Newcastle AC Juniors at Firmus Fab Five Series

Newcastle AC Juniors attended the first meet of the Firmus Fab 5 Series at the Mary Peter’s Track on Thursday 11th April, taking part in 9 events collectively.

Calum Cope won his heat in the Under 13 Boys 100 metre race. Calum also came a commendable third in the Under 13 Boys Long Jump competition.

The O’Gorman family were out in force with Daire, Thomas and Aoibheann taking part in 7 events throughout the evening. Well done to Daire and Thomas who both took part in the Under 11 Boys Long Jump and 60 metre race. Aoibheann competed fantastically in the Under 13 Girls 100 metre race, 800 metre race and Shot Putt competition.

Thanks to Lagan Valley AC for hosting and organising such a great event. The remaining four meets take place on Thursday 25th April, 30th May, 27th June and 8th August. Further information can be obtained from the Athletics NI website:

Exciting news – Newcastle AC announces 3 Junior Hill & Dale races!

Last year we recognised the strange anomaly – that 15 year old athletes could compete internationally in Mountain Running, but there were no local races for them to train and compete in, before making this transition.

Newcastle AC came to the rescue and is allowing athletes aged 14 & 15 to compete in 3 races, to give them a flavor of our favourite series and help these young athletes prepare for full competition when they turn 16.

One of the races has been slightly shortened to comply with distance regulations for under age runners.

Junior athletes aged 14 or 15 at the time of the start of the Hill & Dale series will be able to compete in this mini series.

Junior athletes will start each race with the seniors.

The races are:-

Race 2 – Tollymore – slightly shortened race – 14 & 15 year old athletes will start with the seniors, but will turn at the boundary wall to join the descent route to the finish.

Race 4 – Binnian – 14 & 15 year old athletes will be able to run the entire uphill course!

Race 7 – Millstone – 14 & 15 year old athletes will be able to run the entire up and down course!

As an added bonus the N.Ireland Mountain Running Association (NIMRA) are offering the male and female winners of the series, a place on their International Squad for 2019.

NIMRA are also offering the male and females winners of the 16+ category a place on the International Squad for 2019 – however these athletes will have to complete 6 out of 11 races, just like the seniors (note – this only applies to athletes born in 2000, 2001 and 2002)

All junior athletes should comply with the same safety advice and equipment requirements of the senior athletes, but they will have the addition of a parental permission aspect that is included in registration – this will apply to all junior athletes.

This is particularly important at the Millstone race, where navigation can play a part in poor visibility.

At each of the 3 races, Phil Hodge will be available to answer questions that any new junior or parent might have about that nights race.

Please direct any enquiries in advance to

Online Registration will close on Tuesday 9th April at 9pm, but will reopen after the 1st race is completed.

An athlete only needs to register once for the series.

Note – If an athlete is born in 2003 between Jan and April, they should contact Phil Hodge via the above e-mail in advance of Race 1 at Castlewellan.

McGrady Financial Services Junior XC Race Series 2018/2019 – Race 2

Race 2 Results

McGrady Financial Services Junior Cross Country Race Series
Race 2 – Kilbroney Forest Park

We were again blessed with a lovely day for race 2 of this year’s series. Kilbroney Forest Park was looking resplendent and was dry and firm underfoot with a gentle breeze in off Carlingford Lough.  There were lots of parents, grandparents and family dogs out to support the young athletes.

The racing got underway with the boys P4 race.  This was dominated by the young men from Newcastle AC.  William Taylor from East down was the only challenger. The winner, Darragh Ruddle, was the only one to beat 2 minutes with a time of 1:47, 15 seconds ahead of Joseph Uhomoibhi, with Rónán Grant taking 3rd by a single second.

The girls P4 race was a very competitive event with the first 3 athletes finishing in 1:51 (lily Foster East Down AC), 1:52 (Maisie McVeigh Newcastle AC) and 1:57 (Maisie Nicholl Dromore AC).  This was the biggest race of the day with 12 competitors. Continue reading