Hanna is a giant among many
On Friday 29th July 2016, over two hundred athletes descended on the ‘Dub’ Playing Fields in Belfast for the 2nd annual running of Dub Runners’ Giant’s Trail Race.
The capacity field faced a challenging but rewarding 6 mile course which covered a variety of terrain, including forest trails, pastures and the well-used Lagan Towpath; all of which provided views of the River Lagan, before climbing through the woodlands of Minnowburn, passing the sculptures and natural art along the way. Participants then passed through the ancient environs of the Neolithic monument at the Giant’s Ring and returned via Edenderry village and Gilchrist Bridge to Shaw’s bridge, returning to the point from whence they came.
Two NAC athletes Will Owens and Zak Hanna represented the club in this race that saw runners of all abilities taking part. When the start gun went off it was Zak who took the early charge, surging off in the 400m starting straight that took the runners onto the sports pitches towards the first trail section of the course. Hanna would lead the race from the gun to the tape winning by two minutes in a very fast 33:53 and breaking the course record by two minutes in the process. Will finished an excellent 55th in 44:40, a great result after a race long battle with runners from Orangegrove AC; Will showing that the Hill and Dale form hasn’t left the legs with a strong result.
Many thanks to Dub Runners for their hospitality on the night, from a great course to a great spread put on in the Queen’s Sport pavilion after. It is definitely a race to put on your race calendar for next year.
The Crawfordsburn 5k has long been a favourite of the NAC faithful. However, due to holidays, injuries and other racing commitments, the task of carrying the hopes of the club rested on Eugene McCann, the only athlete to make the trip to North Down for one of the best races of the year. Eugene had a strong run, finishing 22nd out of 249 runners and easily winning his age category.
Friday 5th August was the evening of the Carlingford 5k, a fast and furious dash around the picturesque village. The race was well supported as 430 took the line, including a number from Newcastle AC. The event was won by Freddie Kerron of Raheny Shamrocks in an incredible 14:46. One second behind was Conor Duffy, with Slieve Gullion’s Paddy Hamilton a further two seconds behind in third. Totten and O’Flaherty were 6th and 7th in 15:34 and 15:38 respectively on an evening of fast times. Such was the standard of racing that xx runners dipped under 18 minutes and Newcastle’s first 4 scorers (Totten, O’Flaherty, Higgins (38th) and Murtagh (52nd) were narrowly pipped for a podium place in the team event. The ladies went one better and led by Sinead Murtagh’s excellent third overall were able to secure third female team. Sinead was ably supported by Mari Treong (10th), Sam McNeilly (32nd) and Rita Devlin (49th). Well done to all who took part.
Rock and roll is here to stay!
The worldwide Rock and Roll franchise made its annual tour stop in Dublin on the weekend of 6-7th August. Joe McCann and Niall King (in a rare foray beyond the environs of ‘the town’) made the trip south and recorded times of 1:32:56 and 1:35:54 in the half marathon, before enjoying some live music from Cavan band The Strypes, who were the headline act.