Lovely Day for a Dander

Saturday 31st August, saw the last race of the NIMRA series take place in Rostrevor.  Not the usual Fallows race this time, but another new addition to the series this year, Dan Whites Dander. Starting at the upper car park at Cloughmore Stone, the route follows the walkers’ path towards the Big Stone and continues around Cloughmore Glen to cross a stile below the summit of Slieve Martin. Checkpoint No.1 is located on the summit of Knochshee, and although it looks straight forward to get to, it can prove very difficult in bad weather. Dropping off Knockshee, runners headed for a river crossing well hidden in the briars, which took them to checkpoint 2 at the Nurse’s Cottage. Judging by the amount of cut legs after the briars, I’m sure if the nurse had have been home she would have had her hands full for a while!  From here began the long climb back to the summit of Slieve Martin for checkpoint 3 before a blistering down hill sprint on the switch back paths to the finish. Conditions on the morning looked grim after heavy overnight rain fell, and with Cloughmore Stone not even being visible from the village, which is usually a good indicator of conditions in the mountains, it didn’t look good.  However, come the 11am start time it had completely cleared and was quite warm. Continue reading

Confusion Looms as Lynch, Troeng and Carson Take Top Spots For Newcastle at Rathfriland on the Hill

Newcastle and District AC members turned out in great numbers to participate in the annual Rathfriland 10k and 5k races. In total 13 members put their toes to the line with all taking part in the 10k apart from Niall Carson who took on the 5k challenge. Both races took the runners on a looped and hilly course out of Rathfriland towards Mayobridge and snaking through the many country roads of the townlands of Drumlough, Kiltarriff and Barnmeen.

As the Newcastle runners completed their warm up significant confusion loomed as messes Lynch and Troeng appeared in all black running gear rather than their traditional red and yellow colours of Newcastle. Local man Seamus Lynch later confirmed he was still mixing cement at 6pm and had to come straight from the building site to the starting line. Some Newcastle AC members found this hard to believe from Lynch as his Newcastle AC vest has apparently shrunk in the wash recently and Lynch was concerned given the new tight fit his belly button would be on show to his locals friends and family during the race. Troeng on the other hand was not giving away very much and after taking legal advice refused to comment to the Head Chef on the matter. Continue reading

O’Gormans out in force at the final meet of the Firmus Super 5 Series

The O’Gorman’s were once again out in force at the Firmus Super 5 Series at the Mary Peters Track on Thursday 29 August.

Dáire completed the Under 11 Boys 100m race in 20.08 with brother Thomas completing it in 22.16. Dáire also completed the 1200m race in 5:38.16.

Aoibheann also had a great run in the Under 13 Girls 1500m race, finishing it in 6:33.73.

Well done to the O’Gorman’s on their fantastic results!

Newcastle AC at the Strangford Festival 5k and 10k

Four Newcastle and District AC athletes (and an in form MAC lady) took the picturesque drive through the Lecale countryside to the village Strangford for their now annual 5k and 10k races as part of their yearly festival. Local hotelier Jack O’Hare surprised some by taking a half day off work in preparation but post-race his only thought was about getting home to ensure family pet rabbit Thistle was locked up safe from any loose dogs in Donard Forest. With the nights now visibly on the turn, fresh from his warm weather training camp in Bundoran the veteran Connaire Mc Veigh post-race was also worried about getting home to lock his poultry and take the lonely Woo Woo for a walk. The pre-race talk in the Downpatrick rush hour traffic was which race they would toe the line to. Would they work on stamina in the 10k or go for speed in the 5k? Burrenbridge’s James King another surprised entry on the night was aiming to get some race sharpening done before the autumn Dublin Marathon and took time out from his gruelling longer miles with coach Higgins. Continue reading

7 Heaven for Stephens and Hanna

Saturday 10th August saw the annual 7×7’s fell race take place, and with weather conditions poor all week runners were on standby for a last minute cancellation on Saturday morning, alas it was not to be and the race went ahead as planned at 10am.

Every year sees the route change direction, back in its traditional start location of Donard Park, the race took runners over Donard, Commedagh, Bearnagh, Meelmore and Meelbeg before dropping down towards the foot of Doan and continuing around to cross Ben Crom reservoir. The ground here is usually heavy going and this year was no exception as a very wet summer left it like a sponge. After crossing Ben Crom, it’s a long out and back run to the summit of Binnian before the final checkpoint on top of Lamagan. From here, it’s a long way back to Donard Park and many a place is swapped as runners begin to tire on this tough 18 mile course. Continue reading

Three in a row for Hanna at Slieve Croob

By The Head Chef

Nine Newcastle and District AC members put their toes to the line to support the now annual Slieve Croob 5k/10k challenge in the Dromara Hills on an overcast but humid Saturday morning.

With a big turnout for this great event, the course for both the 5k and 10k races is known by all participants to be a test of grit and determination as it involves hills, hills and more hills followed by a technical decent to the finish. Efficient as ever, Newcastle and District AC legend Frank Morgan ensured both the 5k and 10k races got away on time with his whistle going at exactly 10.01am. Continue reading