Castlewellan Christmas Cracker 2014 Report

O’Hanlon and McCluskey follow the Star to record a second victory.
by Bogusboy
There was a real international feel to the annual Christmas Cracker race in Castlewellan on 27th December. From early morning an eclectic blend of international fell runners, triathletes and cyclists gathered to compete in the biggest race of the Christmas Holidays. Winner of the inaugural race more than 30 years ago Deon McNeilly once again took to the line and as usual gave a very good account of himself. The tradition of running fancy dress is growing and this year saw many different variations on the seasonal theme as well as the occasional dinosaur – well done to all who made the effort as this added to the sense of occasion. Continue reading

Records set to tumble again as Cracker explodes into life once more!

A Preview of the 31st Castlewellan Christmas Cracker
by Bogusboy

The Christmas Cracker has gone from strength to strength renaissance since it was taken over by Newcastle AC and relocated to Castlewellan in the early ‘noughties’. It remains the most unique and one of the best attended popular races in the annual ANI calendar. On 28th December 2013 a record breaking 373 teams took to the line and 2014 promises to be bigger as the entries flood in. This year the race is on Saturday 27th December, by which time the turkey will be on its last legs and attention will be turning to New Year’s running resolutions. The race is a multi-terrain event over approximately 8.2 miles and is suitable for runners of all abilities and levels of experience. This year the race is very different and promises to be an enjoyable experience. Most of the action will take place in Castlewellan Forest and runners will have the opportunity to experience many of the recently re-constructed paths that have made the park a ‘must go to’ venue for walkers and cyclists alike. Continue reading

2013 Castlewellan Christmas Cracker Race

Christmas Cracker 2013 Results

Photos by Graham McCauley
Photos by Paul Duffin
Photos by Dave Goddard

Record crowds for 30th Christmas Cracker in Castlewellan

A brief review by Bogusboy

The heavy rain and strong winds gave way to sunshine as a record 366 teams gathered in Castlewellan for the 30th running of a race that has now become a firm favourite with many due to its unique nature. Running with a partner is unusual in this individual sport and this coupled with the fact that the course is very different each year makes this event very different from what runners come to expect in a race. With many turning up in fancy dress, superheroes, rock bands, varying degrees of Christmas apparel and onesies to name but a few, there is a unique atmosphere in the crowded market town for the afternoon. In an unprecedented departure the race did not avail of the many trails in Castlewellan Forest Park, focusing instead on the many interesting lanes and bridal ways on the Drumee side of the town. Continue reading

A Preview of the 30th Christmas Cracker

by Bogusboy
The Christmas Cracker is enjoying a continued renaissance since it was taken over by Newcastle AC and relocated to Castlewellan in the early ‘noughties’ and remains one of the most unique and popular races in the annual ANI calendar. On 27th December 2012 an incredible 292 teams took to the line and 2013 promises to be bigger and better with over 240 teams already registered and still a fortnight to go. Continue reading

East Down pair retain Christmas Cracker title for 2012

East Down pair retain Christmas Cracker title as record pairings complete the Castlewellan course.

A special report by Bogusboy’s Successor

By 11.45am the function room of Castlewellan GAC was buzzing with excitement as the athletes began to arrive en masse to register for the annual 14k trek around the environs of the market town.  The entry of 192 teams in 2011 was quickly surpassed due to the innovation of online registration, and by 12.45pm a record breaking 292 (exactly 100 above previous year) teams were registered and the atmosphere was beginning to reach a crescendo.  Indeed a high class field had assembled and each of the teams that would finish in the top 7 had at least one international athlete in the pairing, while a current NI track record holder James McIlroy would finish 14th in his debut over such terrain. Continue reading