The committee and members of Newcastle Athletics Club were saddened by the death of Denis Rankin during the Hill and Dale race at Moughanmore on Thursday, 16th May and extend their heartfelt sympathy to his wife Madeline, his daughters and family circle at this very sad time. Denis epitomised the spirit of the Hill and Dale and the mountain running community in Northern Ireland. He was a true competitor and above all else a true gentleman. He will be greatly missed by everyone in the fell running community. A memorial service will be held at Windsor Presbyterian Church, Lisburn Road on Monday, 20th May at 2pm.
Race 6 of the 2013 Hill and Dale Series takes place on Thursday 23rd May. Details of the route are below. Please remember to bring full body cover.
Millstone : 4.5 miles / 1437 feet
1. Start in Donard Park at the official start/finish point. (Start: 374305)
2. Run up grass to main forest road and turn left.
3. Cross 1st Bridge and then immediately turn right and follow cobblestone path.
4. At end of cobblestone path veer left onto forest trail.
5. Follow forest trail (bisecting granite trail) out to the veer right mark taking you up steep track through gate onto open mountain.
6. Follow mountain trail out to broken section of the wall and go through opening in wall.
7. Stay on the mountain side of the wall and follow wall up to Marshall (CP1: 376283] Note all runners must reach marshall at CP1 before climbing Millstone Mountain, cut off time may apply at this point and obey marshall instructions.
8. At CP1 Marshall turn right and climb to the Marshall at small cairn at top of Millstone Mountain (CP2: 374285)
9. Descend Millstone to stile at the approach to quarry (Veer slightly right of the quarry on the descent – do not cross fences or river).
10. Cross stile (CP3: 372293) at approach to quarry and follow forest trail descending into Donard Forest.
11. Cross 3rd Bridge and follow trail out to 90 degree right turn and continue descending on forest trail taking right turn at forest trail junction. .
12. Continue on forest trail heading for 2nd Bridge (do not cross bridge)
13. Approximately 50m prior to 2nd Bridge take left turn and proceed through forest single trail onto main forest road.
14. Follow main forest road and turn right into Donard Park and proceed to Finish, no short cuts allowed prior to mentioned right turn. (Finish: 374305)
Due to the tragic circumstances results will be posted at a later date.
Online Registration now CLOSED and will reopen after Race 5
The 2013 Hill and Dale series resumes on Thursday 16th May after a break for the Slieve Donard Race. The weather has been indifferent in recent weeks resulting in the need for runners to be prepared for all eventualities in coming to races. This week is no different with the forecast indicating that the conditions could be very poor on the night. All competitors are reminded that full body cover is essential. There will be a kit check prior to the beginning of the race if conditions necessitate and any athlete in breach of kit regulations will be automatically disqualified irrespective of whether or not they complete the race. The health, safety and well-being of all athletes is the over-riding concern of the Hill and Dale organising committee.
Entries will be taken at the Deer’s Meadow from 6:15pm onwards on Thursday evening. Parking is limited and competitors are asked to car share where possible. Refreshments will be served at the presentation in Greenan’s Pub in Kilcoo at 9:30pm.
I look forward to seeing everyone on Thursday night.
Joe McCann, Race Director (on behalf of Newcastle Athletics Club)
Bailey is the Big Boy
At the 69th running of the Slieve Donard race on Saturday, Newcastle AC runner Ian Bailey won the event for his first time. He now has become the 34th winner of this event and in doing so has joined the who’s who of fell running. Bailey who has been catching the eye at the Hill and Dale series, put together a near prefect run in what turned out to be very testing conditions.
Even before the race started, conditions at race HQ at the Newcastle Centre were showing an early indication of what was to come, on the journey up to the 849mt summit, the highest point in Northern Ireland. Continue reading
** NOTE : Race 5 is at Moughanmore on May 16th. No race on May 9th. **
Binnian the beautiful
Slieve Binnian is the third highest mountain in Northern Ireland at 747 metres (2,451 ft). The name comes from the rocky tors situated around the top of the mountain. These very rugged crests of rocky tors make it easy to identify and boast some of the most scenic views in the Mourne Mountains. Continue reading
Strachan records a personal best and Brannigan eats some cake.
A special report on the 2013 Virgin London Marathon by Sir Eatalot
Lots of Photos
Last week saw the local and national press rightly applaud the efforts of Northern Ireland athletes who completed the Virgin London Marathon. Amid all the celebration and justified euphoria of such a specular event, Newcastle’s ‘Big’ Alan Strachan recorded a PB of 2:48:21. Continue reading