Newcastle Masters make the cut

Report by Covid Officer

The call went out from high above to summons those who felt their legs had matured with grace and pizzazz and where worthy of competing at the Northern Ireland Master Trials for selection in the British & Irish Masters Cross Country International.

On a fresh yet glistening Saturday morning in South Belfast, The Dub was filling up with the best Masters Athletes that NI had to offer. From out of the morning shadows strolled Ernie Hall and Connaire McVeigh. Both in red and yellow and ready to prove that with age, comes wisdom, endurance and a refined ability to engage some strong elbow play on the start line.
Ernie was up first in the V70 category. He faced three laps of what he described as ‘a fast course with a few bumps on the ground.’ Not a stranger to a few bumps and even bigger lumps, Ernie steadily worked his way around the 6 km course finishing 3rd place in his category in a time of 27.03.

Connaire McVeigh who this year graduated into the V45 category as he turned 21 plus 24 earlier in the year was cheered on by the McVeigh support crew who watched on trying to pick up some racing tip from the runners.

Connaire engaged the infamous race tactics coined by the auld O’Hare hotelier “Go hard or go home.” A tactic which has yet to fail him, completing the 8km route in a time 28.10. This was good enough for a 6th place finish in his category. Although he was overheard saying that his time would have came a higher position in the V40 category. Sorry Connaire, you’re only going to get older so time to keep raising the bar!

Both athletes have now qualified for the British and Irish International XC in Santry, Dublin 12th November 2022 as part of Team Northern Ireland .