It was the long road to the Wee County for our six masters who flew the club flag in Dundalk on Sunday. Pauline took the reins on a dark misty but mild Mayo morning, crossing the Shannon and Boyne en route to the grounds of the Institute of Technology for the National Masters Cross Country Championships. A single motorway trip of 329k from Newport to run two laps (3.6k) – repeated on the return journey as twilight fell . The rain held off although clouds hung low over the course backdrop of the Cooley Mountains. The masters race was preceded by ten youngster’s events ensuring the testing twisting course was well trodden, mucky and tricky with one short sharp shock hill to search out stamina levels. During the warm up we watched and cheered as Swinford’s Adam Phillips ran a hotly contested exciting race to win the boy’s u17 title. A fifty metre wide field of over 220 masters women plus all men over 65 lined up at 1:30 – so all six competed in the same race. After the frantic start there was a difficult splashy funnel to negotiate after 150 metres with the usual hectic jostling for position. The race commentator kept us informed about the leaders – Colette Tuohy W45 settled into the top 15, with Angela O’Connor W50, Pauline Moran W55, Tom Hunt M65, Ann Murray W50 and Mags Glavey W65 struggling to pick their way through the big field. Colette had focused on this race and her dedicated training paid off on the second lap as she closed on the leaders and finished in a brilliant seventh overall in bronze W45 position and just 19 seconds behind the race winner in 13:51. Angela finished fourth W50, 28th overall in 14:39 – a creditable performance in first National outing in this category. Pauline shook off the effects of an infection and other mishaps to run aggressively and come home with silver – in 15:44. Rose Lambe, former Irish International was the W55 winner. Tom Hunt finished fifth M65 (16:00) in a competitive category, followed by Ann Murray – a supportive team run and fourth W50 in 16:23. Mags Glavey won W65 gold last year in Tuam and retained her title in style finishing 100th overall in 16:51. This enabled our W50 team win bronze with 317 points, seven ahead of DSD.
2016 National Masters Cross Country medals:
Individual: Colette Tuohy W45 bronze, Pauline Moran W55 silver, Mags Glavey W65 gold
W50 Team: bronze – Angela, Ann, Pauline, Mags
So, an excellent start to our 2016 National medal campaign – well done, all!