East Coast AC present... Cairncastle Classic Fell Race

Results for the Cairncastle Classic Fell Race 2022 are now available HERE!

Well done EVERYONE!

Photos will be available on our official East Coast AC facebook page in the coming days!

Cairncastle Classic Fell Race

Part of the NIMRA Calendar for 2022


Category - Medium
Distance - 10 Miles
Elevation - 2200ft +/- (approx)

East Coast AC Cairncastle Classic Fell Race 2022

East Coast Athletic Club would like to invite NIMRA members and fellow fell runners to the 3rd annual running of the Cairncastle Classic Fell Race. The route will provide many different challenges, regardless of ability and take in a lot of the classic running routes around the famous Sallagh Braes and north coast skyline.

The event base will be at Ballygally, a coastal village, 5 miles north of Larne. Race HQ will be at CAIRNCASTLE PRIMARY SCHOOL.

Official race parking, as well as toilet facilities, will be located in BALLYGALLY PUBLIC CAR PARK, just 200m from Race HQ.  Please see directions HERE if required.

Description of the most efficient route:

The race will start within the grounds of Cairncastle Primary School. Participants will follow the Cairncastle Road, uphill, in a westerly direction for 1 mile, passing one of County Antrim’s oldest and most iconic public houses ‘Matties Meeting House’. After the road section, the course continues uphill on a farmers track which leads onto the fells and the well-known ‘face’ of Knockdhu. 

Upon reaching the summit, runners will turn south west and run along the edge of the Sallagh Braes to Check Point 1 (located at a stile)– offering superb views of the countryside, Larne lough and hopefully Scotland (in favourable weather). From Check Point 1, runners will negotiate a short but tricky descent to the valley floor and Check Point 2, where many scenes from the cult American drama Game of Thrones were filmed. From CP2 there is a gradual ascent along a rough tractor path, in a southerly direction, onto the Antrim Hills way and subsequently the turning point at Check Point 3. 

From CP3 runners will retrace their steps in a northerly direction and onward to Check Point 4, at the well-known Linford Car Park. From Linford Car Park, it’s a long but gradual climb to the final summit, Scawt Hill (CP5). From the scenic Scawt summit, it’s practically all downhill to the shoreline, initially on fell, before joining a rocky tractor path (CP6) and onto the coast road at ‘The Half Way House’, a hotel/restaurant owned by legendary Irish boxer Dave Boy McAuley. 

From this point, it’s a flat run back to Cairncastle Primary School, passing Ballygally Castle (reputed to be the oldest occupied building in Ireland), before turning right onto the Cairncastle Road, and left into the school grounds.

IMPORTANT:  In terms of marking, only the road junctions and the farmers paths will have minimal marking, to prevent trespassing or damage to property.

Course Map:

A full route map for the course is available HERE.  Exact checkpoint co-ordinates will be published in due course.