Cassie's Challenge is a race against the clock through the beautiful Mourne Mountains, Co. Down, Ireland. The target is to complete it in under 24 hours. There are 50 mountains to summit, over a course spanning 58 miles (93 Km) and a climb of 6193m.
Starting at Annalong Harbour this Challenge will take runners through the heart and soul of the Mourne Mountains. The challenge takes you up and out of Annalong Harbour to Rourkes Park, from there you will head up to Round Seefin, Long Seefin to Rocky Mountain before climbing Chimney Rock to begin the counter round the mountains to Donard, taking in Blaeberry, Spences and Long Mountain, Slievenagarragh, Crossones, Millstone and Thomas’ mountains. From Donard you head for Commedagh, Shan Slieve, Slievenamaddy, Slievenabrock, Luke’s Mountain, over to Slievenaglogh, Slieve Corragh down to Beg crossroads. Here you will take a path that leads you across Slieve Beg, Cove Mountain Slievelamagan before crossing the dam and climbing Ben Crom, on route to Slieve Bernagh. The route taks you onwards to Meelmore, Meelbeg and Slieve Loughshannagh. With a little detour to include Doan you will head back towards Carn Mountain then Ott before crossing the road at Ott car park [you may need a rest and refreshment at this point - I do just typing this list of mountains ;) ].
The challenge continues from Ott over Slievenamuck to Spelga, Spaltha and Craigdoo (yes it does sound like it should be in the Scottish Highlands - but...) before dropping down and crossing the River Bann and climbing towards Slievenamiskin, Cock and Hen to venture towards the second Rocky on the route. From Rocky take a line over Tornamrock to Pierce’s Castle (not a real castle!), Shanlieve to Eagle before heading back towards Windy Gap, from where you can summit Slievemoughanmore and Pigeon Rock before descending to Deer’s Meadow (the second road crossing and chance for a short rest before the final assault of the challenge).
The final stage will take you up Slieve Muck, to Slievenaglogh (I know there are two of them as well), Slievenagore down to Silent Valley dam. From the dam you final challenge takes you up Moolieve ( and yes it is a climb) across Wee Binnian (don’t let that name fool you either) to Slieve Binnian. Draw breath now as it is all the way downhill through Carrick Little and back down to the finish line at Annalong Harbour.
Best of luck with it.
Cassie's Challenge designed by Harry Teggarty is managed by Mourne Runners club.
1st (Joint): Shane Lynch (MV40) Time 15:34 in December 2020 - Course record time
1st (Joint): Steven Shields (Open) Time 15:34 in December 2020- Course record time
3rd (joint) Dale Mathers (MV55): Time: 17:42 in July 2020 - Winner(s) FKT for 2020 (1st November 2019-31 October 2020)
3rd (joint) Billy Reed (MV50): Time 17:42 in July 2020 - Winner(s) FKT for 2020 (1st November 2019-31 October 2020)
5th Aaron Shimmons (MV40): Time 18:22 in July 2020 - - Solo Unaided Course record time
6th (joint) Moire O'Sullivan (FV45): Time: 19:06 in June 2021
6th (joint) Paul Mahon (MV50): Time 19:06 in June 2021
8th: Niall Gibney (MV40): Time 20:26 in July 2021
9th: Harry Teggarty (MV65): Time: 21:43 in June 201
10th (joint): Ciaran McAleenan (MV55): Time: 21:44 in August 2019
10th (joint): Stephen Bickerstaff (MV55): Time: 21:44 in August 2019
12th: Kevin Murdock (MV50): Time 22:21 in April 2021
13th (joint): Steven Cassidy (MV45) Time 22:34 in August 2021- unsupported course record time
13th (joint) Jonny Hobson (MV40) Time 22:34 in August 2021- unsupported course record time
15th: Peter Coyle (MV55): Time 22:45 in April 2021
16th (Joint): Helen Cassidy (FV45): Time: 23:09 in August 2020
16th (Joint): Clive Coffey (MV55): Time: 23:09 in August 2020
Female Vet 45
1st: Moire O'Sullivan (FV45) Time: 19:06 in June 2021
2nd: Helen Cassidy (FV45) Time: 23:09 in August 2020
1st: Steven Shields (Open) Time 15:34 in December 2020
Male Vet 40
1st: Shane Lynch (MV40) Time 15:34 in December 2020
2nd: Aaron Shimmons (MV40) Time 18:22 in July 2020
3rd: Niall Gibney (MV40) Time 20:26 in July 2021
4th Jonny Hobson (MV40) Time 22:34 in August 2021
Male Vet 45
1st: Steven Cassidy (MV45) Time 22:34 in August 2021
Male Vet 50
1st: Billy Reed (MV50) Time 17:42 in July 2020
2nd: Paul Mahon (MV50) Time 19:06 in June 2021
3rd: Kevin Murdock (MV50) Time 22:21 in April 2021
Male Vet 55
1st: Dale Mathers (MV55) Time: 17:42 in July 2020
2nd (joint): Ciaran McAleenan (MV55) Time: 21:44 in August 2019
2nd (joint): Stephen Bickerstaff (MV55) Time: 21:44 in August 2019
4th: Peter Coyle (MV55) Time 22:45 in April 2021
5th: Clive Coffey (MV55) Time: 23:09 in August 2020
Male Vet 60
1st: Stephen Bickerstaff (MV60) Time: 21:50 in August 2021(Reverse direction)
Male Vet 65
1st: Harry Teggarty (MV65) Time: 21:43 in June 2017
Walking Challenge (All 7 Sections in one Calendar Year)
1st (Joint) Susan Lambe
1st (Joint) Cara Lavery
17 hours and 42 minutes
1st (Open): Mourne Runners - Time 10:37 in May 2021 - COURSE RECORD HOLDER
(Team: Jonny Scott, Adam Cunningham, Ricky Hanna (Garth McGimpsy), Clive Bailey, Sam Heron, Gary Bailey & Timmy Johnston)
2nd (Open): Jog Lisburn Running Club - Time 15:11 in June 2021
(Team: Eamon McCaighy, Karen Wilton, Debbie McConnell, Aideen Hanna, Stephen McCullough, Andrew Willis & Stephen Hoey)
3rd (Open): Physio & Co. Time 15:26 in June 2021
(Team: Paul McCormac, Clive Coffey, Helen Cassidy, Stephen Cassidy, Nina Coffey, Liam Coffey, Jonny Hobson)
4th (Open): Lisburn Triathlon Club - Time 18:41 in July 2021
(Team: Andy Kennedy (Stephen Miskelly), Stuart Martin (Philip Marshall), Michael Sinton (Stephen Pepper), Steve Powell (Phil Greenwood), Lucy Pye, Jonnie McCrea & Gail Martin)
5th (Open) Jog Moira: Time 23:40 in June 2021
(Team: Katherine Moore, Paul Bracken, Charlie McQuillan, Wilson McAlister, Madalina McCrae, Jennifer Woods & Nicola McIntyre)
VETERAN CLASS (Average team age is over 55 years)
1st (Open): Mourne Runners - Time 16:03 in August 2021 - COURSE RECORD HOLDER (Veteran class)
(Team: David Bell, Harry Teggarty, Denise Mathers, Dale Mathers, Ricky Cowan, Stewart Cunningham, Ciaran McAleenan)
10 hours and 37 minutes
Cassie’s Challenge has 7 sections and requires you to visit all of the points below in following order...
Locations (with IG Reference and Section starting points)
J377 198 - Annalong Harbour (Start of Section 1)
J378 208 - Springwell Lane
J359 224 - Rourke's Park
J359 231 - Round Seefin
J357 241 - Long Seefin
J351 253 - Rocky Mountain
J364 257 - Chimney Rock
J364 250 - Blaeberry Mountain
J366 248 - Spence's Mountain
J368 253 - Long Mountain
J373 260 - Slievenagarragh
J368 267 - Bloody Bridge River Crossing (Start of Section 2)
J367 274 - Crossone
J374 279 - Leganabruchan
J372 285 - Millstone Mountain
J366 288 - Thomas' Mountain
J358 277 - Slieve Donard
J346 286 - Slieve Commedagh Cairn
J348 293 - Shan Slieve
J354 297 - Slievenamaddy (Start of Section 3)
J345 302 - Slievenabrock
J338 302 - Cascade River Crossing
J327 304 - Lukes Mountain
J327 291 - Slievenaglogh
J337 286 - Slieve Corragh
J340 275 - Slieve Beg
J336 270 - Cove Mountain
J329 260 - Slievelamagan
J315 254 - Ben Crom Reservoir (Start of Section 4)
J313 260 - Ben Crom
J313 280 - Slieve Bearnagh
J306 287 - Slieve Meelmore
J300 279 - Slieve Meelbeg
J294 272 - Slieve Loughshannagh
J302 262 - Doan
J291 268 - Carn/ Loughshannagh Stile
J287 260 - Carn Mountain
J283 269 - Ott Mountain
J279 278 - Ott Car Park (Start of Section 5)
J275 279 - Slievenamuck/ Butter Mountain
J265 281 - Spelga
J270 287 - Spaltha
J273 295 - Craigdoo
J260 278 - River Bann Crossing
J259 272 - Slievenamiskan
J253 268 - Cock Mountain
J245 276 - Hen Mountain
J243 266 - Weir on Rocky River (between Hen and Rocky) (Start of Section 6)
J234 259 - Rocky Mountain
J237 253 - Tornamrock
J234 239 - Pierce's Castle
J241 227 - Shanlieve
J245 230 - Eagle Mountain
J246 236 - Windy Gap
J250 241 - Slievemoughanmore
J262 250 - Pigeon Rock
J270 253 - Deer's Meadow (Start of Section 7)
J281 250 - Slieve Muck
J299 230 - Slievenaglogh
J293 217 - Slievenagore
J304 218 - Silent Valley Embankment
J313 218 - Moolieve
J316 225 - Wee Binnian
J320 233 - Slieve Binnian
J345 219 - Carrick Little Car Park
J377 198 - Annalong Harbour (Finish)
Please note there is a Reverse Cassie’s Challenge which means starting at Annalong Harbour (J377 198) and visiting each of the checkpoints in reverse order.
Where are they now?
Click the image to begin Dot Watching.
OPEN for REGISTRATION (within COViD-19 Restrictions in N. Ireland)
Cassie’s Challenge accepts registrations, subject to participants being satisfied that they can do so within the confines of the current NI Government COVID-19 guidelines and Public Health Agency advice. At Cassie’s Challenge our priority is that everyone is keeping safe and healthy during this pandemic. Despite the easing of restrictions and many people being vaccinated the coronavirus still presents a credible threat to our community and our society. So please, stay safe and healthy and work to keep others safe and healthy too.
COVID-19 Specific Rules:
Runners (including support runners) and the ground support crew must not attempt or be involved with a Cassie’s Challenge attempt if they have any of the Covid-19 symptoms;
The maximum numbers to be involved in a Cassie’s Challenge attempt (i.e., runners, support runners and ground support crew) are not to exceed the NI Government guidelines;
Runners, support runners and ground support crew are to adhere to all Public Health Agency guidance, such as social distancing, face coverings and hand sanitising,
USUAL RULES (applies to both Cassie’s Challenge and Reverse Cassie’s Challenge)
Cassie’s Challenge and Reverse Cassie's Challenge is to be completed on foot within a 24 hour period.
Cassie’s Challenge starts and ends at the base of the steps, close to the front of the Harbour Lounge Bar in Annalong (IG Reference: J377 198).
Runners must visit the checkpoints in the order set out in ‘The Route’ section above, using a line between the points of their own choosing. (Note: for Reverse Cassie’s Challenge the points listed in ‘The Route’ section are to be visited in the reverse order).
No one under the age of 18 may undertake Cassie's Challenge nor the Reverse Cassie's Challenge.
Attempting any of Cassie’s Challenges is a personal choice and runners should be satisfied that they are sufficiently competent and capable in long distance ultra-mountain running.
Runners must be capable of evaluating the risks presented by all of the hazards, including coronavirus, and are to have all of the necessary safety and health controls in place to address them, which is to include having a self-rescue/ emergency response plan.
At Cassie's Challenge we believe that the mountains, while hazardous at all times (requiring skill and caution to navigate) may be particularly treacherous in the winter months. Participants must take notice of the prevailing weather and all appropriate weather forecasts as well as being aware that mountain weather can be unpredictable and can deteriorate rapidly. If participants are in any doubt that weather conditions may be unsuitable then they should postpone their challenge attempt. Remember there will always be another sunny day.
As much as anything Cassie’s Challenges are navigational challenges so runners are expected to be able to use map and compass as necessary and not to be relying on any form of electronic instrumentation.
Downloading and using other runners GPX file(s) is not permitted. Anyone found to have done so will have a DNF recorded on their attempt.
Each runner is to register with Cassie's Challenge before arranging for a tracker, identifying whether they propose to run Cassie’s Challenge or Reverse Cassie’s Challenge. A confirmation email will be sent verifying that their challenge is accepted.
Each runner MUST wear a tracker, supplied by Primal Tracking. Note that at this time Primal Tracking may need up to two weeks’ notice to organise the tracker and make suitable pick-up arrangements, and further note that Primal Tracking have a small charge for the hire of the tracker.
Cassie’s Challenge organisers respect the countryside. Runners must ‘leave no trace’ and ensure there is permitted access all along their chosen route.
A list of completers and a leader board will be maintained on the Cassie’s Challenge website.
Your age category at the time of your successful completion will be included against your name on the leader board.
Solo Unaided Challenge
Solo unaided challenges are those where there are no support runners or ground support crew involved in the attempt and the runner carries all that they will need with them from the outset.
By entering the challenge as a solo unaided runner you are confirming that you have the necessary navigational skills and endurance experience (over similar distance and terrain).
Unsupported challenges are those where two or more runners make the attempt without additional support runners or ground support crew and the runner carries all that they will need with them from the outset.
RULES FOR CASSIE'S TEAM CHALLENGE
In addition to the normal rules associated with the pursuit of Cassie’s Challenge (above) the following apply to the Cassie’s Team Challenge:
1. Cassie’s Team Challenge has 7 sections to complete (see The Route’ section above).
2. The team must all be members of the same running club and must nominate a Team Captain.
3. Runners must be club members for at least one year .
4. The team will consist of seven runners: one runner per section.
5. The team can be all male, all female or mixed male and female.
6. For reasons of safety, health and wellbeing a support runner is permitted, if the team captain deems it necessary.
7. Cassie’s Team Challenge has two Classes:
a. Open Class (any age category permitted)
b. Veteran Class (where the average age of the team exceeds 55 years of age)
8. Ground support is permitted at each changeover point throughout the event.
9. The Team will carry a ‘Primal Tracking’ tracker beacon as their ‘baton’, which is to be passed from runner to runner at start of each section.
10. The Team Captain will arrange for collection and return of the tracker beacon.
11. The Team Captain will register the team through the Cassie’s Challenge website ‘Contact Us’ form.
12. Please submit a Cassie’s Team Challenge report (with photographs) after the event.
Frequently Asked Questions
QUESTION 1: Does Cassie’s Challenge differentiate between unsupported & supported rounds?
ANSWER: Yes. Unsupported means: Completely self-sufficient with no outside help in the form of another runner carrying or supplying gear/food/navigation. Moral support at road crossings is encouraged. We will be keeping a league for unsupported run times and distinguish between solo unsupported and groups completing unsupported.
QUESTION 2: What is the period for the Annual FKT?
ANSWER: The annual FKT prize is awarded to the runner(s) who complete the fastest known time in the period between 1st November and 31st October in following year.
Firstly, remember this is a tough challenge in rugged and remote mountain terrain; not one to be taken lightly.
Prepare well, know your strengths and limits and get to know the route (preferably by recceing it, if possible).
Runners must notify Cassie’s Challenge organisers, giving reasonable notice (typically one week), of their intention to take on the challenge.
For the Cassie's Team Challenge the Team Captain is to supply the required details (below) for the entire team in one application. One contact telephone number is sufficient for the whole team.
Using the 'Contact Us' form below send the following information to the organisers:
Date of birth;
Age category (Open, V40, V45, V50, V55, V60, V65, V70);
Club (if any);
Contact telephone Number (mobile which will be active and available during the attempt);
Cassie’s Challenge | Reverse Cassie’s Challenge | Relay (choose one); and
Proposed date and starting time.
Any amendments to your original plans must be notified to the organisers as soon as possible, using the 'Contact Us' form below.
Runners taking on the challenge MUST wear a live GPS tracker, provided by Primal Tracking
You must give Primal Tracking reasonable notice (at least two weeks) of your need for a tracker.
To arrange for a tracker use the 'Get Connected' form on Primal Tracking website, letting them know you are undertaking Cassie's Challenge.
On successful completion, that is crossing the line at IG Reference J377 198 within the 24 hour period, the runner or a nominated supporter must notify Primal Tracking of the exact finishing time.
Primal Tracking will confirm the final timings, which will be used to verify successful completion of the challenge.
It is the participants responsibility to collect and return the tracking device to Primal Tracking.
Please note that there is a £20 charge (plus postage if applicable) for the tracker.
Cassie's Challenge and Primal Tracking support the work of Mourne Mountain Rescue Team
Many people seek to remember their challenge by collecting sponsorship for the charity of their choice and we support that ideal. Primal Tracking have set up a donate to Mourne Mountain Rescue Team, JustGiving page that you, your family and friends may wish use if you do not want to set up your own.
Remember that this is a personal challenge which you take on of your own volition, therefore you are responsible for your own safety.
Be ready to deal with running in the hours of darkness, any injuries, exhaustion or inclement weather conditions.
Ensure that you have all the appropriate clothing, footwear and equipment necessary for such an epic challenge.
Carrying a mobile phone is advisable but it is worth noting that mobile phone reception could be patchy along the route.
While this is an individual challenge you may run with a team of support runners and runners may be met along the route by supporters with sustenance on hand.
Please note: Participants should tell someone that they are doing the Challenge especially if they are doing it alone and make sure to maintain regular contact by phoning or texting periodically to advise of progress. The tracker will indicate if you have stopped but of course it mightn’t be checked for a while.
Finally we would love you to tell us your story (with pictures) so you and we can inspire others to take up the challenge. They will be published on this website.
1. This is a personal challenge where competitors are responsible for their own safety.
2. The Cassie’s Challenge organisers do not accept any responsibility of any nature or kind for loss, damage or injury suffered by a participant who takes part in or attempts any of Cassie’s Challenges.
3. By registering to undertake any of Cassie's Challenges you are accepting that you are sufficiently competent, resourced and capable of undertaking your chosen challenge and that you have read and agree to abide by the rules as set out on this website.
4. Personal data provided by you will be kept confidential and used solely for the purpose of managing Cassie's Challenge. Please feel free to ask for it to be deleted once the Challenge has been attempted. We will delete the personal data from our system at the end of a calendar year.
Send the following information if you are letting us know you intend to take on Cassie’s Challenge:
For each runner...
Full name (of each runner);
Date of birth;
Age category (Open, V40, V45, V50, V55, V60, V65, V70);
Club (if any);
Contact mobile number (to be active and available during the attempt);
Cassie’s Challenge | Reverse Cassie’s Challenge | Relay (choose one); and
Proposed date and starting time.