28 November, 2009Ballinastoe, last race of the Winter League, snow on the hills, frost on the ground and ice on the trail ? just like last year. But wait, whats this? A new course? John O?Reilly, the scourge of the trail runner, marking? We?re all gonna die, he?ll have us galloping through rivers of mud and jumping over large boulders and high fences... Mumble, grumble..Grumble, mumble..?7..here you go.
First up was the news of the arrival of a baby boy for Gavin and Santina, which was given a loud cheer before we set off to test the last gasps of the winter and the trickery of Mr O?Reilly. The ground and the course was not too bad, but patches of snow and ice were treacherous in places.Gary Crossan was the early leader and ultimate race winner, showing that he is adapting well to mountain running ? a bright prospect for the National team. Turlough Conway, who has had a super Winter League, wasn?t too far behind taking second place with James McFadden a close run third.
Beth McCluskey had her first hill race and victory of 2006 in the womens race with Aisling Coppinger and Orla McEvoy 2nd and 3rd respectively.
We had two great runs from junior athletes both on the long course. George Warren was 24th overall and Rosy Temple 42nd ? they both won their age categories. They are a credit to their school St Columba?s and to Noel Coldrick their teacher and trainer. We can expect to see more of these two promising stars of the future at the Schools race on March 15th.
Gerry Lalor took the M40, Fidelma Ayres was best F40. Desie Shorten was the winner of the M50 and headed off quickly after the race to run again in the Ras na hEireann. Jane Porter was best F50. Calvin Torrans won the M60 and Jean O?Neill the F60.
A big thank you to all this weeks Volunteers :
John Sheils ? Laptop
John O?Reilly ? Race Marker
Paul Nolan ? First Aid
Bronagh Gavigan, Dermot Murphy, Aisling Coppinger, Aaron Henry and Claire Walsh and to Fergus Power who stewarded at the track and the forest gap ? well done to all.
And finally, Brendan Doherty, Granddad for the fourth time was beaming from ear to ear back at Kavanaghs pub in Roundwood, predicting great things of his new M1 hillrunner grandson ? it was worth the wait!!