Bailey is cream of the crop as the curtain falls on the fells

NAC notes edited by Bogusboy

Mourne Runners hosted the final NIMRA race of the season but it was County Down’s leading fell running club who dominated proceedings at the Commedagh Chase race on Saturday.

A beautiful, clear Mournes day witnessed the conclusion of the 2017 Northern Irish Mountain Running series. The Commedagh Chase, hosted by Mourne Runners is a classic 13km route that takes in the steep and undulating ridge line from Hare’s Gap to the Summit of Slieve Commedagh, Northern Ireland’s second highest peak, before returning via the treacherously slippery ramp to the Trassey Track. The sun was out in the autumn sky making for pleasant conditions if maybe a little wet underfoot as 11 Newcastle AC athletes took to the starting line of a mountain race that has a little bit of everything. Continue reading

McKeag is Queen of the Hill

NAC notes by Bogusboy

While many of the NAC faithful were completing the now obligatory pre-marathon 20 mile run in Scarva, two seasoned campaigners, Nicky McKeag and Harry Russell, were making their way to Belfast for the Cavehill 5 mile race. 85 took to the line for a race which would have to be hilly, given its name! Conditions were declared ‘prefect’ by Russell, earning a reputation as an amateur meteorologist! In the tough opening two uphill miles, athletes faced all terrains: road, trail, grass and muck! On approaching Napoleon’s Nose, runners got a wonderful view of Belfast, but there was no time to take it in. Nicky hit the afterburners at the top and collected a few scalps on the way back, earning her the first female finisher and unofficial title of ‘Queen of the Hill’ in just under 47 minutes.  Harry also hung tough in the closing stages and was rewarded with a time of 50:08.

Continue reading

Castlewellan parkrun – Run Director’s Report – Saturday 23 September 2017

This week 566 people ran, jogged and walked the course at our inaugural event. Everyone was a first timer and everyone recorded a PB!

The event was made possible by 22 volunteers:
Bill CASH • Damien GILL • Darragh MCCRICKARD • Eithne MURPHY • Gerard MCAULEY • Gillian MCNIFF • Jerome MCCRICKARD • Joe MCCANN • Judith ROBINSON • Lauren MCCANN • Michael MURPHY • Michelle MCCANN • Nicholas MCCRICKARD • Nicky MCKEAG • Nicola MATHERS • Nigel PROCTOR • Patricia SHIELDS • Paul GOSLING • Phil HODGE • Philip MURDOCK • Rebecca MCCANN • Ronnie HORROX

Today’s full results and a complete event history can be found on the Castlewellan parkrun Results Page. Continue reading

Carlingford 5k

An almost flat and traditionally popular road 5k in the picturesque Norman village of Carlingford on a sunny Friday evening – what more would any runner want? Over the years this has indeed become a ‘go to’ August race attracted high quality at the front and the masses This year there were 466 finishers, countless spectators and a carnival atmosphere.

The ‘Michael Fearon & Kevin Marron” road race, organised by Glenmore AC, starts on the lough front on the Omeath side of the village and heads out the road towards Greenore before tuning around 2.5k onto the old road to head back towards the village with the finishing 400m being along the narrow streets in the centre. The red and yellows from Newcastle & District AC were very well represented, not least at the front by Zak Hanna, only 5 days after representing Ireland at the World Mountain Racing Championships in Italy. Hanna, although not fully recovered, aimed to break 16 minutes ‘on the flat’ for the first time and wasn’t disappointed coming home in 10th place overall in a new personal best of 15:55 out sprinting Eskander Turki of Monaghan. Continue reading

A Bumper Summer Racing Week

Traditional summer has returned with torrential showers one minute and warm sun the next. Summer road racing season is in full flow and someone counted 9 races across the country over the weekend alone.

World Mountain Racing Championships (Premana, Lombardy, Italy – Sunday 30th July)
Sunday (30th July) saw the 33rd Edition of the World Mountain Racing Championships in Premana close to Lake Como in Italy. Dromara’s Zak Hanna (Newcastle & District AC) joined other local athletes Andrew Annett (Mourne Runners) and Esther Dickson (Newry City Runners) on the Irish team. Both the men and women’s races were over 2 laps with start and finish in the village – 13km and 860m or climbing (2,800 feet – similar climb as Donard from sea level and overall less steep).

On the eve of battle, Hanna (left), Annett at the back 7 in from left & Dickson in the middle with name card

After 76th in his debut at the World Championships last year in Bulgaria, Hanna has developed well as a runner over the past 12 months. This year he went in with more confidence and aiming to improve on his run three weeks ago in the European Championships. He ran a strong and probably the best race of his life to come home 3rd Irishman in 53rd (out of 104) in 64:37 (1st Irish Brian MacMahon 63:24 in 47th & 2nd Irish Ian Conroy 73:48 in 50th) with Annett 57th in 66:14.

Newry’s Dickson was 51st out of 68 in 84:17 in the women’s race. Continue reading

‘parkrun’ is coming to Castlewellan

It all began with 13 athletes in 2004 in Bushy Park London – parkrun is now a worldwide phenomenon that attracts runners, walkers and joggers each and every Saturday throughout the year. parkrun is an inclusive 5k timed run/walk for all abilities and it’s free and always will be. All you have to do is register once online, print your barcode and turn up. There are currently 24 well established and well supported parkruns in Northern Ireland and soon there will 25. parkrun is coming to Castlewellan on 23 September!!! Could there be a more picturesque location for parkrun? Keep an eye out for further updates and get ready to join in as a participant and/or volunteer.