stalwart Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC). As the race progressed up to towards the first checkpoint Martsje and Shileen started to catch Sarah. At the top of Lamagan Martsje had overtaken Sarah and opened a lead on her competition. She was followed by Sarah, then Shileen. The rocky descent favoured Shileen and by the bottom she had a slight lead on Sarah. The granite obstacle that is Binnian did nothing to shake up their positions. Martsje broke the tape first in 1:10:46 (1st place), with Shileen and Sarah following in 1:14:23 (2nd place) and 1:14:27 (3rd place) respectively.

In the men’s race, Robert Clark, visiting from Dorset, Mourne Runners man Jonny Scott and David Hicks of Newcastle AC took the lead and battled their way over Lamagan. Robert forced the pace through the Binnian Lamagan crossroads closely followed by David, then Jonny. On the climb Robert and David got a 20 second gap on Jonny, but as they spilled down the finishing descent David fell; this allowed Jonny to overtake him. In the end, it was Robert who won in 1:02:20 (1st place). Jonny followed in 1:04:10 (2nd place), with David claiming 3rd place in 1:04:21.

Full Results: The Buzzards Roost Mountain Race 2018 Results

Note: Report compiled from information published on NIMRA website (by Richard Bell).