Newcastle AC Training Update


Update 9 July 2020

There have been a few enquiries regarding formal Tuesday evening club training sessions recommencing.

Unfortunately, we will not be arranging formal training for the foreseeable future.

Under the current COVID-19 restrictions, members are able to train in small groups of less than 10.

Please refer to Athletics NI for up to date guidance at

Newcastle AC Committee

Hill & Dale 2020 Challenge


As published on our website last week, whilst lockdown has eased and we can travel to the hills again, the continuing restrictions on races have resulted in this year’s Hill & Dale Series being cancelled.

As promised, to help fill the void, the Series organisers have set up a free to enter five run challenge. The first 200 to complete will receive a 2020 Hill & Dale mug. In a typical year, back at the après-race in the pub, these mugs are much sought after. Please note, that it is only the first 200 to complete all 5 runs after the official start date and time that will earn the mug.

After the 200 are gone – there are no more and the decision of the organisers is final.

The runs selected are as follow.

  1. Binnian –  Summit – any starting point.
  2. Loughshannagh – Carn, Doan, Slieve Loughshannagh and Ott Summits any starting point
  3. Luke’s – Start/Finish Meelmore Lodge – Slievenaglogh – Luke’s
  4. Meels – Meelmore & Meelbeg summits any starting point
  5. Slieve Martin – Summit – any starting point

Runs to be published on Strava with public view entry to count – start date and time: 12:01am Thursday 9 July – finish time, when the 200 mugs are gone. 

Take usual precautions when running in the hills and park responsibly.

If no safe parking is available at your chosen run, please return another time.

Meelmore Lodge has pay and display parking £4 all day which includes a tea or coffee, start point for Luke’s and also suitable for the Meels.

Binnian can be started from Carrick Little track which also has pay parking available.

On completion enter dates you completed the runs here and you need to include the required information including a link to your Strava profile.

Link to Submission Form:

Mugs will be presented in Newcastle during October. Those successful will be contacted via email.

The best of luck and enjoy – all action photographs to the email address are welcome.

Hill & Dale Race Committee

Newcastle AC 2020 Competition Update


Newcastle AC Committee have discussed the 2020 H&D, Ford 5k, Mill Hill Mile, Slieve Donard and Christmas Cracker, after reviewing current advice on Covid restrictions and the lead time required to gain the various permissions.

Unfortunately, we have had to take the disappointing decision to cancel the 2020 Hill & Dale Series. Even back in 2001 we managed to get a few races done in the ‘foot & mouth’ crisis, but this is the first time that the series has been cancelled. There will be a ‘free to enter’ Strava Challenge over 5 races with the first 200 to complete it to receive a 2020 H&D mug, details to follow.

Unfortunately, the Ford 5K scheduled for 4 July is also cancelled.

The Slieve Donard Race has been going since 1946 and this year is due to be the 75th Edition. We are still hopeful that the Slieve Donard Race will take place this year and are keeping a close watch on developments in restrictions. Next review date is 10 July 2020.

We also still hope to host the Mill Hill Mile in September and the Christmas Cracker too.

Junior Club Update, COVID-19


Hi everyone,

We hope you are all keeping healthy and well, and staying safe as lockdown slowly eases.

It was a great disappointment when junior training ended so abruptly, and our annual McGrady Financial Services Cross Country series prize night couldn’t take place as normal.

Just wanted to touch base to let you know that we are currently evaluating the current guidance provided by our governing body Athletics Northern Ireland, and looking at possible arrangements for resumption of training in the Autumn.

The safety of our Junior athletes and coaches is of utmost importance, and further details will be provided in due course.

Have a great summer,

Karim Jaidane completes the Schools Half Marathon Virtual Event

Well done to Newcastle AC Junior member Karim Jaidane who completed the One Running Movement Schools Half Marathon Virtual Event this week!

This virtual event gives children the opportunity to become familiar with the Schools Half Marathon. They run a cumulative total of 13.1 miles, receiving rewards along the way to keep them motivated. You can sign up for this event online at

Official Statement – Hill & Dale Series and Slieve Donard Race

We are living in unprecedented times.

As you will all know, all racing is currently cancelled – see notices on NIMRA ( and IMRA ( websites.

Further advice is also available on the Athletics NI website (

Sadly, we have had to take the decision to postpone the Hill & Dale Series and the Slieve Donard Race. All current registrations will be saved and we would still hope to reschedule some or all of the races once the situation allows.

In particular, the Donard Race has taken place every year since 1946 and we will do all we can to see a 2020 version before the end 2020!

Best wishes to everyone from Newcastle & District Athletic Club – stay healthy, respect the distance, continue to be vigilant with hand washing, cough and sneeze into your elbow (or better still an old-fashioned handkerchief) & help save a life…