Ladies Training Weekend at Meelmore Lodge

On Saturday morning freezing fog greeted riders as they headed to Meelmore Lodge in the Mournes for the Women's Residential Weekend. Road conditions meant that some of the women did not make in time for the planned early mortning spins both on and off road.


As we travelled to the venue we thought that the runs would have to be cancelled due to the weather conditions but two miles from Meelmore the fog cleared and the day dawned bright and sunny. The scenery was magnificent.


Two groups headed off into the sunshine with Louise Fullerton taking the road group and Ciara MacManus heading for the hills with her group. Phoenix CC men were there in number to help lead the women around the unfamiliar roads. We would like to thank them for their support.


The weekend, organised by Ciara MacManus, Cycling Ulster's Off Road Chair, included talks on fitness, nutrition and training. Kay Kack (Bann Wheelers) presented talks on Saturday afternoon on strength training and lead Yoga classes.

Sunday however brought a complete change of scene as the women woke to six inches of snow at the Lodge. Ever resourceful they filled their time wih Yoga classess and exercise routines indoors before beginning to dig out their cars. They even had time to help one poor unfortunate male who had camped overnight and did not know how to get his car out. As usual on these occasions it was 'women power' to the fore.


Ciara said, "While we were unable to do all the things we had intended due to the weather, it was still a great chance for the road and mtb women to get to gether in a relaxed atmosphere and talk over plans for the season."

Cycling Ulster would like to thank Ciara, Louise and Kay for giving up their time to help develop Women's Cycling in Ulster.

Report and Pics Marian Lamb







Report by Louise Fullerton UWA Chair

Saturday morning saw a good mix of road and mtb women attend the UWA training weekend in Bryansford. The road session was a very enjoyable steady 40miles, 5 women, 3 men and with only 1 puncture.

The roads were slippy only on leaving the Meelmore Lodge but for the rest were very pleasant although none of them were too flat. The run took in parts of Hilltown and surrounding parts including Reid Hall and Spelga Dam to finish us off. It was stunning scenery and great terrain for those wanting to improve on their hill climbing. The group really enjoyed the spin.


Then followed a great presenation from Ciara McManus, very informal with lots of group discussions on setting goals, training diaries, training aids, pre-race nutriton and nutrion and hydration during competition.

Kay Hack then took the group for an hour of Core Strengthening exercises. The group enjoyed a nice Italian meal that evening and an early night! Honest!!

Sunday morning unfortunately saw a very heavy snowfall overnight, leaving about 8 inches on everything. Obviously because of these conditions we were not able to train on the roads and the yoga tutor was unable to get to us because of cars having got stuck in the snow and blocking the road. With that information we cancelled Gary McKeegan, who had kindly offered to present to us in the afternoon.


The group then took part in a turbo session before digging the cars out and following each other out of Meelmore, very slowly onto the Mayad Road and eventually back to Newcastle.


Many thanks goes to Marian and Tommy Lamb from Cycling Ulster for their continued support, Ciara McManus for organising the weekend and her presentation, Meelmore Lodge Hostel for their hospitality, Kay Hack for her core class, and all the women and men who attended the weekend.