Still plenty of racing on offer as the summer draws to a close

The weekly round up by Bogusboy

Just after the weekly submission last week, word filtered through of the achievement of club stalwart Paul Fegan at the Quadrathon in Donegal. Paul was a seasoned Hill & Dale campaigner with a particular penchant for unusual and long distance races in rarely mentioned places before injury forced him to hang up the Walsh PBs. However, undeterred by this he is now a regular walker and a great supporter of his club mates at races, often providing the pictures that accompany the racing narrative. He walked the four marathons on consecutive days to earn one of the greatest hauls of bling ever offered as the medal for each day forms one overall medal at the end of the event, the size of which would cause Mr T to suffer from a bad back! Well done to Paul on a great accomplishment.

Strangford 10k & 5k: Darrell Cooper of the highly rejuvenated Ballydrain AC was the winner of the Strangford 10k on Friday 25th August (35:32). He was followed home by Barrie Atkinson of East Down and Murlough’s Alan Johnston. In a field of 129 Newcastle’s Jim Patterson was the clear winner of the V70 category, coming home in 43:51, a time good enough for 15th overall. Jim was followed by Declan Magee in 28th (46:11) and Declan McElroy in 53rd (51:39). A Further 145 completed the 5k, won by Peter Gracey from Beechmount AC, ahead of James Gracey from the same club. East Down’s James Smyth completed the podium places.


Portrush 5m: On the same evening an impressive 305 took the line for the Portrush 5 mile road race. Jonathan McKee was the winner in 26:34, followed by Luke Dinsmore and Chris McGurk. Newcastle’s Francis Tumelty used the event as a warm up and a halting post on the way to Rathlin Island and finished in 7th overall, finishing just over the 30 minute mark in 30:09. Tumelty decided to turn the weekend of racing into a bit of a family adventure and went ‘glamping’ for the first time. However, he was quite unaccustomed to this form of living and arrived with two plastic forks and little else! Needless to say when nature called he was literally caught short as the toilet roll remained neatly stored under the sink at home – first silly boy award for a long time


Rathlin 10m: Saturday 26th August saw the annual running of the nirunning Rathlin 10 mile road race and 5k challenge.  The ever popular event attracted a field of 197 in the 10m and a further 66 in the 5k. This race has led to a regular Viking invasion of the island with Higgins and Troeng perennial entrants. Both have performed well in recent years and have claimed podium finished. Alas it was not to be this year for either. Tumelty, having recovered from the effects of this night in the tent was in good form and came home 11th in 68:59. Higgins was one place adrift in 12th, completing the challenge in 69:57. Higgins did not have the best run of his life. He donated the contents of his stomach to the ditch at just over two miles and had a wee lie down on the road at 6 miles, factors that would explain why he was several minutes slower than his time in 2016. Troeng also found the going tougher this year and with the seven sevens still in her legs did well to finish 4th lady in 38th overall (78:16).  The 10 mile race was won by Philip Goss of North Belfast Harriers (57:57) and the 5k by James Robinson of East Coast AC in 19:31.


Great East Run – Killyleagh Half Marathon and Relay: Norman Smyth continued his fine run of form with another great run at the Great east Run Half Marathon in Killyleagh on Saturday. In a modest field of 57, he ran consistently, recording 1:30:16 for the 13.1 miles. Norman was disappointed, not in his time, but due to the fact that he only got to race once this week!!! East Down ACs Aaron McGrady topped the podium with an impressive 1:17:50 and was comfortably ahead of Jonathon Scott and Roger Pannell who finished second and third respectively.


Mourne Triathlon 2017Castlewellan Forest Park: Newcastle AC members are not just runners. Many are often seen out on their bikes and competing a=in different events. This week three athletes,  Jackie Barbour and  the McMullan brothers, Luke and Rory, competed in The Mourne Sprint Triathlon which took place in Castlewellan Forest Park on Saturday August 25th.This year saw 4 separate races being hosted by Olympian Triathlon Club, a Try a Tri, AquaBike, Super Sprint (400m swim) and Sprint Triathlon (750m swim). All 3 NAC members competed in the main Sprint Triathlon event, consisting of a 750m straight line swim in the ‘clear waters’ of Castlewellan Lake, exiting with a short run distance to the transition area in the main carpark. The Bann road was closed to traffic to allow the safe passage of a 20Km bike ride (just passed Aidan Brown’s house apparently!), and finished with a 5km race around the lake. Luke finished impressively 7th place overall out of 177 Sprint Triathletes who took part. He just missed out on winning his age category by 6 seconds with a very impressive finish time of 68mins. Rory started with a fantastic swim time of 11:19 and finished strongly in 28th position overall, finishing in 75mins. This is an annual event for Jackie and this year achieved a PB with an overall time of 99mins.


Storming the Castle 10k: There is no better way to celebrate your birthday than to storm a castle. With this in mind, birthday girl Nicky McKeag made the trip to Carrickfergus for the annual Storming the Castle 10k. Perhaps, overthinking the celebrations to follow, she was a tad slower than expected and came home in 158th place in 48:35. Harry Russell was up the road ahead and finished in 124th, recording 47:36. Jim Johnston made his debut as a guide runner for visually impaired runners. Jim helped visually impaired runner Peter Lock to a new PB and managed to avoid the hazards out around the course.


IAAF World Challenge – Berlin: Sunday 27th August saw the world’s elite athletes compete in the World Challenge in the iconic Olympic Stadium in Berlin. Newcastle AC’s Kerry O’Flaherty rubbed shoulders with the world’s finest in the 3000m Steeplechase in front of a crowd of over 20,000. Despite running a time well below her season’s best, she enjoyed the experience of competing at this level. The race was won by renowned Kenyan Norah Tanui in 9:03:70 – a new PB and a time that would have earned a silver medal at the recent World Championships in London.


Racing ahead: There is another busy weekend of local races with the PIPS 10k in Newry on Sunday at 10am. Closer to home is the Ballykilnar 10k around the scenic roads of East Down.  With over 1300 entries already, the Laganside 10k will offer a fast and flat course and the potential for good times. Others will travel to Scotland for the Ben Nevis Race. The following Tuesday (12 September) is the Mill Hill Mile – 1609m of pain as runners go as hard as they can from Annsborough to the market House in Castlewellan – a real lung burster. Registration is open at and all proceeds will be donated to the nominated charity, PIPS.