A FOGGY cold morning dawned for the first round of the 2012 Dromara CC Winter Trailquest league on the shores on Lough Neagh, at The Gawleys Gate Inn, near Aghalee. The weather improved over the next hour providing the fifty seven people who took part, a perfect crisp sunny winter’s day to enjoy the local countryside. This was a new venue, providing a challenge for organiser Trevor Annett, as he set out the course of twenty eight orienteering markers and clues in an area stretching between Moira, Lower Ballinderry, Aghalee and Aghagallon.
Dromara Cycling Club are once again raising funds from the five round league for the Northern Ireland Cancer Fund For Children, based at Shimna Valley, Bryansford Road Newcastle. An impressive £2700 was raised during last winter’s events and Dromara CC of course wish to improve on the total this year.
The trailquest is designed so that a team would be unable to reach all the points within the time limit of 3 hours 30 minutes for adult teams or two hours for those teams with a youth under sixteen on their team. All but two of the teams elected to try out the longer course.
Twenty five teams chose to pre enter on the Dromara Cycling Club website, therefore guaranteeing a starting time just after 10.30am, with a further four teams signing on at the start.
Each of the 29 teams taking part were supplied with a laminated map of the area, along with a blank question/answer sheet and pen. It is best for a team at the start of a trailquest event to take a few minutes to look over the map and select the best route to locate as many checkpoints as possible within the time limit. The relatively flat Aghalee area helped many of the teams to reach more of the points, further away locations had a greater points value, than would normally be the case in an area of hillier terrain.
Chaos took over as the first team went away at 10.30, “French Tony” from Newtownards, Mutt Nutts from Banbridge, second and third away was father and son team Paddy & Frazer Harrower from Dromara, who were first back just before 1pm along with Kathy & expecting baby of team “bump”, both doing the two hour event.
Team Goodfellas, with Davey Robb of Dromara led the charge back just before 2pm. Suddenly the carpark of the start location was full of bikes, the sound of squealing tyres and answer sheets thrust at the organiser, with all demanding to get the finish time recorded. [points are deducted if a team is over their time limit].
A great day was had by all, with everyone being provided with soup and refreshments kindly supplied by The Gawleys Gate Inn.
Dromara Cycling Club would like to thank all those who took part, the staff and owners of The Gawleys Gate Inn and all those who kindly gave permission for the event to take place.
The next event will be held at the Dolly’s Brae Inn, Ballyward, Castlewellan, on Sunday 30th December, Please remember to pre enter, as this helps greatly with administration on the day.