Leitrim Races 2013 Preview

Race Details HERE. Online Registration is now CLOSED but you can still enter on the day.

By The Prophet’s Wise Counsellor
Liatroim Fontenoys GAC, in association with Newcastle AC, is proud to present the annual Leitrim 5 mile road race & fun run on Monday 1st April 2013.  Nestled between Castlewellan Forest Park and the Dromara Mountains in stunning valley surroundings, this 5 mile road race offers elite athletes, age group competitors and fitness runners a different, challenging course in Leitrim’s unique, scenic and small village setting. This is a perfect race for anyone in marathon preparation, 10k road race mode, gearing up for the Hill and Dale race series or simply enjoying running for fitness and overall well-being. The race sponsored by McGrady Financial Services and Banbridge District Council is very much a community event, with a great deal of support coming from the people of the parish in terms of organising, marshalling and catering.  Such efforts are greatly appreciated by race spokesman Frank Morgan who observed insightfully that, ‘the continuing support of the entire community’ was one of the key attributes leading to the sustainability of the race.

This will be the third running of an event which has grown steadily year on year and is popular with runners of all ages and abilities.  This event is extremely well organised, expertly marshalled and you are guaranteed a good ‘spread’ of homemade goodies at the end.  This year the event has been moved from its traditional Saturday afternoon slot to  Monday evening due to the Easter Holidays and the organisers are confident that the timing will attract large numbers in both the Family orientated Fun Run and the main 5 mile race itself.

The Fun Run is scheduled for 5pm and offers an opportunity for the whole family to get out and enjoy the challenge of completing the village route, taking in the well-known Leitrim mile. with the 5 mile race starting at 6pm.  All participants in the fun run will receive a medal and a festive cream egg!  Registration is in the club rooms of Liatroim GAC and both races begin and end close by.  Entries can be registered in advance via the Newcastle AC website and all entry fees will be collected on race day.  To encourage online entries in advance, all entries made through the Newcastle AC website will be entered into a draw for a meal for two sponsored by Jack O’Hare of Hugh McCann’s Bar and restaurant. It will be possible to register at the club on the day as well.  Entries are: Registered Athletes (i.e. NIAF Affiliated Clubs) £7/ Unregistered Athletes £8. Entries for the fun run are £3 with under-7s free and a Family Group Entry (4 members or more) available for £10.

Last year’s race attracted a top class field of runners which ensured previous records were smashed and new records were set. The current records for the 5 mile undulating course are held by Benny Teer (East Down AC), 25.51 set in 2012 and Julie Turley (Dromore AC), 28.58 also set in 2012.  Both record holders have confirmed their participation this year.

2012 saw a spectacular battle between East Down’s Teer and Newcastle prodigy Eoghan Totten.  Totten had taken the race by the scruff of the neck in the early stages, ensuring that Teer was made to work hard every inch of the way.  The latter’s stamina and speed endurance prevailed as he eased away in the closing stages of the race to record a very impressive time, averaging 5:10 per mile on a course that has a few steep climbs.  O’Flaherty was third for Newcastle, just over a minute behind Totten.  Julie Turley was a very impressive winner of the ladies race, over 5 minutes clear of her closest challenger and beaten only by 7 of the male athletes in the race.  The overall increase in the quality of athlete taking part is best evidenced by the fact that 4 athletes broke the 30 minute mark in 2011and this increased to 12 in 2012.

The postponement of the Spring Lake 10K and the Larne Half Marathon due to the adverse and inclement weather will surely be a further encouragement for many to get out on April 1st and take part in this great race in a stunning place.

As if the scenery, the post-race hot food and refreshments and the prizes on offer were not enough of an incentive the organisers are also delighted to offer Sports Massage Therapy for runners courtesy of Move Physiotherapy and reflexology provided by Homeostatis Reflexology.  A further development for 2013 sees the introduction of race pacers to guide athletes of different abilities towards completing their desired time.  All runners can go home secure in the knowledge that all of their needs have been met before, during and after the race. The Leitrim 5 is proving to be a holistic race experience. Secure changing/shower facilities and free parking are also available.  A warm welcome is guaranteed for all athletes in the heart of Co. Down, where a fine race awaits those who take up the challenge.

2012 Results

Position Name Club Time
1st Male Brendan Teer East Down AC


1st Female Julie Turley Dromore AC


1st V40 Joe Magee Unattached


1st V50 Eugene McCann Newcastle AC


1st V60 Francis Boal Lagan Valley AC


1st LV40 Amanda Russel Dromore AC


1st LV50 Margaret Rowntree Unattached