The Spud Run

With races being cancelled all over the place, mountain runners were bracing themselves for the worst, alas, it was not to be and the good news was that race 1 of the NIMRA Championship, Glenariffe, would go ahead, albeit without any prize giving or tae and sandwiches afterwards.
This is a category short race in the Nimra Championship and is approximately 6 mile on an out and back course. A new registration venue caused a slight course change which avoided the road section, crossing a few fields and down a lane that took competitors back onto the river path. Leading out the runners was Newcastle AC’s Seamus Lynch and Mourne Runners’ Johnny Scott, once onto the open mountain section Lynch showed his climbing ability having a 1 min lead at the top before a devastating descent put him well out in the lead. The rest of the field swapped places as everyone fought for grip on the steep mountain side.

In the ladies race it was Newry AC’s Esther Dickson who dominated, showing many a good fell runner a clean pair of heels on the descent.
At the end of the track back along the river it was Lynch well in the lead making it his 4th win here and 3rd in a row in 44:20, Scott held his position for 2nd in 46:32 closely followed by Mourne Runners’ Adam Cunningham in 46:55. Making the top ten for NAC were David Hicks in 7th place in 48:37 and Gary McEvoy 9th in 50:06. Also running for NAC was Stevie Rice finishing in 59:53 for 36th place. The ladies race was won by Dickson for the 4th time in a row in 52:39 followed by Mourne Runners’ Karalee McBride In 55:52 and 3rd was Ballydrain Harriers’ Alison Stocks In 58:55.
The silly boy award this week went to Hicks who very nearly didn’t get entering the race and then turned up without his mandatory kit bag! His only excuse being, “I’m just getting back into the swing of things,”a quick scramble around the start area saw him beg and borrow enough gear to be allowed to go ahead thankfully. A big thanks has to go to our driver today, Ciara Coffey, who finished 7th in 1:02:36, and co pilot Dickson. With these two women at the helm what could possibly go wrong? All I can say is that it’s a good job it wasn’t foggy up there today!

With all the uncertainty about future races over the coming weeks keep an eye on the NIMRA web page before travelling.

By Hill Runner.

All Official Club Training Suspended

Due to recent news, advice and guidance surrounding Coronavirus, all official club training is suspended until further notice. This includes Tuesday Sessions, Thursday Tempo and planned Sunday Runs. Please keep safe and adhere to guidelines proffered by the PHA on hygiene and social distancing.

Junior Club Update, COVID-19


Hi everyone,

We hope you are all keeping healthy and well, and staying safe as lockdown slowly eases.

It was a great disappointment when junior training ended so abruptly, and our annual McGrady Financial Services Cross Country series prize night couldn’t take place as normal.

Just wanted to touch base to let you know that we are currently evaluating the current guidance provided by our governing body Athletics Northern Ireland, and looking at possible arrangements for resumption of training in the Autumn.

The safety of our Junior athletes and coaches is of utmost importance, and further details will be provided in due course.

Have a great summer,

Weekly Club News

Stunning victory by Brown in Carlingford, chased home by McNeilly

Newcastle & District 1st & 2nd at the Carlingford Half-Marathon 2020 

Congratulations to Newcastle & District AC’s Aidan Brown on his excellent victory in the Carlingford Half-Marathon on Saturday (7th March). Brown led from the start with club mate David McNeilly also emerging early ahead of the over 900 starters at Carlingford Yacht Club.

The course is undulating and the weather conditions were typical of 2020 so far – grey overcast skies, a hint of rain and wind, wind and more wind – this time from the direction of Dundalk, into the face of the runners on the first few miles but even as they turned at the coast and headed for Greenore it wasn’t exactly helping. All the more credit for the times that were achieved on this course that boasts almost 300 feet of climbing. Continue reading

Senior Club Membership 2020

Dear Members,

Following a review of Club Membership, going forward the only way to renew or join will be via the Clubforce App either via a Smart Phone or PC.

Please pay your 2020/2021 Membership now.

Please cancel Standing Orders by contacting your Bank or via Online Banking.

The reason for this is the complexity of administration and compliance with GDPR with approaching 200 members.

Using the App automates the process, reducing administration and keeps records correct.

Processing one cash pay payment involves 3 people and takes over 1 hour of time (If you feel the club should be taking cash payments we have a position open for Membership Secretary – full training provided).

Newcastle AC Committee

Hill and Dale Series 2020


We are living in unprecedented times.

As you will all know, all racing is currently cancelled – see notices on NIMRA ( and IMRA ( websites.

Further advice is also available on the Athletics NI website (

Sadly, we have had to take the decision to postpone the Hill & Dale Series and the Slieve Donard Race. All current registrations will be saved and we would still hope to reschedule some or all of the races once the situation allows.

In particular, the Donard Race has taken place every year since 1946 and we will do all we can to see a 2020 version before the end 2020!

Best wishes to everyone from Newcastle & District Athletic Club – stay healthy, respect the distance, continue to be vigilant with hand washing, cough and sneeze into your elbow (or better still an old-fashioned handkerchief) & help save a life…

Online Registration is NOW OPEN for the Hill & Dale Series 2020.

Please click the button below to view the full Series Calendar and access Online Registration.