Gr8 goes from strength to strength in its 8th year

Bogusboy rounds up the action from the weekend

The GR8 is now firmly established as one of the ‘must do’ events in the annual NI calendar. Organised with military precision by our neighbours, Murlough AC, the race has grown exponentially as the years pass by. Now in its 8th year, entries reached the magical 1000 for the first time and just over 900 completed the unique distance of 8.2 miles (or slightly longer or slightly shorter depending on the calibration of your satellite driven timepiece!).

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A Red and Yellow Letter Day for Newcastle & District AC at the Ulster & NI Road Relay Championships in Victoria Park

NAC Notes – edited by Bogusboy

The first Saturday in October has become the traditional date for the increasingly popular and highly competitive Ulster & Northern Ireland Road Relays in Victoria Park, Belfast. Newcastle & District AC have been attending them for the past 7 years and David O’Flaherty has competed in all 7 editions and said before the races, “the women won the Championship in each of the last two years, but the men have never made the podium, this year is it’ll be different”. There is nothing like a bit of confidence before taking the line.

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Castlewellan parkrun

Next weekend is busy with the GR8 and the Comber Cup.

However, we need some volunteers for the Castlewellan parkrun. If you are competing later in the day, please come and lend a hand first. You will be away before 11am.

no volunteers = no parkrun – please help.



London Marathon Club Entry System – Newcastle & District AC

Dear Club Member, The Club Committee have agreed, after consultation, the following process for awarding the allocated for the London Marathon. If you have received a rejection from the ballot, and you meet the criteria below, you are eligible to apply for a club place.

The Club can apply for entries each year (the number has traditionally varied between two and three places – for 2018 we are expecting two places – this will be confirmed as soon as we are informed). These places are open to all members of the club eligible to participate in the Marathon (i.e. over 18 on the day of the race).

The following criteria have been agreed by the Committee:

1.         Any member eligible for a ‘Championship’ or a ‘Good For Age’ entry cannot apply for a club entry,

2.         Anyone requesting a club entry must be a fully paid up member,

3.         Club entries will only be given to members who have been rejected from the Open Ballot process – members are responsible for entering the ballot which is in May of the year preceding the race,

4.         Applicants must be a fully paid up member of the club for a minimum of one full year at time of application (i.e. to be eligible for a 2018 entry, you must have been a member from 1 April 2016),

5.         Applicants must be active in the club and have competed in club colours on at least 3 occasions in the calendar year of the application and have volunteered on at least two occasions – these activities must be documented at the time of application (these might include organising or officiating at a club race, coaching juniors members of the club, helping with the organisation and administration of the club),

6.         The process will begin after the London Marathon declares the results of the Open Ballot. The closing date for applications and the date of the draw will be decided by the Committee and communicated via the club website. The draw (if there are more applicants than places available) will take place before a Tuesday session and will be conducted by an administrator and an assistant (neither of whom will be in the draw) in an open and transparent manner. A reserve will be drawn in the event of one of those drawn being unable to take the place before officially entering through the London Marathon Club Entry Process (entries are non-transferable once allocated),

7.         Successful applicants will not be eligible to enter the club ballot for two years after receiving a club entry.

Hanna makes it back to back wins on Mill Hill

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

Totten impresses in the at the Great North Run

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