Ernie and Connaire on form in Dublin

On Saturday, after a two year absence, Ernie Hall and Connaire McVeigh made the trip to the real home of Irish Cross Country, Santry Demesne in Dublin for the 33rd British and Irish Masters (5 Nations) championships.

After a week of wind and rain, it was refreshing to embrace the mild temperatures and pull on the Northern Ireland vests to pit the best our nation could offer against our neighbouring countries.

After a hard fought battle at the trials in Belfast only a few weeks ago the club was proud to have Ernie and Connaire representing Northern Ireland.

Ernie was running in the V70 race. He took 13th place within his age category and helped his Northern Irish Team to take home the silver medals. Connaire, along with the full family support crew, raced a few hours later in a highly competitive race from the gun. Connaire worked his way around the 8k course in the V45 race where the NI team to secured bronze medals in the team event.

With both men bringing home the bling north of the boarder, there’s still plenty of love for cross country to be found with these two veterans.

Connaire trying to get last minute racing tips from his team mates.

Little Acorns, Grow Mighty Oaks

On Saturday, it was the sowing of many of the little Newcastle AC acorn seeds that took place in Comber.

The Junior squad were out in force at the Ulster and NI Even Age Group Cross Country Championships at Billy Neill Country Park, Comber. This year’s squad had pledged that they were going to put Newcastle AC firmly back on the XC map after a quiet few years off the racing circuit. With many of our Juniors getting a taste of XC at the Flahavans Primary School League earlier this month, the race buzz has been infectious and 25 of the Junior Squad, ranging from 8 to 18 toed the line beside the best young athletes in NI.

With hope that it was impossible for any more rain to actually fall from the sky after a total soaking since mid week, the dull clouds gathered over Comber and just as the first race was about to kick off, the rain didn’t take time to come down, ensuring it didn’t miss any of the 56 runners in the U10 girls race.

Yet many wet and questionable mornings at Castlewellan Parkrun played to the advantage of young Emily Kerr as she powered around the course to take a fantastic 14th place. With experience, there is no doubt that this young lady will grow in confidence and excel on the muck, the road and on track. Continue reading