Bobby Rea Memorial XC 2012

Bobby Rea XC – NI League Race 1 Results
Only In Kilbroney
By Captain XC

Saturday saw the first race of the Athletics NI Cross Country League in Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor. This was the first year the Bobby Rea Memorial XC Race had been held there. Being the first race many were out to test their form coming off the road season and Newcastle AC had a good showing with seven athletes toeing the line.

Don’t worry about the smell.
This was to be the first proper occasion for the newly elected XC Captain to show if he was up to the task. After a morning of car trouble, we quickly moved to plan B and another car with a rather interesting odor was acquired. Once all the athletes had been found we were on our way.

No, your other left.
After several dubious route choices by the captain we arrived in Kilbroney. Post sign-in there was the arduous task of selecting the correct footwear, many longed for David Steele at this point. After consulting Eugene (who had arrived in his McVann) we decided a combination of spikes and fells should do the trick.

The Main Affair
Up first was the ladies race; the pace was set very early on by Dromore’s Julie Turley who battled with North Belfast Harries’ Gladys Ganiel and narrowly edged her out to take the win. Newcastle’s own Sam McNeilly gave a good account of herself and ran a steady race under the watchful eye of father Deon. The men’s race begun shortly after the ladies race, having listened to many of Eugene’s war stories about being spiked I decided the back of the pack suited me.

David vs. David
It was the turn for the speed merchants to pile on the pressure with Jarlath Falls (Ballymena) and Ryan Holt (Willowfield) setting a blistering pace. Deon McNeilly leading by example remained in touch with the leading pack for most of the race and showed many of the younger men that years in the mountains hadn’t slowed him one bit. Next was the battle of the Davids with O’Flaherty and McNeilly swapping places throughout with the latter finishing first. Brendan Quail stuck to his plan of running even splits throughout which paid off as he was able to gather a few places towards the end.

Party At Mine Later
Meanwhile in the middle of the pack the real race was on between Brendan Donnelly and Eugene ‘Sure What Odds’ McCann. Having stalked Donnelly for most of the race Partyboy McCann made a decisive move on the last lap. Sensing this the younger of the two broke away on the last climb and managed to edge him out by a mere 3 seconds.

Here’s To A Great Season!
Having recently read an article in Runners World regarding the benefits of a post race tipple the team journeyed to Maginns closely followed by the McVann to celebrate the club’s first outing of the XC season.

League points after Race 1:

1 City of Derry 62
2 North Belfast 64
3 East Down AC 82
4 Newcastle AC 91
5 North Down 107
6 Larne AC 147
7 Willowfield TH 168
8 Orangegrove 251