The cross country season has been building up over the last few weeks and reaches an exciting point this Sunday in Bulgaria. Last Sunday Sara Doohan (Corran AC) won a brilliant bronze medal in the National Novice Women’s Championships at Santry. She had won the Connacht Senior Championship over two legs early in November at Loughrea and Westport. Sara has shown a big improvement over the past year under Sligo coach Dermot McDermott. Paula Prendergast finished over two minutes behind her in 66th place in a field of 133.
At Loughrea there was a great race between the two top Mayo Junior athletes, with Sligo AC’s David Harper (also coached by McDermott) just holding off Con Doherty (UCD AC) on the line. Three weeks later they met again in the Inter Counties where Doherty turned the tables finishing second overall, 7 seconds ahead of Harper. They are both in the Irish Junior men’s team competing at the European Cross Country Championships on Sunday morning in Bulgaria. They are part of a thirty strong Irish party at Somokov.
The undulating course will be a real test of endurance and stamina. The Borovets mountain resort is at an elevation of 1350 metres – almost twice the height of the Reek. Dry, freezing conditions will add to the task. We wish Con and David the best of luck. There are six races in all – they are due off at 0848 Irish time – live on BBC red button.