The National Masters and Intermediate championships were held at the ALSAA complex on Sunday, along with the National Juvenile B Cross Country Championships and also the Celtic U23 international races. A week of wet and stormy weather meant that walking out through the flat pitches to where the action began felt spongy, as the pitches were waterlogged. So it was inevitable that the course would cut up deeply with hundreds of spike wearing athletes due to run.

Ploughing through six inches of muck was the order of the day, and there wasn’t a patch of grass where you could open up your stride. It was a struggle to stay upright, and many athletes dropped like flies. This was true hardman cross country, in similar conditions to when John Treacy won his two world cross countries in Glasgow and then Limerick in the late 1970’s. Anyway it was the same conditions for everybody, and the strong survived.

Helen was our best competitor on the day – she always races well despite limited training. She set a fast pace from the gun with the leaders, and had the strength endurance to hold it for the 20 min duration of the race. She was in fifth place for most of it and lost a place in the last 300m, but it was still a brilliant performance given that she was up with the country’s top runners – including Beijing 2008 Olympian Pauline Curley. She came home with two national silver medals – an individual one for the F2 category, along with scoring for the second placed Dublin side in the county championships.

The master’s men were next to wade through the custard, and Peter Matthews powered straight through the slop for a gun to tape victory. There were no diagonal runs to try and find any dryer patches for him, just straight through instead.

In the intermediate women’s contest, Stephanie and Máiread recorded good top twenty finishes to lead our team to sixth place. This paved the way for the final race of the day – the intermediate men; where Karole was the best Sportsworld athlete.

Many thanks to the enthusiasm showed by Myles Nugent and Paul O’Connell, who encouraged the troops to run their best in the absence of Emily (who’s away on a training trip with both senior teams).

Master Women Cross Country Championships of Ireland
4,000m, ALSAA, Dublin; 6th February 2011

Place Name Club County Time
1 Annette Kealy V1 Raheny Shamrocks 17:32
6 Helen White V2 Sportsworld Dublin 18:30
30 Eileen Dalton V2 Sportsworld 21:11
53 Kim Masuda V2 Sportsworld 23:10
62 Ann Sweeney V2 Sportsworld 24:50

1 Raheny Shamrock A.C. 64 1 12 14 37
7 Sportsworld A.C. 151 6 30 53 62

Masters Men Cross Country Championships of Ireland
7,000m, ALSAA, Dublin; 6th February 2011

Place Name Club County Time
1 Peter Matthews V1 DSD Dublin 27:19
86 Martin Keenan V1 Sportsworld 33:25
99 Joe Byrne V1 Sportsworld 34:08
120 Kieran Foley V1 Sportsworld Dublin 35:15
127 Ger Prenderville V1 Sportsworld 35:33
139 Nigel Burke V1 Sportsworld 36:10
156 Phillip Kerr V3 Sportsworld 37:13

1 North Laois A.C. 64 7 15 19 23
18 Sportsworld A.C. 432 86 99 120 127

Intermediate Women Cross Country Championships of Ireland
4,000m, ALSAA Complex, Dublin; 6th February 2011

Place Name Club County Time
1 Eilish Kelly Raheny Shamrocks 17:30
18 Stephanie Bergin Sportsworld 20:37
19 Máiread O’Callaghan Sportsworld 20:38
32 Catriona Higgins Sportsworld 21:20
53 Louise Nolan Sportsworld 22:34
59 Orla Jordan Sportsworld 23:00
60 Susan McDonnell Sportsworld 23:00
72 Siobheal Waldron Sportsworld 24:19
75 Nuala O’Connor Sportsworld 24:43

1 Leevale A.C. 64 3 5 27 29
6 Sportsworld A.C. 122 18 19 32 53

Men’s Intermediate Cross Country Championships
10,000m ALSAA Complex, Dublin; 6th February 2011

Place Name Club County Time
1 Michael Mulhare North Laois AC Laois 38:33
56 Karole Cronin Sportsworld 47:17
93 Michael Cunningham Sportsworld 49:34
103 Derek Sportsworld 50:23
123 Packie Enright Sportsworld 54:55
124 Kevin Curran Sportsworld 54:59

1 Donore Harriers A.C. 70 8 9 10 43
17 Sportsworld A.C. 375 56 93 103 123

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