It’s a like a punishment for being old…a cross-country race on January 6th! It didn’t seem to deter anyone, however, as apparently there was a record turnout for this year’s Dublin Masters XC in St Annes Park in Raheny. There were 2 races on the day – a women’s 3K and a men’s 6K. There were 202 finishers in the women’s race and a whopping 280 in the men’s.
Conditions were perfect on the day – no rain, no wind and the ground was firm after a dry couple of weeks. We had a great showing, with 8 ladies and 14 men lining up for the club.
The course itself is very flat, meandering around some sports pitches and through some wooded areas. You even get a glimpse at the sea in a couple of spots. There are 2 laps for the women’s race and 4 for the men. The race starts out in the open, alongside one of the pitches.
Positioning at the start is really important (as I learnt to my detriment!) as there’s a sharp left after about 100-200m that brings you onto a narrow path through the trees. There’s simply no room to manouevre and the focus is on trying to stay upright. There are a few other tight spots like this, with the men’s race looking particularly congested. You have to time your moves well. There’s also a lengthy run in to the finish which gives the lungs a good work out!
A big round of applause has to go to our O50 men. Vincent O’Neill was our solitary medallist on the day with a bronze in his O60 category. Great running from Vinny.
The guys were also agonisingly close to a medal in the men’s O50 team competition. The team consisting of Sean Ryan, William Beausang, Andy Davies and Nick Devery finished in 4th place, just 3 places behind the third-placed team. Great running from these guys to finish 4th out of 13 teams, in what was a very competitive field. Next year lads! Full results for the O50 men were:
104th Sean Ryan
124th William Beausang
130th Andy Davies
145th Nick Devery
168th Vincent O’Neill
186th Christy Smith
269th Brian Corr
The O35 men also produced some great runs on the day. Patrick O’Reilly was first of our men home in 58th place. Well done Patrick. Gareth Horgan also had a great race, going out hard and managing to hang on. He finished 66th overall. Gareth was followed by Dave Hipwell in 95th place, Noel Ryan in 109th place, Owen McFeely in 238th place and Eamon Prunty in 246th. The men’s team of Patrick, Gareth, Dave and Noel finished 13th out of 19 teams. Well done guys!
In the ladies race, Brid Ryan and Gemma Treacy had great runs to finish in the top 20 in what was once again a strong women’s field. Brid ran really well, working her way through the field to finish in 15th place. Gemma also had a great run, finishing just 4 seconds behind which put her in 19th place. Myself and Fiona had a bit of cat and mouse going on throughout the race! I eventually finished in 68th place, with Fiona just a few seconds behind in 73rd. Fiona was followed by Maria Pozo in 83rd, Emily Ennis in 102nd, Leonie Macauley in 136th and Riitta Kansanniva in 141st.
The ladies team consisting of Brid, Gemma, myself and Fiona finished in 8th place. Not a bad showing out of 18 teams.
So despite my moaning beforehand, the Masters was a challenging race on a really nice course and a great way to kickstart the year. And as usual the club punched above its weight. Onwards and upwards!