Report by Siobhán Grant
This weekend, The Spring Gardens in Castlewellan Forest Park will host Race 1 of the ever popular McGrady Financial Service, Junior Cross Country Series. At 10am, October 1st, Murlough AC will kick off the first race of the Series, playing host to the junior runners at the the popular figure of eight course in Castlewellan.
Last year over 150 young athletes from local clubs, Newcastle AC, Murlough AC, Dromore AC and East Down AC toed the line in at least one for four events hosted in some of the most scenic forests and trails that County Down has to offer. With ages ranging from 3-18 years old, each race distance is set to challenge both the little legs and those legs which have grown through the ranks of the competition over the years.
Young athletes who complete three of the four events in the series will receive a bespoke medal for their dedication and effort across the series. There will also be prizes for the top 3 runners who score the best across their age category and club prizes for best represented clubs and outstanding performances at Primary and Post Primary.
Series Co-ordinator, Siobhan Grant said “This year’s series is shaping up to be the biggest event yet. The popularity of the series can not only be seen on the day but it filters into local events such as Parkrun as young athletes strive to better themselves and embrace the running buzz. They then rope their parents into joining them which is a win for everyone having a positive effect from grassroot level.”
PJ McCrickard, Managing Director at McGrady Financial Services, is delighted to be sponsoring the series yet again. “For over a decade, we have supported this series and have watched it grow from strength to strength every year. It is fantastic to be able to enable the young people from our community to experience cross country running within such a supportive and inclusive environment as well as welcome back year on year athletes who started their running journey at the series and have gone on to win at School Level, Club Level and in a wide range of disciplines within Athletics. And when asked they will all say their journey began at the McGrady Financial Services Junior Cross Country Series.”
With track season firmly behind, it’s time to get the cross country spikes on and embrace the muck and uneven ground. The Series is free to all registered junior members of the clubs involved. Newcastle AC do offer a race only membership which can be applied for via their website and this will allow access to the Series.
Entries for Race 1 close at 8pm Wednesday 27th September. There will be no entries accepted after this time for Race 1 and no entries accepted on the day.