Reports by Helen Brouder and Jose Chapa
Photos by Gareth Murren, Will Greensmyth, Eoin O’Brien & Conor Kenny
Sportsworld results at the bottom
Ladies Race Reports by Helen Brouder
Race reporter Helen on her way to finishing in 8th place
The Athletics Ireland National Masters and Intermediate XC Championship took place in Dundalk IT on Sunday. We had over 50 people competing across the 4 races, so the last race of the XC championship was going to be a good ‘un!
As the bus departed Bushy Park a nervous excitement hung in the air as many contemplated the gruelling agony that lay ahead (i.e. who would have to write the race report!!).
The Masters Ladies were first on the “firing line” (quote Margaret Crowley) at 1.30 with thirteen ladies lining out for Sportsworld in a massive field of 196.
A blistering pace was set from the start and with such a large turn-out it was quiet congested during the first lap but our ladies persevered and thankfully there were no fallers! The pace of the race did not ease on the final lap and our ladies remained strong and challenged for every place.
There were many exciting battles on the finishing straight beginning with an exhilarating battle between Anna Sadowska and Pauline Curley, with the Civil Service athlete winning on this occasion.
The Sportsworld ladies, led home by Ruth Kelly, were an inspiration to watch and won the National Club title in a highly competitive field of 23 clubs. Congratulations to all the Masters ladies on an incredible team effort!!
On completion of the Ladies Master race it was time to warm up and contemplate how we were going to follow that performance! No pressure!
As we warmed up around the perimeter of the course we cheered on the Masters Men and the reality of the mud and water logged course began to resonate. I silently began to panic as pre-race jitters kicked in.
The Intermediate field was much smaller than the Masters with 53 lining out. This momentarily gave me some solace and then the race began! After 800m I felt wrecked and wondered how I was going to make my way around this loop three times.
Erratic thoughts such as running out the gate ran through my mind followed by regrets about eating too close to the race, not training enough, going out too fast etc. It was an endless list and all that kept me going was the support from the crowd which was incredible. With the big group that travelled there was someone shouting your name and pushing you up every hill and through every mud puddle.
This culminated in climbing “that hill” for the last time; I felt like crawling up it and probably would have, if not for the Sportworld crew shouting me on at the top. Thankfully after that hill the finish line was not far off.
Although a thoroughly difficult race, I think the sense of alleviation and achievement for all the girls was clear at the finish line. We all ran our hearts out and our legs off and we were in close contention for the bronze medal losing by just 5 points to Dublin City Harriers. To be continued next year ….
Mens Race Reports by Jose Chapa
Race Repoter Jose in action Sunday
Last Sunday, over fifty members of the club made their way to Dundalk IT, to what must have been one of the most popular cross country races ever.
There was a relaxed and cheerful atmosphere on the bus on our way to Dundalk. On arrival, we set camp and shortly after the usual pre-race nerves started to surface. So, while some people went for the almost mandatory course walk, others occupied themselves with an early warm up.
I had only found out that same morning that the men masters race was 7 Km rather than the 6 Km I was expecting, and a gruelling 8 Km for the intermediate. With that extra Km in mind I decided to go for a late warm up as I didn’t want to tire myself out before the race and made a mental note to take it easy on the first lap, being fully aware that it wouldn’t be the first time that my race strategy goes out the window on the first few meters after the start.
After the magnificent master women race it was our turn and while waiting at the start line I asked myself, once again, why was I putting myself through this. The whistle blow quickly ended my predicament as I sprinted along 254 other men. A few meters after that, Peter Knaggs fell almost in front of me. Fortunately, with great grace, he manage to get up almost before he touch the ground without a scratch and to his merit quickly recovered most of the lost positions.
Towards the end of the first lap, while going over the hill, I realised that once again I had started too fast. At this point, Peter had already passed me but I was still closely folowing Eoin O’Brien and John Flaherty, who I tend to use as a reference point. I decided to let them go for a few meters, in hope that I could recover some ground later on.
Needless to say, it was more wishful thinking than a real strategy. Nevertheless, I manage to get into a rhythm that I was able to maintain for the next lap or so. I was feeling good and I could still see them about 150 meters ahead of me. I said to myself that the glory is for those who are brave and decided to push for a chase… They must have been feeling pretty good themselves, as the distance not only didn’t diminish but it increased over time.
However, Brian Conway did catch up with me around the third lap. At this point, I wasn’t going to let go my hard won position in the field without a battle and in the final lap we exchanged positions a couple times but with a great finish he beat me for two seconds on the finish line. Enjoy it Brian, it won’t happen again!
At least, this is how I remember the facts, but bear in mind that the great demands of oxygen exerted by my legs and heart during the event, probably left my brain a bit deprived of the vital gas, which might have distorted my perception of reality.
Phil Kilgannon was the first Sportsworld member in crossing the finish line followed by Paul O’Connell, Michael Cunningham and Justin McKeever.
The intermediate race was over 5 laps, and I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them. After a full day of races, the course had noticeably deteriorated and adding an extra lap on top felt like gratuitous cruelty.
Kevin Curran was the Sportswold front runner for a couple laps but eventually Karl Chatterton and Conor McCarthy, got ahead of him, with Sadanand Magee following shortly behind, all of them finishing around 32 minutes. Great race lads.
There was well deserved food and beverages in the hotel near the campus, which we all very much enjoyed in good spirit after the hard day. After all, it was the last cross country race of the season, so some even celebrated with desserts. Yes, you know who you are…
And we learned about the Women O35 Team Club gold medal over lunch which was just the perfect way to wrap up the day.
Special thanks to all of you, who came along to support the team, and to everyone cheering along the race course, it really helps to go that extra bit further.
Let me just finish with a paragraph from Murakami’s book “What I talk about when I talk about running”
My time, the rank I attain, my outward appearance, all of these are secondary. For a runner like me, what’s really important is reaching the goal I set myself, under my own power. I give it everything I have, endure what needs enduring, and I am able, in my own way, to be satisfied. (Haruki Murakami, 2009)
It was only my third cross country race and I must admit that after the Dublin masters I never thought I’d say this, there is no way to sweeten it, cross country is hard, but maybe that’s exactly why I really enjoyed the day. Looking forward to the next season.
Full Sportsworld results:
Women O35 Team Club Team Points
1 Sportsworld A.C. 18, 23, 25, 37
2 Tullamore Harriers A.C. 2, 22, 33, 57
3 Sli Cualann A.C. 24, 36, 48, 58
Masters Women 4k
18 Ruth Kelly 14.15
23 Noreen Brouder 14.30
25 Mary Finn 14.37
37 Lucy Darcy 14.54
64 Stephanie Bergin 15.39
96 Anna Delaney 16.21
105 Natalia Sokolowska 16.29
122 Ann Higgins 16.55
135 Eileen Rowland 17.11
150 Breda Browne 17.26
157 Aileen Melody 17.43
174 Anna Carrigan 18.17
180 Ellen Lavin 18.47
Masters Men 7k
59 Phil Kilgallon 26.17
91 Paul O’Connell 27.24
105 Michael Cunningham 27.47
110 Justin McKeever 27.55
162 Anthony Gillen 29.40
173 Jim Browne 29.59
177 Joe Byrne 30.05
195 Denis McCaul 30.54
214 Peter Knaggs 32.17
222 John Flaherty 32.53
225 Eoin O’Brien 33.15
230 Brian Conway 33.37
231 Jose Chapa 33.39
240 Noel Lynam 34.12
Intermediate Women 5k
7 Helen Brouder 19.59
15 Kate Kelly 20.54
32 Caoimhe Costigan 22.25
34 Hanna Fuhrweg 22.33
36 Zoe Greene 22.41
42 Naoise Waldron 23.25
43 Catherine Mulleady 23.32
50 Margaret Crowley 25.17
Intermediate Women Team Results
1 Crusaders A.C. 1, 12, 14, 17 = 44
2 Donore Harriers 5, 11, 13, 24 = 53
3 Dublin City Harriers A.C. 10, 22, 25, 26 = 83
4 Sportsworld A.C. 7, 15, 32, 34 = 88
Intermediate Men 8k
51 Karl Chatterton 32.08
55 Conor McCarthy 32.16
61 Kevin Curran 32.32
63 Sadanand Magee 32.40
75 Diarmuid O’Sulleabhain 34.31
80 Conor Keating 35.55
Sportsworlds most famous singlet only comes out for special occasions now!