Tollymore 5k - the course
An interactive course map can be viewed by clicking HERE - you can switch between views and check out the altitude profile.
Waggy Races will start and finish in the monument field (pictured), which is on the left hand side as you drive into the park up the main avenue. This is a lovely spot with panoramic views over the forest and the Mourne mountains and notably it is where Neil learnt to kick a rugby ball as a skinny teenager. The course will mainly be gravel trails and grass, with some short sections on tarmac.
We will be starting near the rangers hut and travelling the length of the monument field (passing the finish line [Note: don’t stop at this point!]) before veering right and taking the path towards the youth campsite. Just past the campsite we will turn left into a large open field. Not only does this space boast great views of the forest and mountains, but this will also be an excellent opportunity to see other waves of runners on the route and of course heckle them across the course. We will rejoin the path and head down towards the Shimna river, crossing the Ivy Bridge and turning immediately left. This next exciting cross country loop is narrow, slightly rough and cuts through the trees along the river - great lead skills will be required to avoid wrapping your dog around a tree!
After this section we rejoin the main path and head west along the river before take the right fork towards the duck pond, passing the pond on the near side and rejoining the main path for a gentle climb to the highest point on the course (it isnt a tough climb). This is followed by a rapid descent back to the duck pond before sling-shotting round the corner, over the Old Bridge and hoping that this momentum is enough to get you up the dreaded grassy bank (known as the 'Green Rigg'). This is the only steep section on the course (albeit short) and leads us back to the monument field for a flat 300m sprint/crawl on the grass to the finish line!