21st World Master Mountain Running Championship

This year’s 21st World Master Mountain Running Championship was held in Ireland for the first time, with host town being Clonmel. With the competition being local, many runners took park from all over Ireland. Age categories start at 35 with 5-year steps up to 75. Runners from both Newcastle AC and regulars from the local Hill and Dale series where well represented.

Jim Patterson won his race to collect his 3rd  Gold Medal, adding to the two he won the 70 categories a few years earlier. In addition to his individual Jim was also part of the GB team winning a team Gold. Newcastle’s Ernie Hall finished an excellent 6th planning in the 70 categories picking up a GB team Silver Medal. Eamon McCrickard and Deon McNeilly took part in 55 category running representing Ireland finishing 21st and 19th respectively.

Training plans are already being discussed for the 22nd Championships next September which take place on the Island of Maderia.

Aine McNeill, Francis Nuggent, Anne Sandford, Eamon McCrickard, Ernie Hall, Jim Patterson, Deon McNeilly, Cathal McGreevey, Paul Le Blanc

Jim Patterson

Tom and Ethan going Bronze in Ambleside

Report by Phil Hodge

Back to Ambleside two years in a row, though last year was for the scaled back Home Countries International U18.

No complaints from us, Duncan Richards puts on a great event with the help of Niki Rylance, treating the team to excellent accommodation and a fantastic course.

Four Newcastle AC athletes had been selected to represent NI & Ulster, Tom Crudgington, Ethan McMullan, Ciara Savage, all for another representation on the team, but joined this year by Yasin Brannigan, making his International Debut taking one of three Development Athletes spots on the squad.

In a two race format, the U17s started first, with Yasin Brannigan running steadily throughout the fantastic course. Going sub 30, this was an excellent run, giving Yasin an insight into the standard at this level, and something to train for next year, when he tries out for selection to the team. Continue reading

Montane Lakeland 100 2022

The Montane Lakeland 100 is now known as the ‘must do’ UK Ultra, not just because of the awesome running, but because of the ‘legendary’ event that surrounds it. First coming to my attention a few years back via club member Phil Hodge and then more recently while staying in the lakes last year, I thought it a great way to explore more of the Lake District. I’ve since discovered cycling and open top bus tours among other options that exist! Anyhow, with the ballot for entries opening in September, I put my name forward and was successful gaining a place.

With the idea that a good result in the Spine Challenger, followed by a good season of preparation, the LL100 should be a pleasure. This didn’t take into consideration post run DVT and a strict 3 month recovery period… and general advice from the Clot Clinic to stop running. So, with the only certainty being uncertainty I started to build my miles back up slowly in the hope that I would make the start line… which I did, the finish line however was another matter.

The LL100 is actually 105 miles with an eye watering 6856 metres of ascent/descent, starting and finishing in the village of Coniston in the southern reaches of the Lake District. It sees on average 600 entrants with a further 1700 entrants on the accompanying LL50. Though with a 40-50% attrition rate, numbers on the route are gradually somewhat less. The LL100 starts at 6pm on the Friday evening with a 40 hr cut off. While with a 24 hr cut off, the LL50 starts at 11.30am the following morning for the final 50 miles. Those completing either distance gain the status of Lakeland ‘Legends’ and the obligatory T-Shirt and Medal. Continue reading

Maisie makes a huge impression in Strangford

Report by Siobhan Grant

As summer comes to an end and for many 11 year olds, it marks the start of a new journey. Leaving behind their Primary school and moving to new schools and making new friends, it’s a lot to digest. For local athlete, Maisie McVeigh, that isn’t the only new journey that she will be embracing.

Toeing the line at Strangford 5k on Friday evening, in yellow and red, marked the first event where Maisie would be representing her new club, Newcastle AC. Joining her dad Connaire and brothers Connaire Og and Harry at the club.

True to form Maisie has not let her recent podium win in Ardglass go to her head. Keeping her training consistent and varied before launching into another competitive race.

In the wake of Ardglass’ undulating route Maisie decided that sticking with a similar styled local event and keeping it near the Lecale Way on a calm Friday evening was a good choice. Although this route did pose its challenges she ran a smart race and accelerated at the right point to secure another win for the dedicated and relentless youngster, which secured first lady home in the 5k in 22.31.

Her biggest fan, little Tilly is looking forward to a treat with her big sisters winnings.

Dad Connaire, didn’t disappoint either, returning to the race that he previously took 3rd place in. This year he secured a convincing 6th place in the 10k in amongst a very competitive and fast field in 37.47.

A huge thank you to the committee at Strangford Festival and all the volunteers around the whole route for ensuring the smooth running of both races.

Hill & Dale Under 16 Series Results

Congratulations to our winners of the U16 Hill & Dale Series!

These athletes have been busy, with four of the athletes competing in Mountain Running in Italy during the final Hill & Dale prize giving, so we held off presenting prizes until the next junior hill race at Scrabo last evening.

Winners of the series were –

U16 Male
1st – Charlie Annett (NIMRA)
2nd – Jacob Crawford (East Down AC) – pictured
3rd – Euan McIntosh (Newcastle AC)

U16 Female
1st – Jessica Blaney (Lagan Valley AC) – pictured
2nd – Eve Welsh (Newry AC) – pictured
3rd – Sophie Neill (Newcastle AC)

A big thank-you to Jackson Sports, who generously sponsored prizes for the event.


Athletics NI bring StarTrack to Newcastle 

As a club, Newcastle AC has created a name for itself as a successful running club. Yet the name clearly indicates that Newcastle is an Athletics Club and it is a club that has nurtured the track and field talents of its members from an early age and has been represented by athletes at the highest levels.

Yet this nurturing of talent all begins on a Monday Evening, in the grounds of Shimna Collage with our junior squad.

As a club dedicated to its members, it equally invests in its coaches with regular opportunities to complete certified coaching courses and attend various CPD events to ensure that our members, young and old, receive the best possible training available across all disciplines.

On Friday, 38 Junior members attended a joint coaching day in conjunction with the Athletics NI, StarTrack Programme. We welcomed Eilish Ward and her team of Athletics NI coaches to Newcastle where the groups had the opportunity to embrace a multi event programme across the day. Continue reading