For the last cross county of the season Sportsworld travelled to Dundalk IT on a fresh, dry February morning. Initial inspection of the course showed a relatively flat twisting course around the playing fields at the back of the IT under the massive wind turbine. Things are not always as they appear. There were no Avondale hills or lashing rain but the course held a number of surprises and challenges for the 6 teams Sportworld fielded for the championships.

First up were the ladies Masters. It has been a successful year for the ladies masters team with a number of Dublin and Leinster Medals won, but this was the big time, the Nationals. There were two teams, O35 and O50 both the same 4km distance. The ground was saturated in a lot of places and it did not take long for long stretches of quick sand muck to develop. Lucy Darcy came away with a gold Dublin team medal and the ladies Sportsworld O/50 came away with National bronze medals.

                            Sandra Gowran, Lucy Darcy, Anna Delaney, Anne Sweeney

Next up was the Men’s Masters. Again the standard at the Nationals is very high with a number of known top runners in the field traveling from all over the country. The Masters men was a 7km marathon. Trevor Sweeney and Bruce Campbell however both came away with Dublin gold medals.

The intermediate ladies team was next with the 5km race. The women’s intermediate team is getting stronger and stronger with new runners joining the team. Stephanie Bergin did however have to join the team at the last minute to get a full team but it paid off with the ladies getting National Intermediate bronze medals. Strong runs by team mates Veronica and Michelle Burke and Emma Meade secured the medals with 101 points.

Emma Meade, Veronica Burke, Michelle Burke, Stephanie Bergin

The final race was the mens intermediate 8km. At this stage the course was so badly cut up that they had to move the course stakes to give the runners a chance of getting fresh ground to run on. There was a lot of pain on a lot of faces and pacing and tactics seemed to count as some runners reduced their pace for the first few kilometers to save something for the last lap. There were no medals in the mens intermediate but it was still a top 10 national finish for the club.