Results and Photos.
Newcastle AC started the 2014 mountain running season off with another team win at Slieve Gullion on Saturday 1st March, following on from the successful winter cross country campaign. The race this year, organised by Armagh AC, saw the course reverted to original route from several years back due to access problems in Gullion forest park.
The race started at midday in spring like conditions with light wind and blue skies. Seamus Lynch lead the runners out at a fast pace followed by Deon McNeilly, host club’s Paul McAnespie and third Newcastle runner Colum Murtagh. Deon closed Seamus on the climb, as did Paul making for close competition on the muddy decent. Colum who climbed well, should have been close but just lost sight with lead group in the low cloud that covered the twin summits and went off course but recovered well on the decent to finish an excellent 5th overall and 3rd Newcastle runner to completed the team victory.
At the front Seamus pulled away on the decent for an easy win, while Deon managed to hold off fast closing Paul for 2nd place. Newcastle had a great turnout, finishing a further six runners, John “Hen” Kelly, PJ McCrickard, Donal Ward, Jim Paterson (first Vet65) and Paul Fagan.
After the race it was back Mullaghbane for refreshments, with an excellent spread of rolls , sandwiches and cups of tea, which Newcastle AC’s Jim Patterson took full advantage off. Hopefully the food Jim consumed will sustain him until the next mountain race at Glenariff, County Antrim on 15th March, where all the prizes are bags of potatoes. During the pre-race drive on the clubs last outing to Glenariff, Jim went to great lengths to explain why he doesn’t consume potatoes due the high starch content and labour involved in their preparation but on the return trip he was spotted fully laden with numerous bags of potatoes. When asked why, following his earlier remarks, he replied simply “needs must”.
The next three mountain races are Glenariff 15th March, British Championship Donard Challenge on 29th March starting in Donard Park at 12.00 and the start of the 2014 H&D Series on 17 April. For the latter two races all competitors are reminded to enter on line in advance and avoid increase fees for entry on the day. Check the NIMRA website and Hill and Dale details for more information.
Important Notice – Slieve Gullion Race Start and Route Change
Due to disease in the forest the Slieve Gullion race this Saturday (March 1st) will use the old route.
Saturday, 1st March at 12 noon
Organised by Armagh AC
Contact Brian Vallely 028 3751 1248 or 079 0221 9698
Route details and location :
The course is not marked but is fairly straightforward, climbing on paths
to the north cairn of Sl Gullion and then along the ridge to the south cairn. Return by the same route. With a short route such as this, there are normally other athletes within sight so route finding is not a problem. If misty and you go off course then a good sense of direction is helpful but on Gullion any route will take you down off the mountain.
In wet conditions the path along the top can be quite muddy. Wear shoes with as much grip as possible. In rain or high winds the race organiser may require a windproof top to be worn/carried.
The hard part of navigation is finding the way to the start. See the web (or below) for directions – basically finding the highest point of the narrow road that runs across the north of the mountain. Aim to arrive at the start before 11:30 am.
The prize giving is normally in a hall in Mullaghbane (about MR 994189 on sheet 28), with tea and sandwiches provided by Armagh AC.
Male: Deon McNeilly (1999) 28:00
Female: Fiona Maxwell (2007) 37:23
In only a couple of years within the last ten years has the fastest time been under 30 minutes. Relatively few ladies have finished in under 40 minutes, with Karen Alexander timed at 37:53 in 2009.
Location of Start of Sl Gullion
On the Newry bypass, take the exit on the A25 to Camlough. Pass through Camlough and in 0.5 miles take the B30 to the left. After a bit less than a mile, with the lake on your left, there is a cross roads, with the B30 going both left and straight on. Take the left direction and climb 3/4 mile to the crest of a low pass. At the crest take a left turn up a narrow road for about 1.8 miles to a T junction. Turn left, with the start in about 1/3 mile, almost at the highest part of the road, at map reference 025229.