AGM – Monday 13 January, 8pm, Avoca Hotel

All members are invited to attend the club’s AGM on Monday 13 January in the Avoca Hotel, Newcastle at 8pm.

The purpose of AGM is to elect a new committee for the coming year, it would be great to see new members joining the committee.
If you are nominating someone please ask them first.

At the AGM the clubs accounts will be reviewed and the membership fee set for 2020, following the review of the accounts members have an opportunity to ask any questions relating to the accounts.

While questions/suggestions can be put to the club committee at any time, questions/suggestions can be made at the end of the meeting.
If possible please submit AOB by email before 11 January to

2019 Committee (stored on club website
Chairman – Deon McNeilly
Vice Chairman – PJ McCrickard
Treasurer – Damien Brannigan
Secretary – Richard Rodgers
Additional Committee Members
Rita Devlin
David Hicks
Patrick Higgins
Pauline McCauley
Eamon McCrickard
Jack O’Hare
Mari Troeng

Time Trial 07/01/2020

Well done to everyone who took part in our 5km time trial on Tuesday 7 January. There were some very impressive times.

This marks the beginning of the Spring Training Block (Tuesday sessions will be posted in the next few days) until 7 April 2020.

Thanks to the Prophet and Francie for officiating.

Alan Strachan19:25
Benoit Le Houerou19:39
Brendan McQuaid17:22
Brian McVeigh18:02
Ciara Savage21:42
Fionn McKibbin22:05
Franky McGivern20:29
Gary McEvoy18:25
Gerard McAuley20:41
Gillian McNiff23:50
James King20:04
Jerome Farrell21:47
Jim Magorrian19:14
John 'Hen' Kelly19:46
Joe McCann21:34
Jonny Crutchley18:55
Kris Fegan20:23
Lorna Cunningham21:09
Mari Troeng19:09
Mark Keane 21:04
Mark 'Pavement Basher' Holland19:40
Mark Stephens16:53
Mickey Clarke18:46
Mickey Meehan21:02
Niall Goodman17:51
Nichola Kielty23:50
Nichola Watson19:20
Nicola Mathers23:20
Patrick Higgins17:50
Pearse McCann21:49
Ronnie Horrox23:12
Ruby McNiff21:01
Shalene McMurray 17:31
Stevie Rice22:39
Tom Crudgington17:20

Christmas Off-Road Running Report

Report by Hill Runner

Turkey Trot 2019

Christmas is normally a time for people to take it easy, eat and drink plenty and to put the feet up for a while. When most folk were busy doing this, the local running fraternity were gearing up for a week of off road running which sees three very popular races taking place. Boxing Day started it off with the Turkey Trot mountain race followed by the infamous pairs race (see separate Cracker report) on Saturday 28th and ringing in the new year we had Race Over The Glens in Co. Antrim on New Year’s Day.

Boxing Day dawned doom and gloomy after heavy overnight rain fell forcing organisers to cut the course short avoiding the open mountain section, much to the annoyance of some of the hardier mountain folk! The route followed fire roads through Tollymore Forest to the Trassey Track, which was like a river in places, with several knee deep icy cold crossings to be made. Staying on the Trassey, runners headed for The Hares Gap, where three hardy marshals stood guarding the dibber control ensuring it wasn’t going to be blown off the mountain. This was the halfway point and a very wet, slippery and mucky descent followed before returning along the Trassey back to the mountain centre. Continue reading

Crudgington Zooms to his First Victory at Tollymore

By The Grey Faced Runner

Tollymore Forest Park was the destination on Saturday as a small number of Newcastle and District AC runners put their toes to the line in the now annual Born 2 Run series.

Historically, Tollymore was known to have been included in seven and a half local townlands; however, going to press the Prophet could not be contacted to officially confirm all the townlands names.

Reports received by The Grey Faced Runner indicate that The Prophet is busy scrubbing the red road writing of the steep slopes of Ballymagreehans Playrock. It has been confirmed that “Higgins this is a hill” has now been fully removed; however the removal of “this aint no walking club” is proving a more difficult task. Continue reading

What a Cracker as McGrady and Barrington triumph on the Playrock

The Castlewellan Christmas Cracker by Bogusboy

It was one of the best kept secrets in history. Even his wife did not know the course. His close friends and running colleagues tried every trick in the book to ascertain the route for the annual Castlewellan Christmas Cracker, but uncharacteristically the Prophet remained tight-lipped and taciturn. The usual platitudes and prosaicisms were thrown out by way of appeasement, but they threw no light on the course that has been in the planning since January 2019. Phrases like, ‘there is something for everyone’, ‘there will be a few good climbs’, ‘we will go through a field or two’ and ‘I still have a few ditches to clear’ served only to add intrigue and mystique to the potential route.

From 11am, parking spaces were snaffled up as the growing crowds made their way to collect their numbers, totally unaware of what lay ahead, another unique characteristic of this now iconic event. When we go to races we usually know what lies ahead as it will be the same as the previous year: not so with this one. This led to great speculation at registration and the passing of spurious rumours, ‘I’ve heard it is Foxes green first’, ‘Bunker’s Hill is the first climb’, ‘the gates at Niall King’s place are open and that can only mean one thing!’ Those unwise enough to listen were tormented, while the more sanguine took it all in their stride realising that what would be would be.
The atmosphere in the GAA club was electric and filled with excitement as every little corner became a changing space and in the middle of all of this Stevie Rice had set up a stall and had created a monopoly on udderrmint – an essential for the discerning runner! With space at a premium, one team had pre-booked the VIP changing facilities in Ned McCartan’s front room. Here the gracious, ebullient and effervescent host provided valet parking, bespoke carb-rich pre-race food, handed out warm fluffy towels and proffered words of wisdom and encouragement. The 5* package was completed with optional dog therapy – petting Socks!!! Continue reading