Five members made the long journey to the sunless south-east to represent the club at the National Masters Cross Country championships held at the Waterford IT campus at Carriganore on Sunday (February 12). Conditions were very cold with a bitter breeze from Scandinavia sweeping in over the Suir. As always it’s a very competitive event, and more challenging as the age category mileometer clocks up.
The first race was at 1.30 with all women plus men 65+ competing, which meant the whole Mayo AC squad were on the start line.The second race was over 7k for masters men 35-64. All women and men 65+ ran 4k – one 1,000 metres lap, plus two by 1,500.
There were individual, club team and county medals up for contention. The usual mad rush over the first couple of hundred metres to get a good place in the field can lead to an unsustainable pace. So experience, tactics and race awareness are vital attributes from there to the finish line. The course was fair but testing with a two uphill sections, some slippery muddy bits and a welcome fast downhill finish.
Our formidable W50 team were brilliant again and won bronze like they did last year in Dundalk. Aggressive running by Angela O’Connor (W50) led them home 41st of 187 women finishers from 35+ upwards and she came fourth in her category. Pauline Moran (W60) ran very steadily and finished fast in 102nd place, winning bronze in her category and just behind Christine Kennedy (GCH). Mags Glavey continued her amazing W65 record with a great run (125th) to take gold individual and the team were well supported by Anne Murray (W50) in 138th. That made a bronze winning total of 406 points and just 5 behind An Riocht in silver. That total put Mayo fourth in the W50 county team points.
Rosemary Ryan W40 (Dooneen AC) was the race winner and well done to Sligo’s Sara Doohan (Corran AC) who finished second and first W35.
Our women’s national medal winners added to those won in the Intermediate cross country at Tuam last month. It’s a good start to the championship year for the club’s ‘big minority’ who race cross country.
There was great encouragement around the course – among those heard were Peter Hynes, Danny Green, Ian Egan who all ran in the next race – masters men 35-64.
The next National Championships are the Masters Indoors in Athlone Arena on March 5. See event calendar for details. No entries on the day.