Race 2 of McGrady Financial Services Junior XC Series 2013/14

Results and Photos (by Graham McCauley)

A Super Sunny September Saturday
By The Non-Runner

Race 2 of the ever popular McGrady Financial Services junior cross country took place on Saturday 28th September in Kilbroney Park, Rostrevor.

The sunny weather had been previously booked and didn’t let us down, with sunshine reminiscent of those recent balmy summer days. Burren AC had an early start and the courses were marked, measured and indeed a written list of the different age group races and distances were provided to the registration staff. Thanks to Brian and his team. Sadly this did not deter the usual “how long is our race?” question, instead on occasion the actual route of the race was asked for. So it turns out we may need a map next time. Book a helicopter and get an aerial photo Graham? 

Registration for the event opened at 12.30pm, with lots of folk paying scant regard to the many, many requests to register early and online, turning up on mass to form two rather large queues. Assistance was called for and Darragh (The Brains) McCrickard helped to have all the runners details registered with Jacinta taking payment and Gwenda handing out the running vests, all was done in time for the races to begin without delay.

An incredible 152 young athletes were registered to take part in the 2nd race of the 5-race series. We had runners representing Burren AC, Dromore AC, East Down AC, Newcastle AC and guests to the event were the many runners from 3 Ways AC. With our benevolent sponsor absent (what was the score again PJ?) it was down to Burren AC’s Brian to take charge of the loudspeaker and rally the runners to warm ups and races.

As for the results, all runners are to be congratulated on participating. There was no single club dominating which made for exciting Viagra spectating and it was great to see the runners making some thrilling sprints to the finish line!

All runners were reminded that whatever their finishing position, they were adding points to their team. 4 out of 5 races are needed to complete the series.

Anyone who remembers our last junior races in Kilbroney will have very fond memories of the delicious home made buns (iced) and hot drinks in plentiful supply. Burren AC had set the bar high for hospitality and we expected, nay demanded, the same treatment again. This time however things were different. Very different.  While our brilliant runners got a well-deserved healthy banana snack on crossing the finish line the thirsty/peckish parents and volunteers were left with nothing but fresh air and sunshine to get some vital vitamin D replenishment. (Did anyone have sunscreen on?)  In the words of Brian from our host club, ‘there wasn’t a cow to be found in Burren’. In a hasty attempt to keep the baying volunteers happy (I mean, what’s the point of volunteering unless you get a free cup of tea and a bun to ease your frayed nerves?!) we were offered some black coffee. Seeing our obvious discontent a small box of delicious homemade flapjacks were surreptitiously produced very late in the day.  So folks, this reporter had some hot water and a flapjack for sustenance. It’s a good thing we stopped in Warrenpoint for a latte afterwards…

Our thanks go to all those who made the day such a success, to the all runners and their families, to all the volunteers (we could do with a few more-don’t be shy now!) to Darragh for his hard work compiling the results and to Graham McCauley for the photos.

Our next meeting will be on Sunday 13th October 1.30pm at Tollymore, with a new and improved streamline registration method opening at 12.30pm.