Reports by Sinead Tangney and Stephen O’Donnell
Photos by Garth Murran. Full Gallery: Click here
Full Sportsworld results below
Womens Race Report by Sinead Tangney
And so the day was upon us … National Novice Champion … The only thing standing in the way of us and the Sportsworld Christmas Party (and that small thing of a week’s work).
Race reporter Sinead
Waking up I knew it was race morning with the Whatsapp group going crazy. Living in a house with two teammates means you don’t just get one message at a time but every one message equals three… Buzz, ding, dong all in sync. The messages came flooding in from good luck messages to ensuring everyone had a drive and no one was left travelling alone. A couple of 100 messages later we were on our way to Dundalk IT.
We arrived to a very cold and chilly Dundalk and set up a base camp where we all gathered and tried to keep the nerves at bay. All dealing with the pre-race nerves in our own way. Some going quiet and some, aka me, yapping on too much and annoying everyone.
Emily, Myles, Paul and Cathrina were all on hand to help in any way from collecting numbers to warm up advice to susing out the competition. Pep talks were also in full swing which meant one thing run away around the course, warm up, take our minds off the race and try not to let the nerves get to us.
The course looked good. It was a 2km lap just like the previous week in the Dublin intermediate except this time it was luckily a 4km race. Of course priorities were in order with the pre-race chats during the warm up consisting of Christmas shopping, nights out, wedding chats and after race drinks. After we had jogged around the course Emily put us doing long and short strides to prepare us for the quick start of the race.
Before we knew it, it was race time 2:40. Up to the start line we went, squished like little sardines. Under starters instructions “stand back from the line ladies” … “ready” … “bang” … we were off.
As was to be expected the race took off like a sprint. With everyone pushing and shoving to get to the front of the 137 field of athletes. It didn’t take long to figure out that any manners were left at the start line with people standing on heels and accidentally pushing and not a “sorry” in sight. After about 1km the race got into its own pace with about 5 people in the leading bunch followed by all the Sportsworld girls closely bunched together. The two sisters Helen and Noreen kept each other company around the 4km course who were closely followed by Shona and Catherine B. Ruth made an amazing comeback to cross country. Maria was the next girl home followed by Catherine M, Margaret and Patricia. Amazing running by all the girls!
We crossed the line to “well dones”, hugs, smiles which made the initially exhaustion feeling after the race disappear fairly rapidly. Next was the totting up of the final scores and trying to calculate the finishing points and our finishing position. Finally we found out Sportsworld won team gold (53 points) with Leevale second (114) and Dunboyne third (146). Noreen, Helen and myself also making the Dublin team winning gold. All the medals making Emily one happy camper.
The support around the course, as with the two previous races I have ran with the club, was second to none. If you ever find yourself drifting away from the race and zoning out you just have to run a couple of meters and you will find another Sportworld supporter to pull your mind back into the race and get you back on track. I think I can speak for all of the girls when I say I don’t think we would have ran and done as well as we have this cross country season without the support around the course from the lads, all the club members that travelled and even a few parents to fly the Sportsworld flag. It’s hard to put into words how much the support actually helps and means to all of us. Absolutely AMAZING! Next weekend I won’t be running but I will be more than happy standing on the side line supporting the girls in the meet and train run on Sunday “Go Team Sportsworld”.
Mens Race Report by Stephen O’Donnell
Race reporter Stephen
After yet another outstanding, gold medal winning performance by the ladies, the pressure was on us guys to put in a good performance. A nice mild afternoon made conditions perfect for some good days running around the 6k course.
The first of the 3 laps got off to a weird start for me, due to the fact that, as I was coming down the first decline of the day one of my shoes planted in the thick mud and stayed there for the rest of the race while I carried on with the new but not so welcome experience of running one shoe on, one shoe off.
I half considered stopping to pick it up, but with over 170 men charging all around me, I decided my life was probably more important. The rest of this first lap went in a bit of a blur for me, which mostly comprised of looking down at my fellow runner’s feet in an attempt to avoid a visit to the doctor with a spike through my left foot.
It was Conor McCarthy who, like many other of our athletes was on the back of a very full running schedule in recent weeks, set the pace for the team in the opening stages of the race, while I tried to hang on his shoulder for as long as possible. The big turnout of Sportsworld support around the course cheering us on, made this task considerably easier. Having each other beside us seemed to help a lot as the two of us kept up a good steady pace for the final two laps, with myself only pulling ahead with about a lap to go.
The prospect of being the first Sportsworld home, as well as the oncoming Karl Chatterton and Kevin Curran just behind us, pushed the four us to finish strongly on the last lap and down the long finish straight. As a result of all this hard work put in by all our competitors we finished in a respectable 13th position which is a great improvement on the 22nd place finish this time last year. Hopefully now we can keep this momentum going and improve even more in the new year in the two intermediate races.
Womens 4k Race
7th Sinead Tangney (Also Gold medal on Dublin Team!)
13 Noreen Brouder (Also Gold medal on Dublin Team!)
14 Helen Brouder (Also Gold medal on Dublin Team!)
19 Shona Keane
20 Catherine Bambrick
22 Ruth Kelly
59 Maria Jones
88 Catherine Mulleady
92 Margaret Crowley
102 Patricia Fitzmaurice
1st Sportsworld A.C. 7, 13, 14, 19
2nd Leevale A.C. 5, 23, 25, 61
3rd Dunboyne A.C. 9, 40, 41, 56
Mens 6k Race
96th Stephen O’Donnell
99 Conor McCarthy
109 Karl Chatterton
112 Kevin Curran
135 Wesley Harrison
142 Justin McKeever
145 Conor Keating
151 Anthony Gillen
162 David Saunders
164 Denis McCaul
Club Positions Points
1st Clonliffe Harriers A.C. 4, 6, 13, 14 37
2nd Derry Track Club 1, 3, 11, 32 47
3rd North Belfast Harriers 10, 22, 24, 42 98
13th Sportsworld A.C. 96, 99, 109, 112 416