Pruzina & Wilson are Donard Race Champions for 2023

The 78th annual Slieve Donard Race took place on Saturday from its relatively new base at the top end of Donard Demesne in Newcastle, County Down. The early morning fog which had rolled in off the Irish Sea overnight had been reluctant to clear and some runners were suddenly wishing they had learned how to use a compass as the notorious line from the summit of the mountain to the Quarry is very difficult to find in limited visibility. However, just on time, the skies cleared, a beautiful summer’s day emerged providing excellent visibility for the runners.

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Johnston & Dickson Victorious in the Slieve Donard Classic

Photos courtesy of Paul Fegan
Race Report by BOGBOY

Races have been hard to find since lockdown in March and despite how ‘lonely’ the mountains are and ideally placed for ‘social distancing’ mountain races locally have been few and far between. Last weekend the Mourne Mountain 2-Day took place with a key modification; each team of two had to bring two tents rather than the normal one.

It was a successful weekend with the weather to match and despite it turning colder, much colder for September, blue skies and wonderful sunshine greeted the runners in the 76th Annual Slieve Donard Race in Newcastle on Saturday.

In 1945, the locals came up with the idea of seeing who could be the fastest from sea level to the top of Donard and back. This tradition has been unbroken for 75 years and is currently under the guardianship of Newcastle & District AC. The recent calendar date has been May but that date passed with no race and also the older traditional date of July too. However, the club’s committee was intent of one way or another in getting this year’s race completed. Continue reading