Newcastle AC notes by Bogusboy
The annual Mill Hill uphill mile race took place on Tuesday 12 September at 7:00pm. The race, which has been ran every year since 1987, with the exception of 2001, begins in Annsborough and challenges the athletes to negotiate the steep climb to just past the library in Castlewellan. By the time the runners completed the one mile climb, they ascended a total of 90 metres at an average gradient of 6%. At the steepest point around the halfway mark the gradient is 10%. The format of the race is simple. Get from the big tree in Annsborough to just past the market house before anyone else; something that Deon McNeilly has managed on six different occasions, Alan McKibbin six times in a row, Robbie Bryson four times and East Down’s Liam Venney and Brendan Teer between them for six years leading up to 2015. There was a changing of the guard in 2016 with Newcastle’s rising star, Zak Hanna winning for the first time. In all there have been 11 different winners of the race to date. Continue reading
NAC Notes by Bogusboy
The eyes of the world were firmly fixed on the North East of England as thousands upon thousands of athletes took the line for the Great North Run, one of the greatest mass participation races in the world. Newcastle’s Eoghan Totten, running in the colours of Oxford University, was in the midst of greatness as the elite runners, including Sir Mo Farah, lined up at the start. For Totten this would be a fantastic day out as he finished the 13.1 (half marathon) course in 19th place, recording an impressive 67:21. This time represents a 30 second PB but left him wondering about what might have been. He was moving through the field when he took a stitch at 10 miles that he could not shift and believes that it cost him somewhere in the region of 45 seconds to 1 minute. Nonetheless he can be more than proud of his top 20 finish and 8th in the national rankings. Farah was in imperious form in the closing stages and romped to victory in a few seconds over the hour. Continue reading
NAC notes by Bogusboy
The undoubted highlight of the weekend was the performance of seasoned campaigner and ever-youthful Jim Patterson. Now in his seventies, Patterson proved that age is no barrier to success by competing in the 14th World Masters’ Mountain Running Championships in Prustuke Slovakia. Patterson will return to Newcastle a World Champion after beating off all rivals to win the world v70 crown. He recorded a time of 55:03 and had 19 seconds to spare over German Wolfgang Huber, with Belgian athlete Omer Van Noten third, 2 minutes and 16 seconds adrift of Patterson.
The weekly round up by Bogusboy
Just after the weekly submission last week, word filtered through of the achievement of club stalwart Paul Fegan at the Quadrathon in Donegal. Paul was a seasoned Hill & Dale campaigner with a particular penchant for unusual and long distance races in rarely mentioned places before injury forced him to hang up the Walsh PBs. However, undeterred by this he is now a regular walker and a great supporter of his club mates at races, often providing the pictures that accompany the racing narrative. He walked the four marathons on consecutive days to earn one of the greatest hauls of bling ever offered as the medal for each day forms one overall medal at the end of the event, the size of which would cause Mr T to suffer from a bad back! Well done to Paul on a great accomplishment.
Well done to former Hill & Dale stalwart runner and now resident photographer Paul Fegan who successfully walked all four legs of the Donegal Quadrathon Marathon. The event demands participants to complete a marathon a day for four successive days. Well done Paul. Great walking.
Newcastle AC notes by Bogusboy
Almost fresh from his Seven Sevens victory on Saturday, Seamus Lynch took to the line in his home town race hosted by Rathfriland Runners. He himself described it as an ‘Almost flat course’, and for Seamy it probably was compared to the summits of Donard, Lamagan and Commedagh etc. from the previous weekend. For the rest of us mere mortals it was a tough but fair 10k course through the rolling hills of the surrounding area, with a fast start and a long uphill finish back to the Milestone.
Lynch, accompanied by Newry’s Dermot Mathers, led from start to finish and edged ahead in the final kilometre to win in a time of 34:50. Mathers was 2nd just a few seconds adrift and Gordy Graham was 3rd in 36:15. Jack O’Hare, no stranger to the hills, continued his great run of form with an excellent 5th place finish in a time of 37:24. The Newcastle runners then came thick and fast, Stephen McNally and Niall Fitzpatrick finished 11th and 12th with times of 40:28 and 40:33 respectively and on a flatter faster course they’ll be well under the magical 40 barrier. Continue reading