National Intermediate and Masters cross country

Feb 10, 2008 [Jeremy Walsh] Piercestown in Co. Wexford was the venue for the National Intermediate and Masters Cross Country today. The weather was perfect, conditions were fairly good underfoot, so the major obstacle on the day was the hilly nature of the course. In fairness the downhill seemed to make up for the uphill so all in all people were happy with the course.

In the Master Men’s race, a blistering pace was set on the first lap. David Brennan (M45) was not sucked into this and used his experience to pace himself well, picking off runner after runner in the latter stages of the 7000m event. He was first Clonliffe man home in 45th position in a time of 25.03. Next home was Jonathan Doyle (M35), 52nd in 25.27, his mountain running paying off as he strode up the hills. Gerry Brady (M50) was next Clonliffe man in 64th in 25.48. The team was completed by Terry Mee (M60) finishing 132nd with a time of 31.37.

The race was won by Dave Morwood (M35, North Belfast Harriers) in 22.45, followed by pat Byrne (M35, Tinryland) in 22.52 and Noel Kelly (M35, Mullingar Harriers) in 22.56.

Finn Valley won the team event followed by North Belfast Harriers and Rathfarnham WSAF, with Clonliffe in 14th.

In the Intermediate Men’s event, again a blistering pace was set up front, in the end Dan Mulhaire of North Laois winning comfortably in 33.05. Second was Cillian O’Leary from Raheny in 33.23, continuining his fine year and getting some revenge over 3rd placed Brian Farrell (Sli Cualann, 33.25) who had pipped him for gold in the National Novice.

First home for Clonliffe was Stephen Harkness, continuing his fine form finishing 36th in 36.37. Should have a good summer. Fergal Hartnett and Brett Paine traded places throughout, and there was nothing to separate them at the finish, both being awarded 36.56, but Fergal getting the nod from the judges finishing 45th to Brett’s 46th. Both making great strides in their first year of running. Fergal decided to go with the spikes this week after falling twice in a cross country last week, when he opted to wear flats. The falling he did not mind, but getting beaten by his older brother he most certainly did! The spikes helped Fergal to reverse the score this week, nonetheless older brother Ronan had a good run filling the last scoring position for Clonliffe, being 69th in 39.00. Next Clonliffe man home was Jeremy Walsh, 81st in 39.46, followed by Chris McLoughlin, 91st in 40.55, Dermot Murphy, 100th in 41.59 and Terry mcLoughlin, 103rd in 42.57.

Raheny ‘ran away’ with the team event with 4 in the top 12. Ennis Track took silver with Slaney Olympian taking bronze. Clonliffe were 10th.

So, all in all, a good days running, marking the end of the cross country season for many of us. Just the small matter of the National Seniors to go now before we can really start to turn our thoughts to the track in earnest…..