Far from the clamour and glamour around Dolphin’s Barn and environs last weekend, it was a complete change of scenery and surface for Mayo AC runners today as they gathered at Drumshanbo.
Over 500 competitors – juvenile (U12, U14, U16, U18) Junior, senior and masters – competed for championship medals and qualification for unevens in All-Irelands in a number of races. The event was held in County Leitrim for the first time in nine years.
It was well organised by Drumshanbo Athletic Club and Leitrim Athletics County Board, supported by Connacht Region.
The course was adjacent to St Patrick’s National School – one lap, one kilometre.
Spectators had been advised to ‘wear wellington boots and bring a change of clothes’.
Good advice as conditions were soft and slippery after a week’s rainfall across the region.
And even more so by the time the adult races took place.
It was a very tough cross-country test of endurance and stamina. There was a challenging hill early in the lap and a chilly breeze once the field reached the top.
Some runners parted with their shoes on the glue-like surface.
Mayo AC had seven members competing today – this race served as the Connacht championships – a change introduced this year.
Six women ran 4k, adapting as best in the conditions, which meant ‘sticking’ to the task.
Colette Tuohy was seriously hampered by calf pain on the second lap, but never gave up.
Noreen McManamon looked comfortable, if that was possible today – she is an experienced cross-country campaigner.
Pauline Moran had a final workout before next Saturday’s British & Irish International masters cross-country at Santry where she will lead Ireland’s W65 team.
Good running too by Paula Donnellan, Angela O’Connor and Joan Walsh – good to see club team spirit as they all regrouped at the finish line.
Mike Griffin M35 was our sole competitor in the men’s race. He ran a strong even paced race throughout despite having a cold.
It was a nostalgic visit to familiar territory for Cavan native Mike, as he recalled scoring a goal as a youngster on the Allen Gael’s pitch just across the road back in the day!
Well done to our team today – hopefully they will be medal contenders!
As always at XC, a great opportunity to meet up with our friends in clubs from around the region.
Results of the day’s championship events to be added when Connacht Region publish them.
The third leg of Connacht Region Cross-country will take place at Roscommon next Sunday November 13: details-
photos in album to be posted separately