Sunday 17 January 2010
Dromara Trail Quest League Round 5 [Shimna Valley]

On Sunday 17 January 2010 Dromara Cycling Club held the fifth in their series of Winter Trail Quests raising funds for the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund for Children.  The event headquarters for this round was based at one of the charity’s main sites at Shimna Valley just outside Newcastle in County Down.  These mountain bike orienteering events attract a wide range of participants as they offer a challenge for all teams regardless of fitness levels, experience or map reading skills.  The aim of the Trail Quest is to try to find as many of markers as possible in either the 2 hour or 3 hour time limit.  The teams, which can be made up of up to three riders, start at one minute intervals when they receive a copy of the event map, an answer sheet and a pen.  The map for this round had 33 markers spread across the area from Newcastle to Castlewellan and as far west as Meelmore Lodge.

With the recent cold spell over this event attracted the biggest turn out so far for the series with 91 riders making up 41 teams.  The first team away was “The Maryland 2 rides again” (Jon Kay & Julie Murphy) who started at 10:31 am.  They had some bad luck today when they lost their answer sheet somewhere on route and had to recall from memory the information written on the markers.  The last team away was “Young Guns” with father and son duo Derek and Zak Hanna who were completing the 2 hour event.  They are currently leading the junior series. It was great to have four junior teams taking part, three of them for the first time,  and they all  really enjoyed the event.

The event was won by team "Retro Grouch", Mark Forrester & Glenn Cobain, both of whom are with Team Madigan Cycling Club.  Retro Grouch had also won the first round of the series and today finished with 550 points out of a possible 620.   Team "The Star Fangled Banner" made up of Dromara CC riders Phil O'Neill and Geoff Brown, who will be hosting the event next week, scored 528 points.  Nearest rival "Lucky Red Sox", made up of solo rider and seasoned orienteer Ivan Millar, achieved 509 points .  The only other team achieving 500 points was series leader, team "Nocturnal”, comprising Martin McMullan and Lawrence Hamilton.  The all-women adventure racing team, Bikedock Belles, had a string of bad luck with multiple punctures etc and had to pull out after one hour having managed to not make it to the first marker.

Also as part of the fund-raising effort Dromara Cycling Club had organised a leisure run which involved twelve road cyclists leaving Dromara village and taking a picturesque route around the county to arrive at Shimna Valley around 1 pm for food.  This coincided with the return of the four teams who were completing the 2 hour event.  The main bulk of the mountain bike orienteers started arriving back around 2 pm hurriedly leaving back in their answer sheets before incurring any late return penalty points. The riders were then able to tuck into the excellent soup, sandwiches and treats laid on by the catering staff in the centre, while sitting around discussing the day’s adventure.

With over 100 cyclists taking part in the event, the money received has  greatly increased the overall total for the series. Dromara Cycling Club now expect to meet our target of 3,000 as a donation for the Northern Ireland Children's Cancer Charity at Shimna Valley.

Many thanks to Trevor Annett, club secretary for Dromara Cycling Club,  for setting up the markers for this round of the trail quest series and to the catering staff at the centre who provided the much needed grub.

The last round of the Winter Trail Quest Series will take place on Sunday 24 January 2010 at Paddy's Barn, Saul, Downpatrick.  For more details see the club's website or email

Photos and report by Martin Grimley

Team: Not the Sunday Run

Team: Borat and the boys

The results of round five were:

3.5 hour event

Points Team
1 550 Retro Grouch Mark Forrester & Glenn Cobain
2528The Star Fangled NutsPhil O'Neill & Geoff Brown
3 509 Lucky Red Sox Ivan Millar
4 500 Nocturnal Martin Mc Mullan & Laurence Hamilton
5 466 Last Minute Paul Manton & Thomas Michalski
6 460 Helter Skelter Bobby Smyth
7 450 Lost In Time Brian Mc Burney & Chris Mc Cann
8 440 Muddy Bums William Mulligan & Peter Lilley
8 440 The X-men Graham Boyd & William Boyd
10 430 Borat and the boys Deon McNeilly & Sean Donnelly & James McFearn
11 420 The Losers Stewart Moore & Dennis McMullan
12 410 Blind Zepplins Ross Galway & Martin Grimley & Pete Murtagh
13 400 Not the Sunday Run Hugh Suffern & Diarmuid Macauley
13 400 Mummy's Special Boys Johnny Richardson & Alan Richardson & Jeff Richardson
13400CCARIvan Park & Steve Curry
16 390 Mourne Cycles Eugene Carville & John Clarke
16390The JoyridersGavin Magowan & Chris Magowan & James Gilpin
18 380 Soda Racing Steven Stewart
19 360 Muttz Nuttz William Forsythe & Maurice Mayne & Paul Anderson
20 340 Morzine Morons Stephen Armstrong & David Larmour & Allan Ward
21 330 The Maryland 2 Ride Again Jon Kay & Julie Murphy
22 320 Lost and Bewildered Stephen Heasley & Niall Cochrane
22 320 Tube and Spoon Wilson McAlister & Joseph Bingham & Adam McAlister
24 309 JSR Racing Jonathan McBride & Stephen Gabbey & Richard Watt
25 300 Who The Fox Is That? John Ruddell & Lindsay Gamble & Warren Francis
26280Retired Retro AttendersAndrew Wilson & Paul Jess & Neil Megarry
26280Fuzzy DucksMartin Cunningham & Adrian Cunningham & Kieran McWilliams
28270InbetweenersGlenn McFarland & Phil Cardy
29260Ride it like you stole it!Craig Bell
30250Tree FellersTim Burch & Colin Burch
31240Siouxee and the BansheeSuzy Carson & Ian McCracken
32220Bonnie and Clyde meets AlcaponeCaroline Patterson & Davy Robb
33219Mid Life CrisisConor Mcgrane & Roger Tegart
34180Team RabbitThomas Mackin & Heino Mc Grath & Noel O' Neil
35160Three Blind MiceStephen Phillips & Anne Maguire & Bernie Monaghan
36138Team IreneIrene Bankhead
370Bikedock BellesAndrea Harrower & Taryn McCoy
* Any questions or queries regarding the scores please feel free to email Martin.

Two hour event
Points Team 
1 150 Young Guns Derek Hanna & Zak Hanna 
2130The 3 BsEmma Sharkey & Elaine Birch & Aine McCann
390The WannabeesFrank Sharkey & Ryan Sharkey
410Kelly's HeroesJohn Kelly & James Kelly

The questions and answers looked like this.  

Found *
A Fence post on corner Base L/H number8 20 26
B Last tree top of climb Top R/H number69 30 26
C Fence post on old lane Top L/H number5 10 23
D Rear of way post at 4 way junction Top L/H number6 10 28
E Rear gate Country of origin of lockItaly 10 27
F Gate at mast Padlock manufacturerYale Alboy 30 11
G On large fence post Base L/H number34 20 25
H Telegraph pole above lane Base R/H number662 20 25
I On way post Centre number5 20 27
J Post on gate at old lane Base R/H45FH 20 24
K Telegraph pole Top L/H number3 10 23
L On fence post by wall Top L/H number4 10 25
M Rear of last tree below quarry Base R/H number4 40 10
N Fence post by water meter Top L/H number885 20 14
O Rear of tree at bend Top L/H number57 10 14
P Rear of tree start of downhill track Base R/H number55 20 11
Q Telegraph pole Top L/H number9 10 13
R Tree almost opposite double gate Top R/H number774 20 27
S Rear of marker post at lane junction Centre number23 10 21
T Marker post near bridge Centre number18 20 27
UInformation boardDate of first Rath11521020
VOn tree stumpTop R/H number772019
WTelegraph pole in centre of fieldBase R/H number2511026
XFence post opposite old laneTop L/H number562021
YTree by FordeBase L/H number414026
ZLast tree in forestBase L/H number443024
AARear of tree above path junctionTop L/H number2 or 32011
ABTelegraph poleTop L/H number131023
ACGate post on bendBase L/H number2882024
ADOn wallColour of “vase shape”Green2020
AEOn way postBase R/H lettersLFD2024
AFOn way postTop L/H lettersJJU2021
AGCorner fence post by gateTop L/H lettersJHBA2027
* Number of teams who successfully located this marker

Team: Who the fox is that? meet with Team: Blind Zeppelins

Team Rabbit

Team: The X-men

Team: Bonnie and Clyde


More photos on FlickR here

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