Hill and Dale Coats on Tour

Report by The Nutty Chef

Over the weekend, Connaire McVeigh took part in the Olympic Park 10km in London. He finished 4th overall after three laps around the Queen Elizabeth Stadium, where conditions where very windy, wet and slippery.

Younger member Tom Crudgington of Newcastle AC took part in the first race of the Born2Run ‘Run Forest Run’ winter series at Minnowburn. Starting on the Mary Peters Track and climbing through the trails of the local Minnowburn Forest where conditions were tricky underneath after the recent wet weather. Young Tom was unfazed, finishing a fantastic 3rd place overall in the 10k in a time of 38.50.

Both lads, Vet McVeigh and Tom put their recent performances down to the Monday night runs through the flat trails of Donard Forest led by the local hotelier on his mast to quarry route. He claims he is having nightmares about this, as the local wildlife are annoying his family pets after his beloved pooch was attacked by wasps in the autumnal sun.

Club Christmas Dinner – Saturday 14 December 2019

The club annual Christmas Dinner is on Saturday 14 December at 7:30pm in O’Hares Newcastle.

We have 70 places available on a first come, first served basis. The cost of the meal is £22 (£6 supplement for beef), £12 of which is paid by the club. The cost to members is therefore only £10.

To book your place, please complete the Online Booking Form and Payment by clicking the button below. Book early to avoid disappointment!


Christmas Dinner Booking Form

Please note, a Clubforce account has been created for all members using their email address provided when joining the club. If you haven’t logged into Clubforce before, please select “Reset Password” when trying to login. A link will be sent to your email to set your password.

If you are using a different email address to the one provided when joining, please select “Create an Account” and follow the instructions.

Please email info@newcastleac.org if you have any problems.

Newcastle Athlete takes on the 10th Eco Trail Ultra Marathon in Wicklow

By The Top Chef

In late September Newcastle and District AC athlete Charlie McAlinden participated in the first Wicklow Eco Ultra Marathon and managed to take a Vet-65 category win. This is a multi-terrain event which starts and finishes on Bray Seafront involved steep climbs over Bray Head and the Little and Great Sugar Loaf peaks. In total the event involved a total ascent of 1660m which is approximately double the height of Slieve Donard mountain. Wicklow is the 10th destination worldwide to host this prestigious international event.

At several different points throughout the course competitors had to run across open farmland and enjoy the experience of being chased by local livestock (well they were trespassing on their patch). Charlie was untroubled by matters such as these as he regularly chased by local farmers bulls along the local laneways of east down when he is out walking the dogs. Continue reading

Newcastle 9 take on the GR8

By Seamus the Cat

With a number of different races taking place across the province on Saturday, 9 Newcastle and District AC members put their toes to the line at the 10th annual GR8 race organised by Murlough AC. Starting in Main Street Dundrum the 8.2 mile race takes runners across an interesting mix of terrains including road, gravel track, boardwalk and beach. As the 1075 runners gathered for the midday start, the weather certainly wasn’t in their favour as a number of very heavy downpours make the underfoot conditions even more demanding.


Veteran takes bragging rights and a category win

Incase anyone had not already heard in the week he was selected for the Northern Ireland cross country team the veteran McVeigh was the first Newcastle runner to finish in a very impressive 49.07 to take 6th place overall and first in his category. The veteran put his strong performance down to the words of wisdom he got pre-race from club cross country captain David O’Flaherty.

Second Newcastle runner home was the younger McVeigh Brian who managed to take nearly 3 minutes off his 2018 time to finish 12th overall in 51.34. Some experienced club members on review of Brian’s performance later in the evening point to the difference between him and his older brother in racing terms being “the top four inches between the ears”. McVeigh responded by claiming he give his all for the cause and so much so he was forced post-race to visit Artie Quinns physio table to get a lower limb muscle rub to ensure he was fit for his weekly quarry/mast sessions to ensure all the mountain sheep were safe and well.

In his first race in a long-time following injury, Paul Byrne put in a fantastic run to finish 25th overall in 53.17. Paul has been putting in tremendous effort at club training of late and it is great to see him back racing. Continue reading

Four hundred teams registered in less than a week

An update on the 2019 Christmas Cracker by Bogusboy

The Castlewellan Christmas Cracker has become one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the NI running Calendar. This year, within one week of going live, over 400 of the 750 team entries have already been snapped up. Before long, the event will sell out and disappointment will reign supreme as many will miss the opportunity to take part in the most colourful spectacle of the festive period. Our advice is simple, book now to avoid disappointment. Please note that teams can be amended closer to race day if circumstances change for a registered team.

Why has this event become so popular, one might reasonably ask? I can recall travelling to Comber in the past (and finishing second with my erstwhile running partner Damien Brannigan) when there were very few teams taking part, despite the unique paired format of the race. However, since the event was re-invented and rebranded with a Newcastle AC twist, it has quickly established a cult status. There is certainly something for everyone. It is a fair test for the elite athletes, an opportunity for inter-club and intra-club bonding, an excuse to get some dubious fancy dress out and overall a great day of craic that ends with a bit of festive socialising.

Part of the charm is the unique opportunities afforded by Castlewellan to host an event that can be totally different every year and provide a few surprises. The Forest Park has the potential for a myriad of routes and retains the perennial element of surprise. This year’s course has already been decided and according to my sources will include ‘a few hills’. The Prophet has been spotted clambering over ditches, talking to local farmers over 5 bar gates, cutting back brambles and strimming lanes for a number of months. I have bought him coffee and scones in a stealth move to ascertain information that I can share with two types of people – those who ask and those who don’t!  Alas, my best efforts have been in vain and he is being extremely guarded and tight lipped and just chuckles dismissively when I make suggestions as to where we might be going. ‘Sure, you’ll enjoy it more on the day’ is the now industry standard reply to my persistent pursuit for information.

If previous years are any barometer, we will find ourselves in places that we never though feasible and we will enjoy every minutes of it. There will be a great atmosphere as the market town is festooned with colour and costumes of all varieties. We look forward to seeing everyone for what promises to be a great race – as long as you have an entry!!!

Online Registration and Full Race Details