INTRO 1: Mountain Running

In the beginning...

There was sticky goo in a rocky pond until God (who currently goes under the name: Robbie Fowler) said: "Let there be Light"....REWIIIIND

Sorry, wrong story, I like to start from the very beginning, get in all the details, but my shrink says I have to work on that (and who am I to disagree with a someone who gets paid hundreds of euros to tell me what I could read in a book), so instead we'll jump straight to my first "adventure" with Mountain Running.

It was August, 2006, and by then I had gotten my first experiences with the Irish mountains through the hillwalking club: Known as a "Drinking club with a hillwalking problem" (or was it the other way around?).

Hillwalking offered a few great experiences such as a gruelling 6-hour trek over 6 mountains (one a bushy mess, another an ocean of quadriceps-battering heather), featuring Mullaghcleavaun, second-highest of the Wicklow Mountain, and the ominously named "Moanbane".

Along the way I was joined by my colleagues Jannick (left above) and Jane, but both lasted only a few months (Jannick fell to injury, and Jane to more adventerous interests...), and that was the beginning of the end for that hobby...

Enter Mountain Running Hillwalking was fun for a while, but I decided that it didn't do enough to strengthen my "hard man" image, so I did some Internet lookups (searched under "ego-boosters") and found Mountain Running.

By chance our local mailroom administrator, Conor Murray (below) from work was a Mountain Runner too and offered me a lift to my first race: Lucnaquillia, the highest peak of the Wicklow Mountains.

That race I would later cover in an article I did for our company newsletter, so I may reprint that later, for now you will get the short story instead:

I sprained my ankle on the way down! Race over!

It was a beautiful day, though, and the utter extremity of having to run up-up-up for 5.05km across rough mountain side covered with grass, bog, stone, and dirt in the company of 30-something lunatics, and then throwing yourself fullspeed down the same route, stayed with me and I new that as soon as that foot of mine healed, I would start the new season in January (and so it proved).

I'll provide a full commentary and the rest of the pictures from the rest in one of my next posts, but below is a preview (I'm sure you're breathless with excitement by now!):

Me (guy in the fashionable Ferrari red shoes, obviously) leading a small group on the plateau between Camarahill and Lucnaquillia herself. This was the only "flat" part of the race....
Till' then...