Donard Challenge, 29th March 2014

‘It’s the ‘oul dog for the hard road and the young pups for the wrong pad.’
A special report on how it all went wrong at the Donard Challenge by Bogusboy

Mist, rain, sleet and poor visibility: conditions that would lead to the postponement or abandonment or most sporting events. However, fell runners in general and open-mountain runners in particular are made of sterner stuff and consequently the running of the Donard Challenge, the latest round of the British Championship, was never in doubt. With more than 270 athletes, the majority from England, Scotland and Wales, registered and all of the competitors accustomed to the unpredictability of the UK weather, a strong field took to the line in Donard Park for a demanding course that would pass over Millstone before climbing to the summit of Donard. The descent was back through to the quarry to the finish in Donard Park. On any clear day navigation would be a formality, but with visibility as little as 7 feet in places, uncertainty crept in and many of the pre-race favourites drifted off course and ran considerably further than was needed. Despite the fact that all the competitors are competent navigators and were festooned with the mandatory equipment, full body cover, food, map, compass and whistle, many found the conditions challenging to say the least and the result was some highly unexpected results.

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Slieve Gullion 2014

Results and Photos.
Newcastle AC started the 2014 mountain running season off with another team win at Slieve Gullion on Saturday 1st March, following on from the successful winter cross country campaign. The race this year, organised by Armagh AC, saw the course reverted to original route from several years back due to access problems in Gullion forest park.
Newcastle AC at Gullion The race started at midday in spring like conditions with light wind and blue skies. Seamus Lynch lead the runners out at a fast pace followed by Deon McNeilly, host club’s Paul McAnespie and third Newcastle runner Colum Murtagh. Deon closed Seamus on the climb, as did Paul making for close competition on the muddy decent. Colum who climbed well, should have been close but just lost sight with lead group in the low cloud that covered the twin summits and went off course but recovered well on the decent to finish an excellent 5th overall and 3rd Newcastle runner to completed the team victory. Continue reading

Mourne Mountain Marathon 2013

Ian Baileys account :

The 34th Mourne 2 day Mountain Marathon took place on 21st and 22nd Sept, with the event base at Tollymore Mountain Centre.
290 competitors in 145 teams of two entered the four different categories 55km Elite, 45km B, 35km C&D, aimed at testing not only stamina but also navigation and mountain survival skills
The teams navigate in the mountains following a course set using 6 figure map references, issued at the start of each day. The teams must be self-sufficient carrying everything they need for an overnight camp, including tent, sleeping bag, cooking equipment and food. Even packing the rucksack is a skill with the aim to keep the generic cialis online equipment as light as possible but still comply with the rules.
Weather conditions were good for the event staying warm and dry throughout, although low cloud at the start of each day did add to the navigation challenge.
The competition was close in all categories, with Newcastle AC’s Deon McNeilly and Ian Bailey winning the Elite event by only 9 minutes from English team Gavin Miles and Gary Tompsett, after over 9 hours combined running time over the 2 days
Newcastle AC also had the winner in the Ladies C event with Samantha McNeilly and partner Patricia McKibben finishing 5 minutes ahead of another local team Pauline O’Hara and Denise O’Hagan

Slieve Gullion 2013

Photos and Results
Report 1 and Report 2

REPORT 1 : You don’t have to be there to write the report: A candid view of the Slieve Gullion Fell Race from afar based on hearsay and speculation!
Newcastle AC Notes by One of the ‘Maybes’

The Northern Ireland Fell Racing season roared into life with the challenging Slieve Gullion race, a race made more difficult by the fact that the mild weather had been replaced with rain and mist.  Continue reading

Ben Nevis Race 2012

by Pete Moss

Some of the country’s hardiest and weather worn mountain runners travelled recently to Fort William in the highlands of Scotland to take part in the annual Ben Nevis race and some Newcastle runners took part as well. This race, some would argue, is without comparison, the toughest mountain race in the calendar and climbs from sea level to nearly four and a half thousand feet in around four miles as the first and eventually the last mile are ‘relatively’ flat. The race has a diverse mix of terrain with tarmac, track, loose scree, bare rock, steep grass, boulder fields and mud, a mixture not to everyone’s liking. Continue reading