The 11th of December saw the final race of 2022 for Sportsworld (except for the few who are crazy enough to race over the Christmas holidays…). It was a bitterly cold weekend as Ireland saw its first glimpse of winter snow, but there was nothing that would stop the Dublin Intermediate Championships from going ahead, after all that’s what real cross country is about. I’m sure Teresa Mannion would have urged us not to make any “unnecessary journeys” but, nevertheless, we donned our singlets and ploughed our way through the ice and snow to Tymon Park.

I was hopeful the -3° weather we were having would freeze the ground solid, but unfortunately, my dreams were shattered. As I warmed up with Olive and Katie, I soon realized the snow and mud made for a nice and sludgy course. The women’s 5000m race was up first, which consisted of 3.75 loops of our usual training route.

The ladies took off strong, all keeping tight within the group for the first lap. The second lap saw the group spread out slightly as I tried my best to keep up with leaders of the race. It was a tough pace but the screams from the side-lines was great motivation to keep going, so thanks to all who cheered us on. I managed to keep my position, coming home in 3rd place, receiving my first ever individual medal. Katie, Niamh and Olive also ran a fantastic race with our team finishing in 4th place overall in what was a very tough race.

The men’s race began shortly after. As I cosied up in my winter layers and enjoyed my Squares bar, I watched on as they endured a gruelling 8000m or 6 laps!! There was a lot of talent out on the course, but our men’s team really put it up to them. Paul O’Beirne ran a strong race, placing 10th overall to be the first Sportsworlder across the line in 29:52. Following Paul was Trevor in 16th, Timothy 32nd and Stephen 33rd, which was enough to win the bronze medal for the team. A huge congratulations to the men’s team and also to Richard, John, Brian, Karl, Stephan and Tim who all ran brilliantly.

Finally, I just want to give a special mention to Emily and everyone else who took the time to come out and support, even in the freezing conditions (thanks Gareth for the fab pics too!!). The support was really felt along the course, and I can’t say how much of a difference it makes. Congratulations to all athletes who raced on Sunday, and as this may be the final race report of 2022, well done to everyone on a great year of running. I’m looking forward to seeing what Sportsworld can achieve in 2023!!!

See full list of results below: –