Club Notes 8th Aug 2016

Hanna is a giant among many

On Friday 29th July 2016, over two hundred athletes descended on the ‘Dub’ Playing Fields in Belfast for the 2nd annual running of Dub Runners’ Giant’s Trail Race.

The capacity field faced a challenging but rewarding 6 mile course which covered a variety of terrain, including forest trails, pastures and the well-used Lagan Towpath; all of which provided views of the River Lagan, before climbing through the woodlands of Minnowburn, passing the sculptures and natural art along the way. Participants then passed through the ancient environs of the Neolithic monument at the Giant’s Ring and returned via Edenderry village and Gilchrist Bridge to Shaw’s bridge, returning to the point from whence they came. Continue reading

Blayney is full of Rockets!

Blayney 10

A review of recent races by Bogusboy

The Castleblayney 10 mile road race is promoted by the appositely named ‘Blayney Rockets’. A few ‘Newcastle Rockets’ were persuaded to board the bus to travel to this increasingly popular race, now in its third year. David O’Flaherty was a ‘50-50 definite/maybe until he was cornered during a moment of weakness and dragooned into committing.  With the sangria flowing, he was full of pre-Olympic joy and thought it would be a good idea to compete in his first ever 10 miler. Thankfully, the club captain knows best and after a week of intensive physical and mental preparations, the in-form athlete was ready to go. Mental preparations had included frequent renditions of the infamous tale of the ‘Armagh 10’ and had left O’Flaherty ready to run through walls as he alighted the team bus. David would have a magnificent run and come home second in a field of 217. Moreover, the only man to beat him was the newly crowned Irish national 5k Champion, Conor Duffy of Glasslough Harriers stormed home to win in 53:45.  David’s time of 54:37 equates to sub 5:30 miling was described by the Prophet as ‘tramping on rightly’. Not to be overshadowed by recent events, David was quick to point out from the podium that his sister does a wee bit of running as well. Continue reading

Club to host Rio ‘send-off’ for Kerry O’Flaherty

On Friday evening (15th July) from around 8.30pm, Newcastle & District Athletic Club is delighted to host a ‘send-off’ for Kerry O’Flaherty.

Kerry-Rio-01Kerry ran the Olympic Qualifying Time for the 3k Steeplechase just over a year ago at the International Meeting in Letterkenny posting 9:42.61. On what turned out to be a historic evening 2 other Irish athletes also achieved the time. Exactly one year on, the 3 same athletes raced each other over the Chase in the final of the European Championships in Amsterdam where O’Flaherty came home a very creditable 12th in 9:45.88 (only 0.7 seconds behind 8th place).  Continue reading

Cunningham smashes it at Loughinsland

A delayed report from the Viking which was mislaid by Bogusboy.

With the Hill and Dales over for another year 9 Newcastle AC athletes made their way to Loughinisland 5.05 mile road race to get their fix of midweek racing.

With a hilly course that included 97 metres of climb, Zak Hanna took off in “McMurray fashion” and never looked back. In a course that suited the runner up in the Hill and Dale series he ran an extremely impressive 26:53 finishing two and half minutes ahead of second place! Continue reading

Kerry O’Flaherty makes European Championships Steeplechase Final


Photo from Amsterdam courtesy of Keith McClure

Newcastle & District AC’s Kerry O’Flaherty ran a massive season’s best to qualify for the European Championships Final on Sunday (10th July) at 4:15pm Irish time. In her 2nd race of the season 12 days earlier, O’Flaherty finished 2nd in the National Championships in 9:58.8. In conditions more akin to autumn in Ireland it was wet and windy for the warm-up and only 14C. It had stopped raining for the race but was still very blustery in the historic Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam. 27 athletes toed the line in the heats and O’Flaherty was drawn in the second heat of two. In addition, based on season’s bests she was ranked 27th out of the 27 starters. It was an honest pace from the start with O’Flaherty through 1km in 3:15 and 2km reached in around 6:31.

An excellent final km saw O’Flaherty home in 9:45.53 – her 2nd best ever and only just under 3 seconds outside her best from
last year (9:42.61). She was 6th in the heat and qualified for the final with the 8th fastest time of the two heats overall.