U18 Home Countries International, Ambleside 2021

Three members of Newcastle AC represented N.I. & Ulster on Saturday 24th August.

The event originally intended to be the U18 International, was scaled back due to COVID, now consisting of runners from England, Scotland, Wales and N.I. & Ulster.

This was Tom Crudgington’s second International vest, having placed 17th at the British & Irish Champs in Wales in 2019. He was joined by Ethan McMullan and Ciara Savage with their first International vests .

Due to the lower numbers, both girls and boys races ran together, starting and finishing in Ambleside’s Rothay Park. From a grass start, the race joined the park path, then over a bridge before turning sharply uphill on tarmac. Continue reading

Spelga Skyline 2021

Race Report by Hill Runner

Race 3 of the NIMRA championship took place on Saturday July 17th, in stark contrast to what the Annalong Horseshoe was like, Spelga was an absolute scorcher. Race director, Mark Hopkins, did an excellent job transporting water and supplies to Deers Meadow, helped by a team of marshals from BARF club who organised the event. His briefing at the start wisely advised that anyone feeling the effects of the heat should consider retiring, an option some took at the Deers Meadow road crossing.

The race starts at Spelga Dam and straight into the first climb of Butter Mountain before dropping down to cross the road at Ott car park. Here begins the long climb up Meelbeg to C.P 1 on the summit, followed quickly to C.P 2 on top of Slieve Loughshannagh, then a long ascent to C.P 3 at Slieve Muck. A steep descent brings runners down to the road crossing at Deers Meadow where there was a very welcome water station. From here it’s the same route as the Hill & Dale to the summit of Slieve Moughanmore, and then another sharp drop before crossing a river and heading to Pierce’s Castle. Long grass and heather with lots of hidden boulders and holes make this section a lot harder than it looks. From here the next C.P is on top of Rocky, from the summit of Rocky you can see exactly how far you have left to go! Just another 2 mountains and I’m home! The long descent off is quite rough too, followed by another river crossing (bath) and onto the Hen track. A nice grassy trail brings runners to the summit of Hen Mountain followed by one of the toughest climbs of the day, Cock Mountain. A hard mountain to conquer on its own, never mind climbing it at the end of a race in scorching temperatures, that’s a slow, painful experience! Upon reaching its summit it is downhill all the way to Spelga’s dam wall, where runners climb the 28 steps of hell to reach the finish line. Continue reading

NIMRA Slieve Croob Trial

Congratulations to all the Newcastle AC Juniors who participated in the NIMRA Trial on Slieve Croob.

Those who took part from Newcastle AC were: Tess McAleavey, Aoibheann O’Gorman, Ciara Savage, Alea Brannigan, Ethan McMullan, Yasin Brannigan and Tom Crudgington

Tom, Ciara and Ethan were selected to represent Northern Ireland at the Home Countries Championship in Ambleside this week. Wishing you the very best of luck from everyone at Newcastle & District AC!

Full details including results are available on the NIMRA website: https://www.nimra.org.uk/index.php/junior-trail-race-entries-open/

Newcastle AC at the NIMRA Championships

Race Report by Hill Runner

Annalong Horseshoe

Race 2 of the NIMRA Championship got underway on Saturday 3rd July, with yet another change to the traditional route. This year seen the start line at the top of Carrick Little lane with the first checkpoint on Chimney Rock followed by Donard, Commedagh, Cove, Lamagan, Binnian North Tor and finishing back at Carrick Little.

Originally race director Trevor Wilson advertised the race as being a traditional fell race with free route choice between checkpoints, before making a last minute decision to put every route around the start line out of bounds leaving the only option for runners to continue on up the track to the corner of Annalong wood.

The forecast was for rain but on the day it stayed dry and the only weather concern was fog, fog so bad that it had reached low down around everything leaving no chance of getting a quick glimpse of a recognisable feature to help one navigate their way! Continue reading