Ladies Race Report by Lorna Quinn

Lovely bright start to Sunday morning, November 12th. Conditions were dry, weather felt mild and all seemed just right for the cross country race that awaited all of the Sportsworld senior cross country runners that congregated outside Bushy Park. “A much better day than yesterday!” “We’re very lucky.” “Couldn’t ask for better conditions really.”

Hhhhmmmm………I’m afraid all was not as it seemed. I car pooled with Diarmuid, Brian and Katie. We made our way from our training base at Bushy Park to the far end of a farmer’s field in another bushy/MUDDY parkland in Adamstown. The weather deceived us hours previously. Diarmuid, at one point, could barely see out the window it was raining so heavily (Brian has video evidence!). The lively and jovial banter in the car, which included Brian’s revelations that he loves the mud in cross country races “The muddier the better…..” (Spoiler alert: He was eating his words/mud a few hours later), quickly turned to expressions of doom when the sky turned a dark shade of grey, lightning streaks were witnessed and the heating in the car had to be turned up to warm and comfort our otherwise fearful, quaking selves! 

After taking a wrong turn and joining the car congregation of a local funeral, a car steward set us on our way again. (We had presumed all the cars were going to the race! “Wow, big crowd for the race!” “Must be parents collecting kids”) So, having corrected that little diversion, we arrived quickly to our destination!

Moment of truth. This is it. “Next time we get into this car, it will all be over” we say to encourage one another! Minutes later, we find Emily, Ruth, Maura, Helen and Ciara. Following Emily’s very wise advice, we get into our spikes before stepping onto the hallowed, muddy ground of our cross country terrain. Our runners would have been wrecked otherwise. My new spikes lost their bright, lustrous quality within seconds. (Note to self: If you think your spikes can maintain their bright ‘just bought’ fresh look, you are deluding yourself).

Right. Time to pin on numbers and get warming up. We go running around the squelchy, squelchy  green/brown grassy areas of our cross country destination. It’s not long before we’re peeling off the layers and doing strides. “I actually feel quite warm!” It was baltic! And windy. And raining. And getting darker by the minute! But we maintained our positivity and enthusiasm for what was about to happen – The Leinster Senior Cross Country race. We were ready!

Lining up in two shoots, we got set. Lucy was there at the start. Working her magic as always. Emily was snap happy taking photos of her assembled runners! “We’ll do it for you Emily!” Myles was also on the route, positioned at a point where we would need his words of encouragement most; at a very muddy bend which felt like you were taking your life into your hands running into it……….quite gingerly I might add (personally speaking!)

And we were off. Helen led the way for Sportsworld. Followed closely by Ciara. Followed closely by Ruth. Followed closely by Maura. Followed closely by mé féin. Followed closely by Katie. We kept within sight of one another (okay there were only 33 runners, but still……) It was a fine race by all Sportsworld members. Each runner kept their place (….well, a Liffey Valley girl did pass me…..and maybe a few others…….)! There were wonderful displays of strength, grit, determination and fine athleticism by all girls as they managed to manoeuvre their way around the field. The 5k course involved two short laps and two longer laps. We had wonderful support all the way around by Emily, Myles, Paul, Michael and all the men’s team. Thank you!

The final result saw Helen Brouder come in 5th at 20.20, Ruth Kelly come in 10th at 20.41, Ciara Brady come in 11th at 20.53, Maura Ginty come in 14th at 21.08, yours truly come in 18th at 21.38, and the debutante to senior race running, Katie Nugent, come in 30th at 23.40.

Fantastic race by all. We were greeted with hugs and cheers and pats on the back “Well done” by Emily and Myles, as it quickly became apparent that Sportsworld would be the proud recipients of GOLD medals!! Well done girls!! Fantastically well-deserved. Silver medals were also received for Dublin team.

We layered up and got some hot tea into us. Huddled in a tent, courtesy of the café on sight, we dissected the race and shared our joy at finishing, and also, we celebrated our fine result.

After the men’s 10K (Well done guys!), we very gladly made our way back to the car park to get warm and dry! We had made it! You always feel good after a run, and you always (no matter how difficult it might be when you’re in the middle of it!), feel great after a race. It was with smiles on our faces, mud on our clothes (and possibly some other type of muddy looking substance often found on a farmer’s field used for cows), that we made our way back to Dublin. It was a great day crossing the country terrain of Adamstown, proudly sporting the red and white colours of Sportsworld Running Club. Thank you Emily, Myles and Michael for your constant support, encouragement and endless hard work.  Another gold medal to add to the treasure chest of winning medallions! Now to prepare for the Nationals on November 25th!

5Helen BROUDER00:20:20110-5Sportsworld A.C.
10Ruth KELLY00:20:41114-10Sportsworld A.C.
11Ciara BRADY00:20:53109-11Sportsworld A.C.
14Maura GINTY00:21:08112-14Sportsworld A.C.
18Lorna QUINN00:21:38118-18Sportsworld A.C.
30Katie NUGENT00:23:40117-30Sportsworld A.C.

Mens Race Report by Mark Hogan

After signing up to the team for the Senior Leinster Cross Country for the first time there were a few surprises I found out the week leading up to the race. Firstly there are two Adamstown’s in Leinster and we were racing in a field closer to Cork than to Dublin. Secondly, the men’s race was 10,000m which I’ve never run before in cross country. This was only my 4th run outing at cross country and originally I was drawn to it by a well written article by our fearless leader who apparently loves cross country. However, after my experiences of Clarinbridge and Adamstown this year I feel Michael may need to revise his ‘Cross Country I Love You’ article.

The race itself was made up of 1 small and 6 big laps. Psychologically this can be difficult depending on whether you prefer longer laps (but fewer of them) or whether you want to see the laps tick by quicker (with a shorter lap distance). I preferred the latter as it meant the field didn’t get spread out as much and also our very wet supporters were spread out well across the course to cheer us on from different spots. The pre-race advice had been to take the small lap slow and then have 6 quick laps – easy. The course was made up of 3 distinct sections with a downhill at the start, mainly flat in the middle and uphill towards the end, so it was all about ensuring getting the most out of the downhill while not killing yourself on the uphill. I found the first 3 laps tough going as I found my pace but took some joy from the guy at the finish line area who had an A4 page with lap 6, 5, 4… written in biro that he would hold up as we passed – no stone was left unturned in the organisation of the race.

Once we were through the first few laps I started to find my pace and began picking off a few runners, all the time trying not to get too separated from the group ahead of me. I really enjoyed the last lap or two as the rain eased off and other runners tired but was delighted to see the 1 lap sign and eventually the finish line. I was happy with my run but I don’t think it’s ever taken as long to thaw out after a race. Overall we had some great performances in the men’s team with both Karol and Phil getting Dublin medals and everyone else finished the race, which in itself was an accomplishment.  Surely we couldn’t have another day like it…..

7Karoldavid CRONIN00:35:5316-7Sportsworld A.C.
25Phil KILGANNON00:38:0922-25Sportsworld A.C.
34Mark HOGAN00:39:0420-34Sportsworld A.C.
49Michael CUNNINGHAM00:40:5317-49Sportsworld A.C.
52Wesley HARRISON00:41:2519-52Sportsworld A.C.
58Ronan MASTERSON00:42:3123-58Sportsworld A.C.
60Diarmuid O’SULLEABHAIN00:42:5125-60Sportsworld A.C.
62Conor KEATING00:43:2021-62Sportsworld A.C.
65Anthony GILLEN00:44:3718-65Sportsworld A.C.
66Brian CONWAY00:45:2115-66Sportsworld A.C.