My plan was to get a lift to the parking just west of Lemybrien town, to the col just north of Crohaun hill (S271 016). From there I’d run north towards Seefin Mountain, then north-east to Coumfea Lakes. My ultimate goal was to hit The Gap south east of Knockanafrin, passing by Sgilioge Loughs on the way. From The Gap, it is an easy descent north-east to the road and on home towards the village of Rathgormack.
There was not that much climb in the route, with only 2 ascents as far as Seefin. The main issue was however the rough and wet terrain. Weeks of torrential rain in Ireland had left the flat plateaus full of shoe-sucking bog and swampy marsh. However the rain was also responsible for the incredible lush green colours that only Ireland can provide.
Despite the beautiful weather, there was not another soul in sight. The residential sheep were given quite a shock seeing me running across the mountainside. A whole herd dove off the cliffs at Coumfea just to avoid me. However I wasn’t surprised that there was no one else up Monavullagh. Paths are few and far between, so you need to be pretty happy with a map and compass to dare to venture up there.
I got home with the sun still shining, my legs covered in mud, and my shoes drenched in river water. It was good to be home and back out again on Ireland’s mountainsides.
For guest blogger Moire O’Sullivan mountain running is the ultimate combination of the things she loves: the thrill of speed using only her own two feet and mountainside beauty. Moire regularly shares her mountain running adventures and more on her own blog where this piece first appeared. For the last three years these adventures have involved, in her own words, traipsing up and down nearly every peak in the Wicklow Mountains…and then trying to do them all in one day. That attempt has become the legend of the Wicklow Round and the subject of Moire’s book ‘Mud, Sweat and Tears’. More details of the book and where to buy it can be found here. Many thanks to Moire for allowing us to share the story of her run on www.itsafeeling.com