It was another of those long day trips to the Big Smoke, to the Phoenix Park again – that great lung that enables Dublin to breathe. Twelve hours out and back, coffee break at Ballinalack. Check in at Donore Harriers to pick up two numbers – bib chip on the front, age category on the back. That’s how the British & Irish Masters Cross Country trial works. This year it’s included in Autumn Open races organised by Athletics Ireland and there are lots of extra runners in the fields including Seniors and Juniors.The first race is a 5k over a new course – two long laps and one short.
It included a few more tough ups and downs, rough sections through the trees, long grass cut and left in dry clumps on top, and a familiar long stretch on firm ground. This year the wind was blustery and into faces all along the flat section towards the start/finish line.
The 5k (Mrs Garmin made it 5.3) included all masters and junior women plus o65,70,75 men. 119 starters. Colette Tuohy was our first runner home, and first in the F45 category in 20:44, a great performance.
Pauline Moran, also in great form last Sunday at Breaffy finished 3rd F55 in 22:23 with another class run. Mags Glavey had her first taste of this competition and was rewarded with a fine 3rd place in her category in 24:24. Tom Hunt finished 4th M65 in 22:44.
Roger Barrett was our fifth runner and he had his first race since his great run in the Berlin Marathon last month, He is new into the masters zone as M35. He ran in the second race over 8k – four laps with 188 starters. A heavy shower combined with the strong breeze compounded difficulties but was welcome in hotly contested conditions. He ran steadily early on and in an exciting finish edged out another M35 in the final metres to finish fourth in category and 29th overall in 28:10 He also battled with Fionnnuala Britton who just pipped him on the line to come home first in the open women’s race.
So all in all a very successful day. It has now been confirmed that our five have made the Irish team for the B&I Masters International Cross Country in Nottingham next month.
Well done also to our sixth finisher – Tom Waldron who was second 075 in the 5k in 40:25.
There was a great atmosphere on the way back as results were forensically examined and experiences shared. Thanks to our Dublin supporters – Paula Prendergast keeping active ahead on the marathon out on her bike, Gerry O’Malley getting ready for Bank Holiday Monday excitement. Good to meet and greet old friends and see contingents from GCH and Craughwell too.
And for those who haven’t tried it – a great opportunity and experience awaits next year at this open event. As Roger Barrett said after his race ‘ my spikes are cleaner than when I started’.
5k results: http://www.precisiontiming.net/result.aspx?v=2251
8k results: http://www.precisiontiming.net/result.aspx?v=2261