BARF Turkey Trot Mountain Race
The BARF (Belfast Association of Rock Climbers & Fell Runners, not anything to do with overindulgence before or overexertion during the race!) Turkey Trot race is a 5.7 mile event, which includes 435 metres of ascent, starts and finishes at the bottom of the Trassey Track and takes competitors to the Col between Slieve Meelmore and Slieve Bearnagh and onwards towards Slieve Meelbeg and Slieve Meelmore, before descending to Happy Valley and along the Ulster Way back to the Trassey Track.
The gales of the preceding night had brought down a tree near the start, and though the tree was cleared and the sky cobalt blue, the winds were still blowing hard as the runners set off. They would also have to deal with ice and slippery conditions on the high sections of the course.
Thomas Leitch made another impressive appearance for Orangegrove, particularly when you consider the much younger competition at the front of the field, finishing 13th/94 in a time of 55:23
1st Male: Paul Pruzina, Cambridge University Hare & Hounds (also Ballydrain Harriers) 46:00 (certainly not out for a trot as he cleared the runner-up by over 3 mins!)
1st Female: 20th Moire O’Sullivan UA 58:47
Liz Leitch also attended the race and won a prize in one of the day’s events – the after-race quiz. Liz claims it was down to her knowledge of deceased pop stars but I’m sure there was much more to it than that; I have never heard of such a specialised prize!