By Captain XC
Sunday saw the running of the Woodies DIY AAI Inter Counties & Even Ages Cross Country in Ratoath, Co.Meath. Ratoath known for its famous racecourse and its ability to hide from SatNavs.
The first order of the day was the junior races. These were hotly contested with the cream of Irish juveniles attending. Newcastle’s own up and coming talent Patrick Sheridan ran in the U16 Boys representing Ulster. Being one of the first races of the day one would assume the conditions underfoot would be firm and favourable, however this wasn’t to be the case. Nevertheless Patrick ran a steady strong race to finish in the top third of the field in atrocious conditions. The U16 Girls race saw Dearbhla Magee (also representing Ulster) toe the line and show many of the other provinces what she was made of finishing in a respectable 60th place. Full Results
Finally the Junior Men’s race featured Eoghan Totten. The race began at typical breakneck speed with Ian Guiden (unattached) taking an early lead with Stephen Kerr wearing him down throughout the course to take the win, Ian faded to second. Eoghan who was in around 10th place after the first lap remained calm and slowly worked his way through the field to secure a place on the podium. Thanks to this excellent performance Eoghan has now gain a coveted spot on the Irish XC team for the European XC Championship. Full list of selected teams.
With the Junior races wrapped up it was the turn of the Senior Ladies 8KM race. Newcastle’s own Kerry Harty fresh from her victory at the Seeley Cup was in fine form and boosted by her protégé’s performance in the Juniors. The ladies began at the now normal suicidal speed with Ava Hutchinson and Lizzie Lee of Leevale setting the pace. Kerry slotted in behind the podium and battled through the four laps with North Belfast’s Gladys Ganiel with Kerry besting her to take 5TH.
The last race of the day was the Senior Men’s race. Some of the country’s top talent were in attendance including 10K/Half Marathon/Marathon Champion Paul Pollock, Joe McAlister and Stephen Scullion to name a few. North Down, East Down and Newcastle banded together to enter a team for County Down which included Brendan Teer, Francis Marsh, Neil McCartan, Dennis Scott, Barrie Atkinson, Brendan Donnelly and Mark Kendal.
By the time the last race begun the course had now turned into a rather impressive swap. Two time winner Joseph Sweeney remained within the lead pack for the first lap before putting the hammer down and building an unassailable lead. A few of the top runners even lapped the entire field, at one point Newcastle’s own XC Captain was in imaginary 2nd place before he noticed he was almost last….ah well easy come easy go. Team Down had a good showing and managed to secure a bronze medal in their category.
Malcolm Cup XC, Ballyclare. There has already been some interest from a few members, please contact the XC Captain for further info regarding lifts etc.