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

North West XC 2014

Newcastle top of the League for Christmas but City of Derry closing in…
Newcastle AC returning from DerryNewcastle AC Derry Cross CountryRace 6 of the Athletics NI Cross-Country League took place in Gransha hosted by the City of Derry Spartans. For the first time in recent history a bus left the quiet corner of County Down packed full of athletes, would-be athletes and never will be again athletes. 2014 has been the club’s most successful year in its history over the cross-country – winning the NI Junior Team title in January in Lurgan, the Comber Cup in February and now in the current winter season the Bobby Rea Memorial team title at Jordanstown in October and the McConnell Shield at Ballyclare in November. The club headed to Derry top of the league and 8 points clear of nearest rivals City of Derry. Continue reading

Tollymore Charity Fun Run 13 Dec 2014

Saphara Run – Provisional Results

The McCann Family would like to thank everyone who ran yesterday for their great generosity in raising over £1100 for Saphara. It was a great event which was made possible by an legion of volunteers from within and beyond the local. Thanks also to those who were unable to run but made a donation.  All names were placed in a draw and the winner was drawn at random by Paul Madden at the Christmas dinner.  Hazel Cruddington of Murlough AC was the lucky winner of a voucher for Sunday lunch generously donated by Jack O’Hare. Continue reading

Malcolm Cup XC 2014

Tent christening and still top of the league…

There was a big Newcastle AC turnout at Sixmilewater Park in Ballyclare on Saturday past to unveil the latest in gazebos – emblazoned in red and yellow, constructed and commissioned on the course, yes, on the course – too close to the runners as they finished each lap, but McNeilly wasn’t for moving it.

The team at the Malcolm Cup XC 2014

David McNeilly’s new Club Masterpiece (with the racing line just a metre to the right of Seamie Lynch’s arm)

Just as well for the Ladies Race was at 1.15pm and not soon after it, they had revised their cool-down to a cup of tea in the tent. Worse still, as the men’s team arrived, some were consuming cups of tea as warm-up. It took the diminutive Annadale Striders’ organiser, John McLaughlin, standing at the tent entrance to stop the party-goers staggering into the incoming runners. Continue reading