Race report, photos AND support by Joe Byrne!

National Masters Cross Country Championships. 12th February 2017

Put the winter spikes away, get the sun factor out. With the championship cross country season now consigned to history, can spring/summer be far away?

The final day of the season was to be the harshest one yet, with a biting, raw, easterly wind blowing across the grounds of Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT) Sportsgrounds.

A tough uncompromising course (and that was just from a spectators point of view) over undulating terrain tested 24 of our best Women and Men athletes. The only forgiving factor was the lack of rain over the winter months that meant the course didn’t cut as had been the norm at this event in recent years. Anyway true to form our runners excelled themselves over the 4k & 7k distances, as they have done all year.

Sunday morning began with a long spin down the M9 to WIT. With both a 10 mile and 20 minute start from the main Sportsworld possee at Bushy Park, Martin Keenan (driving) and I made it to the Applegreen coffee stop at Gowran just behind the main group!!

Thankfully Martin runs a lot quicker for Sportsworld than he drives behind the wheel!

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Fast forward to 1.30pm and it was time for the Sportsworld Ladies to defend their National title won in Dundalk last year. Superb running over the 1 short and 2 long lap course from the start, from Catherine Bambrick up front closely followed by Ruth Kelly, Noreen Brouder, Stephanie Bergin and Lucy Darcy (chief organiser and participant) with Anna Delaney, Ann Dalton, Natalia O Grady, Sandra Gowran and Val Power not far behind meant an accumulation of 145 points and good enough for 3rd place out of 19 teams and National Bronze medals, only 10 points behind eventual winners Youghal A.C. A very credible defence of the title indeed! In addition Catherine also won County Silver on the Dublin team. Well done Catherine.

National Masters Bronze Medal Team!

In the Womens O’50 race Eileen Rowland, Aileen Melody, Ellen Lavin and Audrai O Driscoll all combined to claim 7th club overall in the country. Well done Ladies!!!

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2pm came and over 200 men started their 7k assault.

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1 short lap and 4 long ones later Karol Cronin in his inaugural masters cross country race crossed the line in 21st place overall earning himself a county silver medal for Dublin team. Great stuff Karol, that bout of flu is well behind you now!

Silver medal on the Dublin Team!

Hot on his heels were Gareth Murran, Michael Cunningham (yes he took a break from Terenure 5 mile organisation), Martin (Lewis Hamilton)Keenan, Anthony Gillen (flying the flag for the O’50s and only missing county gold by 7 seconds), Denis McCaul, John Dwyer (cleanest shoes award), Alan Hynes, Jose Chapa and Aidan Curren.

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Well done lads. 11th place claimed out of the 17 teams with some of the best runners in the country.

Take a bow one and all at the end of a tough days racing. Special mention to Coaches Emily, Myles, Captain Paul and supporters Nick, Michael and Joe for the words of encouragement. With apologies to anyone I failed to acknowledge or photograph.

As for the sun factor, well perhaps we should get rid of the thermals, gloves and beanies before we can start thinking about applying it. Seriously though folks, can Tallaght Athletic Track be far away now?

Tallaght Track Yesterday

Postscript to above: Martin driving home on his own Sunday evening is rumoured to have overtaken a tractor just past junction 7 of the M9. I am informed he did make work on time Monday morning!!

Sportsworld Results

Womens 4K (3rd place team!)
12th Catherine Bambrick (Team Bronze Medal and Dublin Team Silver Medal!)
19th Ruth Kelly (Team Bronze Medal!)
48th Noreen Brouder (Team Bronze Medal!)
66th Stephanie Bergin (Team Bronze Medal!)
71st Lucy Darcy
94th Anna Delaney
100th Ann Dalton
142nd Natalia O Grady
146th Sandra Gowran
159th Val Power
167th Eileen Rowland
168th Aileen Melody
173rd Ellen Lavin
183rd Audrai O Driscoll

Mens 7K (11th place team)
21st Karol Cronin (Silver medal on Dublin Team!)
50th Gareth Murran
88th Michael Cunningham
127th Martin keenan
130th Anthony Gillen
139th Denis McCaul
146th John Dwyer
179th Alan Hynes
186th Jose Chapa
194th Aidan Curren