By continuing your visit to this site, you accept the use of cookies. These ensure the smooth running of our services. Learn more.

Jan 28, 2009

Ajax 2009 Jackets

At the Ajax AGM we discussed club branding and I took on the job of finding a new Ajax jacket. The idea is to get a jacket that would be suitable for club members to wear at an event, for hanging around in. I looked at a few possibilities and by far the best is the Craft Nordic Jacket:
http://www.ultrasport.co.uk/index.php?main_page=index&...Ajax Jacket front closed.JPG 

Craft are a well-established supplier of orienteering and outdoor gear. Their UK retailer, Ultrasport, were at the British Night Championships this weekend and I had a chance to examine the jacket. It matches the club colours perfectly and looks good (that's not just my opinion - my travelling companions thought so as well). It has ladies, men's and junior sizes and was quite warm on a freezing night. The cut seemed to be a bit small (probably designed for svelte Nordic types), but if you go one size up from what you normally get you should be OK. The three photos were taken at night so the reflective strip is lit up by the camera's flash.

I had a chat with Ultrasport about getting the club logo on it and they are looking at some options for me. What I think would look best is the logo on the front and ajax.orienteering.ie on the back (not in huge letters). The sky-blue Nordic jacket is a standard Craft product and Ultrasport do not think it will be discontinued anytime soon.

They retail at £39 each. Our price will depend on the size of the order; delivery; exchange rate; negotiation skills and embroidery, but I think a budget price of €55 won't be far wrong.

When we ordered O suits a couple of years ago it took us a long time to agree on a club subsidy. I would like to suggest that this time junior (under 18) jackets are 50% subsidised by the club and all others must pay full price. If there were ten junior jackets this would work out at about €250 of club funds.Ajax Jacket back.JPG

Please use the Ajax eGroup to let me know if you would buy these jackets.  Remember: if there is little interest expressed on the eGroup then it won't happen.

The current status of the Ajax jacket project can be seen here:
if any details are incorrect please email marcus dot geoghegan at gmail dot com

Marcus Geoghegan
January 2009


Jan 22, 2009

Art O’Neill Challenge Friday - 9th of January 2009

With adventure racing behind her, Helena Duggan has lately tackled orienteering,.. on top of that, here she gets to grip with 55k of cold January night in Wicklow.

“Ah sure it’s only a walk!” I said to Sinead as we jumped enthusiastically off the 16A and headed towards Dublin Castle. The night was bitterly cold, and having been caught rotten before, we resembled Michelin men as we trudged through the city weighed down by layers of fleece.  Due to our excitement, or in hindsight our naivity we were on time, two hours on time, and after registration we shimmied and jumped our way to warmth as we pleaded with the clock to strike twelve.
 A little after midnight and in front of a gathering crowd of about 200, Gearóid Towey spoke eloquently of Stuart Mangan, a sobering dose of reality reminded us all of why we were there.  And so we were off, over the cobblestones and out the gates of the Castle. A few friday night revellers watched on confused as an army equiped with walking poles, clanged and clattered their way towards Christchurch.
 We were following the 1592 escape route of Art & Henry O’Neill and their companion Red Hugh O’Donnell. Like Art, I too undertook the adventure with my merry band of brothers (well in my case sisters!) Sinead, Monica and Therese but unlike Art and Co. we were not fleeing the law and we did have proper footwear!
Leg1.jpg  Had someone warned Art about the perils of the Wicklow mountains on a winters night, I imagine he may have met a nicer fate!
As the hours ticked by the road signs got less and less familiar, Harolds Cross, Kimmage, Templeogue, Firhouse, Botharnabreena, and soon the lights of the city began to fade into the distance. Our spirits had ebbed slightly, we dreamt of duvet covers and electric blankets while our breath formed clouds and snow crunched underfoot.  We had slipped into silence until Monica broke our thoughts with a profound “Lads look!” and pointed behind us.  The view was amazing, the orange hue of the city at night witnessed at 3am from an unnamed mountain road is something I won’t easily forget. We trudged on, our spirits renewed.
 By 5am we had reached the first of our three stops. Many dropped out at this point with 25k of serious walking under their belts, they headed proudly for bed.  We lost Therese our “first time hiker” at this point.  It was still dark and the spread of sausages and sandwiches laid on by the enthusistic Towey family was a feast to mind, soul and body. We warmed our hands on cups of soup and stocked up on layers. I filled my pockets with fizzy cola bottles, my stable diet for the hours to come.  Shortly after 5am, we split into groups of about fifteen and started our off roading. The terrain was tough as the mountains were frozen underfoot, the going took it out of almost everyone, the hours passed and bed was now a distant memory.Leg2.jpg
  Our group had once more opted for silence, each fought a mental battle. My words came back to haunt me, “sure it’s only a walk” was hissed in my direction on several occasions.
The morning brought with it some smiles as the cherry sky cast the mountains in an other wordly hue. However, the wind grabbed onto our smiles and swept them away when it picked up around at 10am. Its undeniable presence added more pressure to already weary bodies.  At 11.30am after eleven and a half hours of walking and 45k behind us, we reached our second stop and some welcome food at the Wicklow Gap Road.  There had been whispers on the track, but as we plonked ourselves onto any available surface and wolfed down some porridge, our bodies decided they’d had enough.  With 10k to go when every inch felt a mile, we bowed out. The challenge lost a lot of walkers at this point with only a brave few of our group heading out on the last leg.
 On Saturday night, snuggled in dressing gowns and munching on Chinese food, we all agreed we’d underestimated the challenge somewhat (said with a smile!) but that we’d be back next year to finish the lot with more than cola bottles lining our pockets.

The Art O’Neill challenge took place on Friday the 9th of January 2009.  The course ran for 55k from Dublin Castle to Glenmalure in Co. Wicklow.  The night was organised by Gearóid Towey the reknowned Irish rower in aid of the Stuart Mangan appeal. Stuart was left severly paralysed after a tackle in a rugby match in April 2008.

Helena Duggan

Jan 06, 2009

Ajax Club Run Sat 10th Jan 11:00 Howth

howth3.jpgOn Saturday next (10th Jan) at 11:00 I'm organising the first run in Howth. The course consists of two loops, the first is 35-40 minutes long, the second takes 60-65 minutes. This will facilitate anyone who wants a shorter run. The route includes the picturesque cliff path, is mainly stony ground and is quite hilly. Suggested footwear is road training shoes. The area is exposed in places so hat and cagoule may be necessary.

Meeting point is the car park on Howth Summit - 200m uphill from the Summit Inn. If taking public transport buses 31 and 31B pass the inn.
ITM coords of the car-park is N 7294 E 7374.

Training starts at 11 am sharp. Please aim to arrive 5-10 minutes early to stretch / warm-up. We will run at the pace of the slowest runner. No-one will be left behind.

Great if you can make it - no problem if you cannot. If you need a lift let me know.

regards,  Aonghus


Dads Army Christmas Walk 28th Dec

It must have been Dad's Army on the tele over Christmas, but the traditional Christmas walk hosted by Setanta had a distinct military air.  Bussed to a unspecified location in East Wicklow, Setanta refused to disclose the planned route.   Stepping out of the bus we found ourselves standing in a military firing range.   Ajax go along on this walk to make sure Setanta don't get lost or get themselves into trouble but there is always a bit of tension between the tribes and now suspicions rose quickly.   Were they going to turn on us and do us in once and for all.    The first part of the script was alarming.
Chief Ajax Pirate Gargan: " Why are we going down the track not across the hill.?"
Captain Dave Weston[abruptly]: "Who's leading this walk.?"

_166821_dad's_army_150.jpgNot until the first hill after Kilpedder did Squadron Leader Phillip Brennan disclose the plan, a sort of under the radar, job.  "This will be a low level mission, from here we drop down into the Glen of the Downs, up through Kindlestown wood, out onto the little Sugar Loaf and onto Bray Head."
So that was it.
Tripping over fences on the saddle we get to the ECO Warriors wood and wend our way across and down through the steep oak.   Close to the dual carriageway a single tree house remains, 15-20m up a big oak, intact, the rope ladder still swinging against the tree trunk.
A short walk gets us to the underpass, into Kindlestown and 20 mins later we're munching at the folly, high in the wood.   A quick photo and we're out onto the road to the little Sugar Loaf, a signposted agreed access route takes us up a rocky track to the top.   Looking West the sun is dropping, bunches of people are silhouetted on the Sugar Loaf, and it casts a dark blanket on the Kilmacanogue houses.

We stumble down off the rocky top and head across to Bray Head.    Up ahead Captain Weston is in trouble, the Lady of the Manor has accosted him.   She tells him he's unlicensed and despite his best efforts she's more impressed by her friend than the Captain and he has to conjure up a new plan.  Around we go.
Ten minutes later on the road, it's twilight, the cliff walk is forsaken, we go straight over Bray head top.    The troop fractures, some take the trig. point, Jane and Graham Porter, confronted by a bull, take to the gorse, all end up tripping over the roots in the dark off the hill.   Waves thumping on the seafront finish the walk.

Peter Kernan