After a break of two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the 33rd Annual British and Irish Masters International Cross Country finally took place today.
The Republic of Ireland/Irish Masters Athletics Association had waited since the last running of the event at Aintree Racecourse in 2019 to be hosts. And it was well worth it.
Santry was the venue this year for these very competitive cross country races.
Continuing their excellent record of participation over the past twenty years, this year Mayo AC had three club members in Irish vests – a great achievement.
Pauline Moran W65 and Mags Glavey W70 were joined on the Irish team by Paraic Sweeney making his debut in the competition.
As we reported during the week, Paraic got a late call up to join the M70 team and was suitably delighted!
The overall top prize (combined men and women) is between the five nations.
England had dominated the event in both men’s and women’s sections over the entire span of the event so far. Yes – had dominated! – until 2022 that is, when they met their Waterloo at Santry.
And our runners contributed in no small measure to the Irish team winning the overall trophy for the first time.
As team and individual results were announced at the medal presentation banquet at the Clayton Hotel, it became clear that Ireland had won a significant number, and the points they gathered were enough to claim a massive overall victory.
This they did amid keen competition between age category teams and individuals from o35 to o75 with medals for the first three on each – similarly with team medals.
Contributing to the Irish success were a number of runners from other Connacht Region clubs –
Paddy O’Toole Westport AC and M45 team won gold with 1,2,3 in the category ,
Mark Davis Craughwell AC M50 silver team,
Eamonn Murphy North Sligo AC M55 team silver,
Mari Johnston Sligo AC W50 team gold,
Also Ballinrobe native Mary Browne Lucan Harriers AC : W60 team bronze.
The Masters International Cross-Country ended with the traditional banquet and medal presentation, hosted this year by the Irish Masters Athletics Association at the Clayton Hotel.