Tuesday Sessions July/August 2018


10 July – Tollymore – 1-2-3 minutes (x4)
17 July – Castlewellan – 6 x 1k
24 July – Tollymore – Black Hut Hills
31 July – Castlewellan – 5km Time Trial
7 August – Tollymore – 8 x 800m
14 August – Castlewellan – Pyramid 1-2-3-4-5-4-3-2-1
21 August – Tollymore – 5 x 1 mile
28 August – Murlough – end of summer Paaraluf

Hanna Stars at Snowdon

The Snowdon International is traditionally one of the top mountain races in these islands each year and is a Classic, much like the Slieve Donard Race which has been raced every year since 1945, which starts in the village of Llanberis and goes to the summit of Snowdon, the highest point in Wales and returns to the Town Park in Llanberis – 3,000 feet of climbing and 10 miles in distance. This year was the 43rd Snowdon race (1st one dates back to 1976) and as it has done for many decades it includes an international team competition where Wales, Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, the Republic of Ireland and Italy battle it out. The link with Italy comes from the close relationship that has built up over the years between Llanberis and Morbegno in the Dolomites in Northern Italy which holds an annual mountain relay festival in October.

Up to this year 3 members of Newcastle & District AC had broken 70 minutes for the race. The best of the bunch, Robbie Bryson, running for Ireland, still holds the record to the summit from all the way back in 1985 when he ran an incredible 38 minutes and 10 seconds, only to be passed on the brutal descent by one the greatest fell runners of all time, Kenny Stuart who won in 62 minutes and 29 seconds which is also still the record today. Next best is Dermy McGonigle, now more than 30 years domiciled in Scotland, twice Scottish Hill Running Champion, broke 70 minutes competing for Scotland back in the 90s. Richard Rodgers, Hanna’s coach (for some reason) is the third of the bunch and ran 69 minutes and 38 seconds in 1991 running for Northern Ireland. Since the pioneering of Ballydrain’s Jim Hayes in the late 70s to the race, many have gone and tried but no others have broken the 70-minute barrier but would Newcastle & District AC’s Dromara man Zak Hanna break the mould this year? Continue reading

Club Emails

FAO: All Club Members

We’re aware that some people have issues where club emails are going into their Spam/Junk folders. The easiest way to prevent this is to add the club email address info@newcastleac.org to your “Safe Senders List”. We would ask all club members to do this to ensure you continue to receive all club emails. If you follow the link below and go to the “Help with Common Email Clients” section, it should explain how to do this. If you have any issues, please just let us know and we will try our best to help! https://mailchimp.com/help/about-safe-sender-lists/

World Mountain Running Long Distance Championships

Newcastle AC’s Ian Bailey was in action on the biggest stage at the weekend at the World Mountain Running Long Distance Championships in Karpacz, Poland. The course measured in at just over 22 miles and boasted two ascents of over 1100 metres each, both times to the summit of the imposing Mount Sniezca via different routes before plunging all the way back into the town centre. On the extremely rough surfaces, comprised largely of jagged man-made cobbles, Bailey set a blisteringly fast time of 2:58:22, good enough for 33rd place in a field of 124 of the World’s best mountain runners.

The Irish team managed for the first time ever to score a team finish at the Long Distance Worlds by having three successful finishers, a feat made all the more difficult by only having three athletes meet the qualifying standards to compete. Edinburgh based Eoin Lennon scored a magnificent 19th and Dublin’s Des Kennedy held on bravely in the latter stages to come 62nd and give the Irish lads a 10th place finish overall.

Report by Newcastle AC Members

Newcastle AC represented at Connacht Championships

At the weekend two Newcastle AC members Pete Grant & Colm Murtagh made their way out to the west of Ireland to take part in the 3rd race of the IMRA Irish Championships, Mweelrea, which also doubles up as part of the Connacht Championship.  The Connacht Championship is run over two days back to back with the Nephin mountain race completing the championship.  With a couple of good performances in the IMRA championship races to date hopes were high amongst the two that podium places and category wins were there for the taking.

With a height of 814 metres or 2670 feet if you prefer, Mweelrea is the highest point in the province of Connacht overlooking the Atlantic coast.  The race starts on the picturesque Silver Strand beach with runners having to suffer 1km on tarmac before they hit the open mountain where the real racing can begin.  Continue reading