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.

Charity Presentation

After club training on Tuesday 25 July, the club made two presentations to local charities. £1100 was presented to both the Mourne Mountain Rescue Team and the Mourne Heritage Trust. The money was raised on the last night of the 2017 hill & Dale series where runners were asked to make a donation in lieu of the traditional race entry fee.

A great day for a 5k

The second annual Ford 5k by Bogusboy

The sun was shining and the temperature over 20 degrees for the second annual running of the Ford 5k. With fast times guaranteed on a flat course around the town, a strong field assembled; evidenced by the fact that 43 runners dipped under the magical 20 minute barrier. The main street was lined with spectators as the field of 118 made its way through the town and this certainly lifted the athletes and encouraged and inspired them to run harder. Thanks to all those who came out and clapped and cheered us on – it makes all the difference. Continue reading

High standards and qualifying standards – A round up of recent action by Bogusboy

O’Flaherty wins National Title in Dublin

On Sunday (23rd July) at the Irish Athletics Championships in Dublin, Newcastle & District AC’s Kerry O’Flaherty saw the culmination of three weeks of hard steeplechase races by winning the 3k Steeplechase National Title in 10:01.40. On a warm afternoon in Santry Stadium the early pace was shared between fellow-Olympian Michelle Finn from Cork (Leevale AC) before Finn hit the front with 4 laps to go. She took the lead out to between 10 and 15 metres but after a couple of laps started to tire with O’Flaherty closing fast. Then Finn hit the second barrier of the penultimate lap with her trail knee and crashed to the track with O’Flaherty soon hurtling past her. The steeplechase is perhaps the toughest event on the track and requires the athlete to clear 28 ordinary barriers and 7 water jumps. Afterwards, O’Flaherty said she was disappointed with her winning time, disappointed for her rival Finn, but she should be delighted with winning the National Steeplechase title for the first time since 2011. Continue reading