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 HOLDER
1st (Joint) Steven Shields (Open) Time 15:34 in December 2020- COURSE RECORD HOLDER
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
6th: Harry Teggarty (MV65) Time: 21:43 in June 201
7th (joint): Ciaran McAleenan (MV55) Time: 21:44 in August 2019
7th (joint): Stephen Bickerstaff (MV55) Time: 21:44 in August 2019
9th: Kevin Murdock (MV50) Time 22:21 in April 2021
10th: Peter Coyle (MV55) Time 22:45 in April 2021
11th (Joint): Helen Cassidy (FV45) Time: 23:09 in August 2020
11th (Joint): Clive Coffey (MV55) Time: 23:09 in August 2020
Female Vet 45
1st: Helen Cassidy (FV45) Time: 23:09 in August 2020
Male Vet 65
1st: Harry Teggarty (MV65) Time: 21:43 in June 2017
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 50
1st: Billy Reed (MV50) Time 17:42 in July 2020
2nd: Kevin Murdock (MV50) Time 22:21 in April 2021
Male Vet 40
1st Aaron Shimmons (MV40) Time 18:22 in July 2020
Walking Challenge (All 7 Sections in one Calendar Year)
1st (Joint) Susan Lambe
1st (Joint) Cara Lavery
17 hours and 42 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
J271 297 - 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)
Where are they now?
Click the image to begin Dot Watching.
OPEN for REGISTRATION within COViD-19 Restrictions in N. Ireland (April 2021 Update)
With the latest NI government announcement on 15 April 2021 we have determined that Cassie’s Challenge can be opened up from 23rd April 2021 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 the lockdown and a number of people now having at least one dose of their vaccine the coronavirus still presents a credible threat to our community and our society.
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,
Attempting Cassie’s Challenge is a personal choice and runners should be satisfied that they are sufficiently competent and capable in long distance ultra-mountain running, be prepared, evaluate the risks presented by all of the hazards, including the coronavirus and have the necessary safety and health controls in place to address them, which is to include having a self-rescue/ emergency response plan worked out in advance.
Cassie’s Challenge is to be completed on foot within a 24 hour period.
No one under the age of 18 may undertake Cassie's Challenge.
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 peaks in the order set out in ‘The Route’ section above, using a route between the peaks of their own choosing.
Each runner MUST wear a tracker, supplied by Primal Tracking. Note that at this time Primal Tracking need two weeks’ notice to organise the tracker and make suitable pick-up arrangements.
As much as anything Cassie’s Challenge is a navigational challenge so runners are expected to be able to use map and compass as necessary.
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.
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.
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 website).
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: Does Cassie’s 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: 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);
Postal address; and
Proposed date and starting time.
Please note: 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 Cassie’s Challenge.
3. Personal data provided by you will be kept confidential and used solely for the purpose of managing Cassie's Challenge. 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); and
Proposed date and starting time.
Please note: Organisers are to be notified of any amendments to original plans as soon as possible.