Posted by: CLEC | September 24, 2009

Welcome to the ‘CLEC’ !!

13th July, 2009

Columbia Carlingford Lough Endurance Challenge 2009 – Sat. 11th July, 2009

CLEC 09 Start

CLEC 09 Start

The 9th Columbia ‘CLEC’ and its followers besieged the village of Carlingford and the surrounding Cooley Mountains, for its annual adventure race. Teams from all over Ireland arrived at the wonderful setting of Carlingford Sailing Club for registration on a damp and misty morning. However, this did not deter 49 three person teams signing on for the challenge that lay ahead. It was to start with a 8k run from the centre of the village up to ‘Slate Rock’ and on the Golyin Pass, through Barnavave (Maeve’s Gap) down to the forest fire road, and then onto the high road back to carlingford. It was tough going in the mist with visibility down to 30m, which made finding the Control Punches and direction markers very difficult. It wasn’t helped by the fact that some punches were taken the previous day and direction arrows moved !!! The first complete team to arrive was Team 39 of Barry Tinnelly, Peter Grant and Brian Coughlan (51:55), followed by Team 1, Paul Mahon, Beth McCluskey and Eamonn Horgan (50:42) The final team of Chris Rogers David Duffy and Shane Garvey coming into transition in 1:14:24.

Onto the mountain bikes and it was up the fire road in Slieve Foy Forest, then following ‘The Táin Way’ to Omeath, on up

Out of the Mist !!

Out of the Mist !!

to the ‘Long Woman’s Grave’ to the bike drop at T2 for the 4k run up to the lake at Slievenaglogh. First to arrive and moving into the lead was Team 3 of Gerry McCabe, Ray O’Shaughnessy and Johnny McCabe with Paul Mahon’s team in hot pursuit. A very difficult run in the conditions, but most teams completing it in under 48 minutes. Local team of Ruaidhri Stewart, Robert Kinnahan and Declan McCabe having the fastest split time of 26 minutes. Back on the bikes and onto the mountain single tracks, along ‘Skull Alley’ to T3 at the ‘Windy  Gap’ for the 2k summit run up to Fox’s Rock. Fastest split was 15 minutes by Team 1.

How was it ?

How was it ?

From here it was back on the trails, up the ‘Famine Road’ to Golyin Pass once more, this time for the wonderful roller/coaster single track decent into Carlingford and transition zone. With a full tide lapping the shore line and a stiff south, easterly blowing up the Lough, the Kayaks awaited the weary competitors. A pair would kayak over to the Convent Steeps below St. John’s Castle one of which would change with the third member who ran around to meet them. This was repeated four times in the rough challenging conditions under the vigil eye of ten canoes from the Dundalk Canoe Club and two Sailing Club Ribs. Team 3 of Ray O’Shaughnessy and the McCabe brothers had a 20 minute lead on Paul Mahon’s team, he having been on six previous winnings teams. Following this was a 2k run to, up and around St John’s Castle through the village and back to the finish. Team 3 crossing the Columbia finish gantry in a time of 4:35:35, followed by Team 1 in 4:54:44, and in third Team 39 in a time of 5:14:56. Bare a thought for the two final teams who put in a superb performance in this their first ever event of this time Team 22 of Mairead Clarke, Clare Maher and Paul Byrne (7:54:31) and the final finishers Team 24, Marie Higgins, Andy Hewitt and Barry Casey (7:54:31). Well done all of ye.

A big thank you to all marshals on the day, Carlingford Red Cross, LMFM road caster, Dundalk Canoe Club, the local Garda, Jade Events, Lucozade Sport, Joe & Paul the motor bike marshals, Outsider, Jade Events, Coillte,Carlingford Sailing Club and its members and staff, to Kelly the masseuse, Tommy the Bikes and Outdoor Xchange, and of course Columbia for its quality finisher t-shirts. The evening ended with ‘Elvis’ not leaving the building ‘till late, very late !!! And finally, to all the competitors, who travelled from near and afar and who braved the elements and the challenge they conquered. Hopefully we’ll see you all again in 2010 for the ‘Special’ 10th anniversary of the’CLEC’.kayak09

Slán abhaile and Happy Trails.


1st JohnnyMcCabe, Gerry McCabe, Ray O’Shaughnessy (4:35:35)

2nd Paul Mahon, Beth McCluskey, Eamon Horgan (4:54:44)

3rd Barry Tinnelly, Peter Grant, Willie Marks (5:14:56)

4th Ciaran Gormley, Tony Kelly, Alan Bingham (5:21:49)


1st Taryn McCoy, Andrea Harrower, Susie Mitchell (6:14:33)

2nd Jacqueline O’Hagan, Mary Denson, Sonya Fuhrmann (6:29:35)


1st Paul Mahon, Beth McCluskey, Eamon Horgan (4:54:44)

2nd Maeve O’Grady, Daniel Murrogh, Eoghan Carton (5:56:37)

3rd Rowan McMahon, Didi Baxter, Paul McArthur (6:03:54)



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