Superb Newcastle & District Road Relay Championship Victory

Report by Bogboy

Congratulations to Newcastle & District AC’s senior men’s team who took victory at the Road Relay Championships in Victoria Park, Belfast on Saturday. Each leg was two laps of the park covering a total of 3,380m (2.1miles). Conditions were dry with a blustery southerly win in the face of runners for about 350 metres on each 1,654m (1.05miles) lap.

Marathon specialist Eoghan Totten (with a 2:16:08 PB) was out on leg 1 coming home in 2nd place n 9:39 (4:42mile pace or 8:45 for 3k) to Caothair Purvis of North Belfast Harriers who recorded 9:35 – Caothair is 23 and has run a host of PBs this year (4:03 1500,  8:40 3000 and 14:53 at Armagh 5k) and is clearly still improving. Eoghan’s time was 2nd fastest on the day and is clearly finding some form again after a couple of months of consistent training.

Eoghan Totten running the 2nd fastest leg of the day

21-year-old Niall Goodman was out on leg 2 and moved into the lead recording 10:01 (4:53mile pace or 9:04 for 3000) off the back of PBs this summer over 1500m (4:00), 3000m (8:44) on the track and 5k on the road (15:28 at Carlingford in August).

Niall Goodman moving Newcastle & District into the lead on leg 2

Robbie Hagen took leg 3 and extended the lead over Ballydrain Harriers recording 9:48 (4:46mile pace or 8:53 for 3000) also off the back of a 5k road PB of 15:06 in Carlingford in August.

Robbie Hagen pulling away on leg 3

Patrick McNiff, the second survivor from the previous time that the club that took the title in 2017, ran the final leg and recorded the same time as Hagen, 9:48, to bring the team home a massive 1 minute and 35 seconds ahead of North Down and Ballydrain Harriers for a brilliant victory. McNiff’s run builds on his 15:02 over 5k in Carlingford last month as he works back to his lifetime best shape from 2020.

McNiff in full stride with his Dad looking on in the background

The overall winning time was 39:14 and was a superb victory for the club emulating the victory from 2017 and for the record the performances then were:

Leg 1 – Eoghan Totten 9:35

Leg 2 – David O’Flaherty 9:59

Leg 3 – An 18-year-old Patrick McNiff 10:05

Leg 4 – Zak Hanna 10:09

Total Time 39:48

LtoR: Gerry Carson, Athletics NI President, North Down AC, Newcastle & District AC ( Patrick McNiff, Eoghan Totten, Niall Goodman, Robbie Hagen) & Ballydrain Harriers