Arts

Books: Mountain man Harry Teggarty shares stories in aid of Mournes rescue base

Mourne Rescue volunteer Harry Teggarty – funds from his new book will go towards a £600,000 base for the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team Picture: Mal McCann

MOURNE man Harry Teggarty has shared his immense knowledge of the peaks and walks across his beloved Co Down mountain range in his first book, Cassie's Challenge.

The book is named after his late family dog Cassie, who used to love to run over the Mournes along with the former fishing-boat skipper from Annalong.

Sales of the self-published book will go to help fund a new base for the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team (MMRT) where Harry has been a volunteer member for the last eight years.

The book is made up of two parts, the first detailing the route he took in Cassie's Challenge to run over 50 of the Mourne's mountains in less than 24 hours, and a less demanding option for experienced and new hill walkers, the pleasurable aim of walking over the same mountains over a year.

The super-fit 68-year-old is the only runner to have done the 50 mountains challenge twice in under 24 hours – firstly in 2005 in 23hrs 12mins and then last June when he shaved off nearly two hours to make it home in 21hrs 43mins.

"I'm sure that my record we be broken soon there will be others that will do it this year and I will be glad to see it," says Harry. "I hope the book will raise as much money as possible for the new base as well as being a reference book to bring young people out to enjoy the Mournes."

The expense of publishing the book has been covered by Harry and his family as their contribution to help raise the £600,000 needed for the new MMRT base in Newcastle.

It contains many of Harry's own stunning photographs which he has taken on his runs and on training exercises with the rescue team. He gives great tips about the routes and how best to achieve what he has done.

Cassie's Challenge costs £10 and is available in book shops in Newcastle, Annalong and Kilkeel. As only 1,000 books have been printed, an early purchase is recommended.

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