Spring Training Sessions: January – April 2020


Please note, other sessions may be available on Tuesdays. Keep an eye on our social media channels for such details.

All sessions begin at 6:30pm meeting at the Newcastle Centre.

18 February8 x 800m (90 seconds jog recovery)
25 February5km Time Trial
3 March5 x 1200m (90 seconds jog recovery)
10 March1-2-3-4 minute efforts (60 seconds jog recovery) - 3 sets
17 March5 x 1 mile (90 seconds jog recovery)
24 March2s and 3s (60 seconds recovery after 2 and 90 seconds after 3) - 5 sets
31 March3 x 2km (90 seconds jog recovery)
7 April1m - 2m - 1m (90 seconds jog recovery)

Newcastle AC Juniors Success at Stormont Cross Country

It was an extremely successful day for Newcastle AC at the Stormont Cross Country on Saturday 8 February. Hosted by the NI Civil Service AC, this annual event takes place at Stormont Estate and this year Newcastle AC Juniors had 9 participants across the various age categories.

In the Under 15 Category, Ethan McMullan had a great run of 11:07 in the Boys Competition. In the Girls Race, Ciara Savage stormed her way into 4th position in a time of 11:27, whilst the aptly named Storm Ciara was battering the country! Aoibheann O’Gorman also had a fantastic race, finishing in 13:41.

In the Boys Primary School Race, Henry Houston had a fantastic race, finishing 6th in a field of 141 participants in a time of 3:23. Quinn Devlin was close behind in 10th position in a time of 3:25, with Oran Denvir finishing in 5:05.

In the Girls Primary School Race, Erin Easton had a great race, completing the course in 16th position in a time of 3:46. Teammate Sarah Uhomoibhi finished the course close behind in 3:54, and Emily McMullan completed the race in 4:41.

Finally, NJAC coach Thomas O’Gorman finished the Male Open & Vets Race in a very respectable 12th position in a field of 201!

We would like to say a massive congratulations and thank you to all the Juniors who took part, and of course to the parents/guardians who took them there. Without your support, we wouldn’t have had a such a great representation at this event!

McGrady Financial Services Junior XC Series 2019/2020 – Race 5

The next race in the McGrady Financial Services Junior XC Series takes place on Sunday 23rd February in Tollymore Forest Park.

Number collection on the day closes at 12:45pm SHARP with the first race starting at 1pm. Online Registration will close on Thursday 20th February at 9pm. Please note, you only need to register ONCE for the series.

Many thanks for your support throughout the series, it is very much appreciated. We look forward to seeing you all there!

Link to Online Registration

JUNIORS: Stormont Cross Country – Saturday 8th February

This coming Saturday (8th February) there will be a Cross Cuntry meet at Stormont (please see link below).


We would really like to get a few Newcastle Junior teams out for the event.  As you will see from the attached details, the first race of the day will be primary school boys taking place at 11am, followed by primary girls at 11.10am.  Both races are 1000m, and there is no charge.

YOU MUST BE IN P6 OR P7 TO TAKE PART IN THIS RACE. Unfortunately, on this occasion there is not a race for younger children.

We need a minimum of 3 boys/girls in the race to make a team but would encourage as many as possible to come forward and give this a go.

We then move on to the junior boys and girls U13 (2000m) at 11.40am and the U15/U17 (3000m) at 12 noon. There is a £2 registration fee for post primary races which the club has agreed to pay for those running on the day.

This is open to all full members and to those who are currently race only members.

There is a tight deadline on this as team entries must be received along with a cheque on Wednesday.

Can you please drop a message to juniors@newcastleac.org if you are interested in entering your child/children asap, but no later than Tuesday at 6pm.  Please leave their full name/date of birth/and which race they wish to enter.

If you need any more info, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Here’s hoping we can get a good turn out!

Trim 10 is an ideal measurement of progress

A special report by Bogusboy

As the New Year dawns, plans are made, priorities set, goals established and milestones identified as barometers of progress along the way. For many one such goal is a Spring Marathon or Half. This means that training starts in early January as the 16 week programme is drawn up. February marks the end of the first quarter of training and many like to get a race in to see how things are progressing and the extent to which fitness levels have improved.


Training has been intense

Since the beginning of 2020, a lot of effort has been made by club members preparing for spring marathons. January has meant 4 tough Tuesday speed sessions, 4 Thursday tempo runs at increasing pace and 4 Sunday long runs of 13, 13, 15 and 17 miles in preparation for London, Belfast or one of the other marathons taking place around the same time.  Athletes are putting in between 40 and 70 miles each week in training, evidence of commitment, lunacy or both! Two races are regularly identified as markers of progress along the way – Trim 10m (2 February) and Bohermeen Spring Half Marathon (12 March).



The Trim 10 Mile Road Race is a relatively flat and fast course (as evidenced by the winning time of 48 minutes!) that attracts large numbers for the reasons outlined above. The Meath town was awash with colour as 1526 took the line, many racing for the first time this year. NAC is usually very well represented at this event and this year 5 of those entered made the trip south through Slane to test their speed and endurance over a favourable course. Conditions were ideal in the early stages and one could have been forgiven for thinking it was early may as the sun shone brightly in temperatures around 14 degrees. However, in the slightly hillier and more undulating second half, the wind picked up and made for a tougher finish than might have been anticipated. Continue reading

NI & Ulster Intermediate & Master Cross-Country Joy at Gosford Forest Park

NI & Ulster Intermediate Cross-Country 2020 (Gosford Forest Park)

Photos courtesy of Paul Fegan & Bogboy

New Year, New Decade – darker January days to start with and runners seeing what can be achieved on race day after all the work in the latter days and weeks of 2019. January is mainly about cross-country (and also probably putting in the miles for the spring marathon up ahead when the days lengthen once again).

It was Patrick McNiff’s day. Building on his breakthrough performance a fortnight earlier in Scotland, McNiff led the field from start to finish in the NI & Ulster Intermediate 8k Cross-Country Championship to keep the title in the club after last year’s victory from Zak Hanna. Conditions were firm which made a change from most of the other races of the winter where mud had been the order to the day.

Continue reading

Breakthrough Performance for McNiff in Scotland

Stirling International Cross-Country (11th January)

Club youngsters Patrick McNiff (20) and Zak Hanna (24) were members of the NI & Ulster U23 and Senior teams respectively for the race under the shadow of Stirling Castle in Scotland on the 2nd Saturday in January. Traditional ‘old school’ cross-country was served up with torrential rain, mud, mud and more mud underfoot and spartan changing conditions – a waterlogged tent and the opportunity to shower back at the hotel accommodation in the ‘spa’ where staff had clearly never seen muck like it and were quickly keen to see the back of the runners.

McNiff had an indifferent early cross-country season with an excellent first senior vest at the Bobby Rea International in November at the Billy Neill Playing Fields coming home in 11th place in bitter conditions of torrential cold rain and mud. However, he had a tough day at the office a fortnight later dropping out of the U23 National Cross-Country Championships in Abbotstown, Dublin. After another solid period of training he made the trip to Stirling knowing that he was ‘in the shape of his (young) life’ and he duly delivered. Continue reading