Record crowds for 30th Christmas Cracker in Castlewellan
A brief review by Bogusboy
The heavy rain and strong winds gave way to sunshine as a record 366 teams gathered in Castlewellan for the 30th running of a race that has now become a firm favourite with many due to its unique nature. Running with a partner is unusual in this individual sport and this coupled with the fact that the course is very different each year makes this event very different from what runners come to expect in a race. With many turning up in fancy dress, superheroes, rock bands, varying degrees of Christmas apparel and onesies to name but a few, there is a unique atmosphere in the crowded market town for the afternoon. In an unprecedented departure the race did not avail of the many trails in Castlewellan Forest Park, focusing instead on the many interesting lanes and bridal ways on the Drumee side of the town.
A winning return
Last year saw O’Hanlon and McCluskey narrowly miss out on victory and the pair returned to make amends. In the absence of Teer and Venney, this pairing was always going to be difficult to beat. And so it came to pass, but no before they were given a good run for their money by Lynch and Carlin (4th Overall) in the first instance, the former leading the pack up Bunker’s Hill with considerable aplomb. Latterly it would be McNeilly and O’Flaherty (who would finish an impressive third) and more notably White and Christie (eventual runners up) that would challenge the favourites. In the end the winners had 20 seconds to spare over their nearest rivals and almost 2 minutes over the third team on the podium. The North Down Pairing of Scott and Budde completed the top 5 and continued the fine tradition of this club in the race.
Picking a partner is the key to success and the cleverly constructed pairing of Gladys Ganiel-O’Neill, an accomplished marathoner, and 2012 Hill and Dale champion Andrew Annett proved to be a master stroke. The pair ran superbly finishing 6th overall, over three minutes ahead of second mixed pairing Cathy McCourt and Jim Benson who were well placed in 13th overall. Amanda Perry and Denise Logue were the first all-female team to finish in 55th overall with a very credible time of 64:17. Elsewhere there were many outstanding performances in the various categories as illustrated in the results
The Annual Castlewellan Christmas Cracker Pairs Race will take place on Saturday 28th December 2013 at 1:00 PM
Online Registration is now CLOSED.
- Entry fee of £25 / team is payable on race day.
- Race numbers will be available for collection between 11:30 am and 12:45pm
- If you did not register online you can still enter on the day. You need to print and complete this ENTRY FORM and bring it with you on race day with an increased entry fee of £30/team.
First 200 pre entered teams will receive commemorative mugs.
- A team of two is required and both must cross the finish line together.
- Categories are Male, Female and Mixed. Must be over 16.
- Start of race is at Castlewellan Football Club, Circular Road, Castlewellan.
- Distance : Approx 8 miles.
- Course : road and forest tracks in and around Castlewellan suitable for all hill, cross country and road runners.
- NO dogs are allowed at this event
- Prizes for all main categories and for best fancy dress outfit.
- Changing facilities and showers are available.
- Refreshments available after race.