Home News Register Route Contact

Photos 2012

Click here to see the photos from the 2012 Run and Walk for Autism

To see the photos from the 2011 event, click here

To see the photos from the 2010 event, click here

To see the photos from the 2009 event, click here

To see the photos from the 2008 event, click here


Click here for Half Marathon results


Click here for 10 Mile Run results

To see Half marathon results 2010 click here
To see 10 Mile Run results 2010 click here

The H.A.N.D. Run for Autism 2010

The local Charity H.A.N.D. organised a 10mile walk and run, as well as a half Marathon throughout the south Armagh countryside, taking you from Newtownhamilton via Ballymoyer, Whitecross and Lisnalee to the finish in Lissummon.

As participants arrived in Newtownhamilton to register, they signed their names and picked up their packs at the local Youth Club. Anyone who may have been anyway nervous, were put at ease by the warm friendly welcome which greeted them by the teams of people taking details, and the marshals and helpers, all gathered in the main hall warming themselves up, prior to the work which they had head of them in assisting the runners and walkers in their task!

The atmosphere was rather relaxed as walkers and runners alike mingled in the youth club mentally preparing themselves for the task ahead. Outside was a similar scene where groups of runners and walkers of all abilities chatted in the cool autumn sunshine, watching as the car park start to fill to capacity, whilst trying to evade photographer Adrian Rafferty shooting his Nikon in their general direction!

Up on the road, outside St Michael’s School, the stage was set for the off, where the non camera shy Peter Quinn, as ever, at hand with the microphone warming everyone up with his witting banter and kept all amused prior to the off. Also on the stage this year we had a selection of special Olympians from the Newry District, bringing home the point and the reasoning behind the actual run. A point which Seán Quinn, one of the main organisers, noted during his pre run speech.

The first year (2008), they had Boyzone star Keith Duffy start the race. Last year they had Ulster Rugby’s Rory Best and Armagh’s Oisin McConville start the race, with Oisin even running part of the race. This year they had the local personality of rally driver Andrew Nesbett start the race, describing his younger days and journeys around Newtownhamilton, and in particular a journey over the Tullyet, in a detailed description to those assembled!

Reality began to dawn on those taking part, as marshals where dispatched by bike and car, as the photographer took up position in his mobile camera unit, and as the paths of the Dundalk Road began to fill up with onlookers coming out to cheer on all those taking part. It was indeed clear that it was near time for the off!

Having listened to the reason why we were all there and who we were raising the funds for, the horn blasted as the race commenced. This year the route was slightly changed from previous and a lot of those taking part entered the race blind – not worrying about the exact route, just content in the fact that they were not only partaking in a run but also the knowledge of knowing that they were taking in a very well organised event which would eventually finish up in Lissummon!

As the runners made their way out the Armagh Road the route ahead was lead by the camera van and marked out by the numerous friends, family and volunteers marshalling the lanes and byways of the route. Not only marshalling but also cheering and applauding walkers and runners alike.

As the route progressed down the School Road back into Newtownhamilton the street corners, The Square and outside the mart had locals cheering all on!

The beautiful South Armagh vista inspired many, as they made their way towards Lissummon, and a real support built, up as runners helped each other along, chatting and offering words of encouragement to each other, as they made their way through the locale.
As the beauty of the countryside helped runners and walkers in the quieter areas the more populated areas had supporters offering drinks, and that, as well as a warm welcome as they passed the various town lands along the route, and one of the first-aiders even administering water to her brother regardless as to whether or not he needed it!!! (He did welcome it once realised what it was!)

Supported well at Ballymoyer, the village of Whitecross was not to be out done, locals standing their gardens and at the front of their houses applauding, and even on lookers from Newry and further a field were offering support as the competitors made an indent into the miles of the route.

All housing areas and local schools became an area for people to assemble and offer support and refreshments for those making their way from start to finish. Lisnalee was one such area where support increased as partakers made their way onto the main Armagh Road where traffic was stopped to assist in a safe crossing for all.

Leaving the Armagh Road climbing the Brown Moss Road towards Lissummon Community Centre the quiet country side was awoken, as competitors from both walk, half marathon and 10mile run, approached the finish line, to be welcomed by local sports compare Damien McCullagh and his quips!

Once over the finish line the well-tuned support crew offered medals, water and assisted those who may have been in need. This year one could even be directed to the recording team to collect your chipped time for those who wanted to keep as a memento.

The crowds at Lissummon greeted all with a warm welcome, and after a warm shower, all were treated in the hall with food and drinks, both hot and cold, and made to feel part of the community, as friends, family, supporters and participants mingled with organisers and all those who contributed to the event which had just taken place.

Well supported by the PSNI, the villages and town lands the route made its way through; it was also supported by local businesses. This truly was a cross community event in every way, an event which brought out the generosity of all those who supported it. From financial assistance, taking part, to making sandwiches or even collecting used cups and saucers!

Young and old, motorsport to football, Newtownhamilton to Lissummon – the HAND Run for Autism spanned many bridges bringing everyone out to support a very worth while charity in our locale, one which affects many households in Newry & Mourne.

Whilst those who pounded the roads of South Armagh where finished after a few hours, acknowledgement has to go to those who organised it, many hours of their own time was given up over the previous weeks and months in order to put together such an efficiently well run event, which was definitely enjoyed by this runner!

  Home |  Register |  Route |  Photos | Contact