Mill Hill Mile 2018

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The Annual Mill Hill Mile Race takes place on Tuesday 4th September 2018 at 7:00pm.

Online Registration is NOW OPEN. ALL runners MUST register online. Online Registration will close on Sunday 2nd September 2018 at 9pm.

Online Registration Form and Full Race Details View Entries

If you registered online, you can pick up your race number on the night at Castlewellan Upper Square from 6pm. Please leave yourself plenty of time to make your way to the start line at the bottom of Mill Hill.

The Entry Fee is a charitable donation. The charity this year is Mind Your Mate and Yourself www.mymy.org.uk

Full Race Details are available by CLICKING HERE.

Castlewellan parkrun – 32 marathons in 32 days in 32 counties

On Saturday Paul, Noel and Niall will be at the start of Castlewellan parkrun at 9:30am to complete the 16th leg of their 32 marathons in 32 days in 32 counties in aid of the Children’s Cancer charity. We will be supporting them throughout the journey.

After completing the parkrun, the group will cover some additional miles in Castlewellan Park to get them as far as 10 miles. They will then leave Castlewellan and follow a route that will take them to the finish in Donard Park Newcastle at around 1:15pm.

Below is the map for the last 16 miles of the course, with mile markers included. The course leaves by the back gates of the park and goes out to Burrenbridge. It takes a left and follows the Burrenbridge Road to Bryansford. In Bryansford it enters the park at the rear gates and follows the driveway to the barbican gate on the main Bryandford/Newcastle Road. Down Wild Forest Lane to the Tollymore Road and turn left, heading towards the Castlewellan Road. Cross Castlewellan Road to Church Hill and follow the road around the the crossroads in Maghera. Right into Maghera and right again onto Flush Road. Turn left onto Old Road and follow to Dundrum. take road to Keel point and follow ‘the cut’ back to 12 Arches. Follow Main road back into Newcastle. Up the promennade, loop in Tullybrannigan before finishing at Donard park
We would be delighted if club members, wearing their club vest could join in and support the lads for some of the journey.

The following are rough timings for mile markers, assuming a 9:30am start and steady 8:30 mintue miling.
Start – Lakeside at 9:30am
10 miles – Ranger’s Hut 10:55am
16 miles – Church Hill 11:46am
20 miles – End of Old Road in Dundrum 12:20pm
Finish – Donard Park 1:15pm

Kerry O’Flaherty at the European Championships

On Friday (10 August) morning Kerry O’Flaherty will compete at her 2nd outdoor European Championships on the track in the historic Olympic Stadium in Berlin. 12th in the 3k Steeplechase Final last time round in 2016 in Amsterdam, O’Flaherty’s heat is at 11:25 (BST) and will be shown on RTE and Eurosport.

Last lap in the European final in Amsterdam in 2016.

Michelle Finn (Leevale, Cork) also competes in the Steeplechase for Ireland on Friday. This will be O’Flaherty’s latest Irish vest having previously competed at the Rio Olympics, European Indoor Athletics Champs and many times at European Team Cup and European Cross-Country Championships. The Steeplechase may be only 7.5 laps of the track but with the 35 barriers to clear (including 7 water jumps) it requires the endurance of a 5000m runner.

Another one of the 35 barriers cleared in the 3k Steeplechase.

Newcastle runners Selected to Represent Ireland at the World Mountain Running Championships

Following the Irish selection race held in Wicklow on 14 July, for the World Mountain Running Championships in Canillo, Andorra.

The teams have now been announced with Newcastle AC’s Zak Hanna and Sinead Murtagh being selected, both having won their respective races in Wicklow.

This year’s course is uphill only and starts at an elevation of 1551m before climbing up the finish some 12km later at Forn de Canillo which sits at 2430m above sea level.

Sinead is earning her first international vest for Ireland having been in top form throughout the season on both the roads and mountains, with several wins and podiums to her name it was a great achievement to make the team to compete in a major championship race in the colours of Ireland.
The Irish women’s team will also consist of Sarah McCormack (8th in this year’s European Mountain Running Championships, and winner of the Snowdon race), Sarah MacMahon (also a winner of the Snowdon race) and Becky Quinn who is also earning her first international vest.

Zak is competing in his third World Championships in three years, and this will also be his sixth time representing Ireland in mountain running. With a recent 7th place in the Snowdon International mountain race and 19th in the European Mountain Running Championships last month.
The men’s team will be made up of seasoned internationals Mark Ryan and Eoin Flynn, with Kilkeel man Andrew Annett adding more local representation to the squad travelling to Andorra after finishing fourth in the trial race.

Hicks and Hell in Seven Heaven

Saturday 4th August seen round 8 of the NIMRA championship take place in Newcastle, the 7×7’s. After last weeks washout at Bearnagh runners were greeted with 100% visibility, conditions underfoot were excellent with plenty of grip on the steep descents and although there was plenty of cloud in the sky it was still very hot and clammy. Traditionally this race starts in Donard Park but this year seen a new venue, Shimna College. To make up the distance so as records would still reflect a like for like comparison runners started with a lap of the football field and finished with a lap of it. I can tell you 19 mile and 8700 ft of climbing later that final lap of flat grass was by far the hardest part of it.

As the name suggests the 7×7’s takes in the 7 mountains in the Mournes over 700 m high, this year the route was in the following order: Slieve Donard, Slieve Commedagh, Slieve Lamagan, Slieve Binnian, Meelbeg, Meelmore and Slieve Bearnagh. Undoubtedly one of the toughest mountain races on the calendar and very hard to pace with plenty of positions exchanged in the latter stages as cramp sets in. Continue reading

NAC Strike Twice At Slieve Bearnagh

Race 7 of the NIMRA championship was held on Saturday 28th of July, the Slieve Bearnagh Fell race. Approximately 4 mile long taking in the summits of Meelbeg, Slieve Bearnagh and Meelmore before finishing back at the Happy Valley Carpark.

Guts, determination and NIMRA points were the only reason most people got out of their cars as they pulled into the carpark for the 11am start. For the previous few months the Mournes have been basking in sunshine as rivers turned into streams and lakes started to dry out.  Standing on the start line looking around I noticed everybody still had the thoughts of warm weather and sunshine on their minds, armed with nothing more than shorts and racing vests.  Although raining at this stage it still felt quite warm, perhaps even gentle relief from the suns rays, this all quickly changed.  As the runners made their way to the summit of Meelbeg, a long steep trail passing through a couple of boulder fields, it quickly sunk home that this was going to take everything to make it to the finish.  The wind speed had suddenly picked up as a squal blew in from the Irish Sea, bringing with it sideways hailstones and a bitter chill.  If ever there was a reason for the mandatory kit requirements then this was it.  Runners everywhere desperately tried to pull on waterproofs as race marshals sheltered where ever they could until it passed. But it didn’t pass!  Soon afterwards thunder and lightening struck all over the Mournes, a dangerous place to be, although it did not deter the hardy souls who ventured out to race.  Unfortunately a few people succumbed to the horrendous conditions, many competitors sacrificing their own race to help others. Continue reading