Hanna Emerges as a VK Specialist in Italy

Race Report by BOGBOY

The Italians were worst hit at the beginning of the emergence of COVID-19 in Europe back in February. They emerged into the new norm and out of that they have managed to run a 2020 Italian Mountain Racing Series and Championship races.

Local Dromara lad, Zak Hanna, Salomon and Newcastle & District AC, arguably the best mountain racer of his generation used furlough to his advantage (see the ‘Furlough Pro’ on Fast Running https://www.fastrunning.com/fast-10/2020/zak-hanna/the-furlough-pro/30385) increasing his weekly mileage to around 95 and alongside some significant climbing on the slopes of Slieve Croob, he never lost touch with his ‘top end’ with plenty of threshold sessions at the lake in Castlewellan.

In July he won the Lugnaquilla Mountain race in Wicklow by 8 minutes and got within 4 seconds of the legend John Lenihan’s course record. His first sortie to Italy was over the first weekend in August at the Piz Tri Vertical Kilometre in Malonno which included 1,000m of climbing in 2.5km and a 47% finishing gradient where he finished an excellent 3rd. The following day finished 5th in the Fletta Trail over 20km and 1,200m of climb and descent. Continue reading

Johnston & Dickson Victorious in the Slieve Donard Classic

Photos courtesy of Paul Fegan
Race Report by BOGBOY

Races have been hard to find since lockdown in March and despite how ‘lonely’ the mountains are and ideally placed for ‘social distancing’ mountain races locally have been few and far between. Last weekend the Mourne Mountain 2-Day took place with a key modification; each team of two had to bring two tents rather than the normal one.

It was a successful weekend with the weather to match and despite it turning colder, much colder for September, blue skies and wonderful sunshine greeted the runners in the 76th Annual Slieve Donard Race in Newcastle on Saturday.

In 1945, the locals came up with the idea of seeing who could be the fastest from sea level to the top of Donard and back. This tradition has been unbroken for 75 years and is currently under the guardianship of Newcastle & District AC. The recent calendar date has been May but that date passed with no race and also the older traditional date of July too. However, the club’s committee was intent of one way or another in getting this year’s race completed. Continue reading

NI and Ulster Even Age Groups Cross Country Championships

Subject to changes in COVID advice, please see link below regarding NI and Ulster even age groups cross country championships.

This is for under 10,12,14,16 and 18 age groups, and is open to everyone (members and race only).

With very few races taking place this year and numbers capped, it is likely to be a popular race, and entries will close when the limit is reached.

If anyone is interested in making up a team, we need a maximum of 6 athletes (minimum 4) in that particular age group.

If your child is interested in running please email juniors@newcastleac.org ASAP and no later than Saturday 26th Sept @ 5pm. If we cannot get enough numbers for a team in your child’s category, you will be notified immediately and can still sign up as an individual. If you would rather not risk leaving it that long to enter then do get signed up immediately as an individual rather than missing out.

Hopefully all is explained in the link and it would be great to see a few Newcastle AC vests there on the day.

https://athleticsni.org/Fixtures/NI-And-Ulster-Even-Age-Groups-And-Bobby-Rea-Cross-Country-Championships

McGrady Financial Services Junior XC Series 2019/2020 – Prizes

Newcastle AC Junior athletes recently received their trophies and prizes from the McGrady Financial Services Junior XC Series 2019/2020.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to hold this year’s annual Prize Giving Evening.

Thank you to all athletes and parents/guardians for your participation and support throughout the series.

We would also like to take the opportunity to thank our sponsors, McGrady Financial Services Ltd, for their continued support of the series since its inception in 2010.

Bronze is the Colour of the Day at NI & Ulster Track Championships

Totten & O’Flaherty take bronze at NI & Ulster Track Champs

It’s certainly been an unusual year, exemplified this weekend with the NI & Ulster Track & Field Championships which would normally take place in June, rescheduled for mid-September due to well, no real need to spell out why.

 

Women’s 5000m

Two Newcastle & District AC athletes made the trip to the Mary Peters Track to compete in respectively the Woman’s & Men’s 5000m. First up was Olympian Kerry O’Flaherty, celebrating, if that’s the right word, one year since foot surgery to insert a screw to facilitate the recovery from a serious 5th metatarsal break caused by an unfortunate racing incident in a steeplechase in the south of Spain. Continue reading