Reports

4th ‘Da Cooley Thriller’ XC Mountain Bike Marathon

Da Cooley Thriller XC mountain bike Marathon

Saturday 20th August 2011 saw the annual ‘Da Cooley Thriller’ XC Mountain Bike Marathon take place in the Cooley mountains in Carlingford. Run by the members of the host club Dundalk’s Cuchulainn CC and the Carlingford Adventure Racing Club . The Cooley Mountains providing the back drop once again for this year’s race. The weather was picture perfect for the day with the trails in great condition. A fantastic field of over 240 competitors turned up on the day. attempting either the short course of 21k or the full 52k route which took riders on a complete traverse of the Cooley Mountains, taking in some of the Táin Trail and forest tracks to some roller coaster natural single trails once navigated by the bold Cuchulainn himself . It was a sight to behold watching all those bikes meandering through the village of Carlingford during the neutralised start to the top of Savage’s hill for the official start.

 

Once again it was the irrepressible Robin Seymour who defended his title in style to take the top spot on the podium in a time of 2:43:10 followed by Roger Aiken 2:47:10 and local hero Ray O’Shaughnessy taking the third spot in 2:51:17.


Big thanks to all involved in marking, de-marking (thanks Laura), marshals at feed and pasta stations, local Garda, the Foy Centre, Dundalk & Carlingford Red Cross, Monster Energy, Niall Clarke Oils Ltd., Tommy the Bikes, Coillte, National Parks & Wildlife Service and a special thanks to all the farmers and land owners in the locality for permission to access their land on the day, for what was a truly fantastic day in the Cooley’s.

2009

Saturday 19th September 2009 saw the annual Cooley Thriller MTB marathon take place, being run by host club Dundalk’s Cuchulainn CC. The Cooley Mountains providing the back drop once again for this year’s race. A fantastic field of over 150 competitors turned up on the day, including World Superbike motorbike racer Jonathan Rea (laying 4th in the World Superbike Championships), attempting either the short course of 21k or the full 45k route which took riders on a complete traverse of the Cooley Mountains, taking in some of the Táin Trail and forest tracks to some roller coaster natural single trails once navigated by the bold Cuchulainn himself .

The riders all headed off at 10am sharp, in somewhat damp and misty conditions. But the sun was to shine for the latter half of the race which started behind the lead car on a neutralised start up through Carlingford village to the start of Slieve Foy forest where the race began in earnest. A quick blast along the side of the mountain over forest gravel and singletrack trails saw the riders quickly descend towards Omeath village before starting an arduous road climb to the top of Black Mountain above Ravensdale for the full race and half way up before splitting off towards Windy Gap and the return leg for the shorter course. For the next few hours, as the skies began to clear, riders then wound their way through misty mountain trails, over bog, boulder strewn fields and cart tracks, across rivers and through forests before reaching Golyin Pass in the shadow of Slieve Foy and a spectacular downhill descent back into Carlingford village.

The first place riders in the full marathon event saw the first four Elite men coming in, in under 3hours with Robin Seymour (WORC) ahead of Niall Davis (All Mountain Experience), from Aidan McDonald (Bikepure)who after a calculated start, powered him way up through the field into third position followed by Ray O’Shaughnessy who took the lead briefly, at the half way mark !! For the rest, that pleasure would take just a little while longer !! Ciara MacManus took the top spot in Elite women category placing 24th overall in a time of 3hrs37mins., ahead of 2nd place Elite woman Jackie O’Hagan (MADMTB). Biker Rea finished the event in 5 hours and 17 mins and was placed 100th. The last quartet of T. Sulliván, Ciaran Sulliván, Loraine Creane and James Prenty were to finish in a time of 6:55. Big thank you to all the course Marshals and course markers and Carlingford Sailing Club for there facilities.

Local results: 3rd Aidan Mc Donald 2:53,  4th Ray O’Shaughnessy 2:58,  7th Johnny McCabe 3:11,  13th Declan McCabe 3:24, 21st Alan Bingham 3:35, 23rd Tony Kelly 3:37, 31st Owen Martin 3:45, 34th Kevin Lynch 3:52, 38th Eamon McConvey 3:54, 40th Aidan Cunningham 3:54, 45th Dara Maloney 4:00, 63rd Niall Casey 4:23, 66th Gerry Kenny 4:08, 85th Ronan Green 4:46.  Short Course Stephen Ralph 2:14.
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