Report from Liam Dunne:
It’s been a busy racing calendar recently with 9 races in as many weeks, with 4 of the last 5 being x- country races in Ireland.
The first was the trials for the Masters Home Countries XC which includes Ireland, Scotland,Wales, England and N. Ireland. The trials were held in the Phoenix Park, Dublin and this event was graced with the presence of two legendary Irish runners, Sonia O’Sullivan and Fionnula Britton.
I was hoping to qualify for the Irish team in the M40 category but with Ireland being the host nation this year it turned out to be a very competitive age group and I could only manage 14th overall in a well packed field. With only 6 being selected for the country in each age category I will have to wait for next year to have another crack at it.
The next trip was the Leinster (Provincial) Masters XC and I finished 21st in this one and 6th M40. The following week it was a trip back to my home county for the Laois Senior XC Champs and this time I finished 11th.
It has to be said that I was a little disappointed with most of the xc courses this year, there was very few hills, and with the dry and mild weather there was a serious lack of mud.
This weekend just gone it was the Masters Home Countries XC event and this brought all the mud required for a traditional xc event. I knew a lot of the guys competing as we had a record 5 individuals from my county competing, with one being from my home club.
Ireland were really strong and won many individual and team gold medals as well as winning the overall competition, narrowly beating England.
I entered the last race of the day the Masters Open XC Race (6K) which was made up of several reserves from the various competing countries.I was happy to finish in 3rd behind the two English M35 reserves. All results of the day can be found on;