Pictured L-R Paul Pruzina & Philip Vokes.
This year it is great to see a significant jump in numbers for our 40th anniversary! I have been casting my eye over the entries and thought a news item on the top teams in the Elite class might be of interest. The difficulty of course is knowing who to look out for, as each year provides more new faces with unknown backgrounds, but here goes.
Last year’s winners Paul Pruzina and Philip Vokes must be considered as favourites, with Philip winning the A class in the Scottish Mountain Marathon earlier in the year and two time Mourne Mountain Marathon champion Paul, also enjoying a great season’s running. However, Philip’s brother Matthew won this event two years ago partnering with Paul and will be fancying his chances with his team mate Ben Windsor.
Another very strong team is Mark Stephens and Colm Moran who were second last year. Mark has been having an exceptional season mountain running, including winning the Mourne Seven Sevens race last months and I am told that Colm is in good form as well.
If the Vokes boys partner different runners then the Short boys and the O’Boyle brothers take it to a completely different level by organising their own personal competition within a competition. Ruairi Short and Seamus O’Boyle are taking on Connor Short and Kevin O’Boyle. All these guys have good track records with Mountain Marathons so look out for some fierce sibling rivalry in the battle of the brothers.
Paul Mahon and Adrian Hennessy have been great supporters of this event for many years with a memorable second place by mere seconds in 2015, so look out for them and keep an eye on the mixed team of Chris Jones and Hannah Moulton as a fleet footed Chris won the elite class in 2012.
Jim Brown, Race Director