The sun shone in Gowran on Saturday afternoon as runners from across Leinster made their way to the muddy (in places!) terrain of a well-worn race course for the Leinster Novice Cross Country Championship.

Sportsworld had both male and female teams taking part. Ten ladies represented the female side, whilst we had seven men on the male side. It was a lovely, bright, sunny day with good conditions for a race. The previous day’s rainfall made for a muddy situation in some places……..but we plodded through!

First off were the ladies. A 4K race which involved two laps of the course. We all got off to a flying start and maintained a steady, consistent pace throughout, keeping one another within our sights! Well done to Edel, Rachael and Deirdre who ran their first cross country race with the club today! Fantastic running by all. A little birdie spotted Rachael mouth the words “Never again!!” as she crossed the finishing line(!), but we know she’s only getting started!

The men had a 6K race which consisted of three tough laps. The men put in fine displays of cross country running which requires athletes to dig deep and call on their resources built up from their tough weekly training sessions. All the speed work and cross country training pays off on race day! There were smiles and expressions of relief as the men made their way one by one to the finishing line. Well done everybody – Brilliant running!

After our photo-call post-race(!), we donned our gear, removed our muddy spikes for clean(ish) runners and made our way back to the cars where we dissected the race and our individual race displays before settling into Gowran’s Applegreen for some welcome cheese toasties and tea!

Thanks to Emily and Ann for their support throughout the race – Those words of encouragement make all the difference!

Cross country running is all about team work. Every position counts. We start together and we finish together, and we celebrate the completion of each cross country race together. It’s not easy, but we do it because we love it and because we train hard for days like these! Well done everyone – Here’s to the next one!