Hill and Dale Series 2020


We are living in unprecedented times.

As you will all know, all racing is currently cancelled – see notices on NIMRA (https://www.nimra.org.uk) and IMRA (https://www.imra.ie/news/view/id/619/) websites.

Further advice is also available on the Athletics NI website (https://athleticsni.org/News/Athletics-NI-News/COVID~19-Statement).

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…

Online Registration is NOW OPEN for the Hill & Dale Series 2020.

Please click the button below to view the full Series Calendar and access Online Registration.


Tom at Ulster Schools Cross Country

Wednesday 26th February seen the rescheduled Ulster Schools Cross Country take place in Mallusk. Newcastle AC Junior young Tom Crudgington was competing in the intermediate Boys race over 5km. After coming through the Down District Championships a year young Tom went into the Ulster’s hoping to build on his recent form. With a good winter of training and plenty of mast to quarry sessions, Donard Forest Trails under his belt under the watchful eye of the vets.

With another year in this age group Tom settled early after a fast start coming through the field to finish in 11th place to qualify for the Irish Schools Cross Country finals held in early March. Certainly, this young athlete has a bright future ahead of him here’s to 2021.

Following in the steps of the greats!

It has been a great week for St Patrick’s Grammar School Year 13 student Ruby McNiff. On Wednesday she finished 10th in the Ulster Schools’ Cross Country Championship at Mallusk to become the first Red High Girl to qualify for the All Ireland Final, a race that takes place in Dublin on Saturday 8 March. Ruby, a member of Newcastle & District AC, earned her her place at Mallusk with a fabulously gutsy 4th in the Down Schools’ at Delamont in late January in her first year as a Senior Girl. On the back of these performances, she has been selected for the London Mini Marathon team. This event which takes place on 26 April is the official British Athletics three mile road championships for athletes aged 11-17. The course starts at Old Billingsgate and finishes on the Mall, the scene of many iconic running images. Athletes from the 33 Boroughs of London compete alongside entrants from the nine regions of England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales. It is a great opportunity to compete against the best new talent in British Road running.

Ruby McNiff pictured with teachers and running enthusiasts Gemma Barr, John Devlin and Principal Joe McCann.

St Malachy’s High School Castlewellan – 5k and 10k Run

St Malachy’s High School Castlewellan are hosting a 10k Run and 5k Run/Walk on Thursday 2nd April at 6:30pm.

The 5km route will also serve as a selection race for the N.Ireland & Ulster U18 Mountain Running Team, competing at the 2020 U18 International Mountain Running Cup in Ambleside, England in June.

Online Registration is available by clicking here and full details are available in the poster below.

10k Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/2132947340

5k Route: https://www.strava.com/activities/2201680387

The 2 races also act as the perfect warm up for the Hill & Dale series starting the following week!

Impressive Podium Places for Tom and Thomas at Castlewellan

By The Buggy Pusher

Castlewellan Forest Park was the destination on Saturday past as a small number of Newcastle and District AC runners braved the very difficult elements in the final race of the Born 2 Run series.

Prior to the starter gun going for the 10k race the weather really closed in on all the runners who were gathering at the start line. The runners had to listen to the final race instructions from the organisers in a torrential downpour and gale force gusts. Continue reading

Another Historic Day for Newcastle & District Athletics Club – 2nd Senior NI & Ulster Team Title in its 39-year History

(Photos courtesy of Keith McClure Photography)

Race Report by BOGBOY

The NI & Ulster Senior Cross-Country Championships returned to Ulster University at Coleraine for the first time in several years, sponsored by local estate agents and former international athlete Phil Tweedie, on Saturday. Newcastle & District Athletic Club have won the title once, 2016, and City of Derry were back to try and secure a 4th team title in a row. The most successful cross-country captain in the club’s history, David O’Flaherty, whose reign (after taking over from David McNeilly’s successful captaincy) stretches back to Cross-Country League win in 2017, bronze in the Senior Champs, a team victory in the Intermediate where Zak Hanna won with Patrick McNiff 2nd plus team medals at the Irish XC Champs in Divisions 3 and then 2. This year again the bus of ‘maybes’ turned into a bus of ‘definites’ and 17 runners and ‘one hanger on’ set off for the north coast, or at least almost to the north coast in typical February wintry conditions. Continue reading