Tuesday Sessions 2019

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Meeting at 6:30pm at the Newcastle Centre

All participants must wear florescent Hi-Viz tops for health and safety reasons – it is unfair on your club mates not to and it compromises the safety of the entire group – be considerate!!

26 March – 2×2 miles with 3 minute recovery
2 April – End of winter training road Paarlauf

St Malachy’s High School 5k & 10k

St Malachy’s High School Castlewellan are hosting a 10k Run and 5k Run/Walk on Thursday 4th April at 7pm.

Online Registration is available by clicking here and full details are available in the poster below.

10k Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/2132947340

The 5k route follows the same first 4k, then drops to the lake and returns to main carpark finish.

There’s almost 1000ft of climbing – a perfect warmup for the Hill & Dale Series!

Newcastle AC at “The Spud Run”

Report by Hill Runner

Saturday 9th March saw the NIMRA series opener “The Spud Race” take place in Glenariffe. Conditions underfoot were pretty poor, which has come to be the norm in Glenariffe for the 6 mile out and back course. From the start NAC’s Mark Stephens, Seamus Lynch and Luke McMullan along with Mourne Runners’ Timothy Johnston set the pace, with Stephens first man to the summit. A treacherous descent, in which one runner had to be stretchered off with a suspected broken ankle, drops runners back onto the never ending path towards the finish. Lynch pushed hard here to take the win in 43:35 getting his season off to a good start, closely followed by Stephens in 43:45, Mourne Runners’ Timmy Johnston 3rd in 44:43 and NAC’s Luke McMullan 4th in 45:13. Next runner worthy of a mention here, although not an NAC man was Jared Martin of Scrabo Striders, a young lad who had a fantastic 2018 season, finishing 7th in 48:44 and taking the u19 spot.

First female was Newry AC’s Esther Dickson, also coming from an excellent 2018 season, finishing 14th overall in 51:12, closely followed by NAC’s Pete Grant for 16th and 1st M50 in 51:39 and Gary McEvoy 17th and 1st M35 in 52:00.  Also getting their first NIMRA race over was Declan McElroy finishing 61st in 1:02:20 and Nigel McKinney 77th in 1:07:03. Only one lady made the journey north to Glenariffe, Catherine McIntosh, and finished an excellent 12th in 1:05:03.

The next NIMRA race is Donard Commedagh on March 30th.

Photos below are courtesy of John Healey Photography.

Stephens Shines on Slieve Gullion

By Spartan

The Slieve Gullion Race is the unofficial start of the mountain running season for a lot of local mountain runners as it was the case on Saturday as 6 Newcastle AC athletes made their way to the   South Armagh countryside.  The race is 3.9mile including a climb of 340metres which incorporates steep grassy paths and the open mountain.

For some the race is a chance to gently get back into the swing of things after having a bit of down time over the winter while for others it is used as a guide to see “ where they are at” following a hard winters training block.

The race is often associated with lots of muck and poor underfoot conditions but following an exceptionally dry winter runners were hoping for some drier conditions.  Hopes of dry underfoot conditions were further raised when an experienced group of Newcastle AC mountain goats recced the course a week in advance and reported back that the mountain was indeed “bone dry”.

However anyone with experience in the mountains knows that conditions can change by the hour never mind the week and following a large downpour of rain on Friday which continued into Saturday morning the course was its usual mucky, wet and slippery self.  As the 60 odd runners huddled together for a short racing briefing in the driving rain and high winds they knew that this was going to be a tough start to the year.

When the race started Newcastle AC man Mark Stephens immediately set the pace being joined at the head of affairs by local man Paul McAnespie and a runner formerly of this parish but now with Mourne Runners Johnny Scott.  A little bit back Newcastle pair Gary McEvoy and Colm Murtagh were leading the chasing pack.  As the race developed Paul and Johnny were unable to keep up with the relentless pace being set by Mark and they duly dropped back a bit to be joined by Murtagh.

Mark reached the summit with a commanding lead over his rivals and set off down the mountain out in front.  He comfortably held onto his lead to cross the line in first place.  This was a very impressive performance by Mark given the poor weather conditions and in this sort of form he can hope to have a big year in the mountains. Continue reading