The 32nd Christmas Cracker in Castlewellan Report

Tales of the not so unexpected as Monaghan and Totten dominate a high class field
by Bogusboy

ResultsPhotos by Caolan Hawkins

With 850 competitors participating, the Castlewellan Christmas Cracker was undoubtedly the main local sporting event of the holiday season. The scene as the athletes made their way along the Main Street towards the Drumbuck Road was truly something to behold with many festooned in festive apparel.  Equally impressive was the huge crowd of spectators that lined the streets and the forest park to watch the drama unfold. This year was a vintage one with the event sold out well in advance and many of the top performers committed early to taking part. As predicted, it was going to be a close affair, with a number of pairs in contention for the win. Continue reading

Sold Out!!!

A preview of the 32nd Christmas Cracker race by Bogusboy

It sold out almost as quickly as Beiber – extra places were secured and went within minutes and many are disappointed as they will have to spectate. 450 teams will take to the line for the 32nd Christmas cracker pairs’ race on Monday 28th December. The market town will be awash with colour as 900 competitors, many of whom will ‘dress for the occasion’, take to the streets. Rumour has it that Stevie Rice and Martin Brogan were tactically holding off to see if they could get a discounted price after Christmas Day –  sorry lads, no such luck this year. The race has grown exponentially 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. In 2014, 353 teams completed the course, building steadily on the numbers form the previous years.  This year there are 203 male teams, 118 female teams and 129 mixed teams. Continue reading

Castlewellan Christmas Cracker 2015

The Annual Castlewellan Christmas Cracker Pairs Race will take place on
Monday 28th December 2015 at 1:00 PM.

Provisional Results

Final Race Instructions. Please email any changes before 6pm on Sunday. NOTE – please send full details of change – name, phone, email, club, d.o.b, age on race day, next of kin name, next of kin phone. Changes cannot be made without all these details.

Preview Report

Entries are now CLOSED. Please note that there will be no further entries available on race day. Any downloadable entry forms from previous years races are not valid and cannot be accepted.


  • All teams must pre enter using the online registration system
  • Entry fee of £25 / team is payable at time of registration
  • NO refunds are available
  • There is a limit of 400 teams
  • There will be no entries taken on race day
  • Registration will close on Monday 21st Dec or when the entry limit has been reached.
  • Team changes can be made via email before race day. Details will be in email confirmation that each team member receives.

Full Race Details and Entry Form can be found HERE – Map now added
Queries should be sent to

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