There was an amazing day of competition at Tramore Racecourse today for the Woodie’s DIY Inter County cross country championships - Results Added. The hilly course offered great views of the by, but the rain during the juvenile races, together with strong wind, made life difficult for athletes and spectators alike.
DSD athletes made a big impression on the two senior races. Linda Byrne broke clear of the field at an early stage of the senior women’s four lap race. She looked to have the race sewn up by halfway, but a determined effort by Deirdre Byrne brought her within striking distance of the leader.
Byrne again upped the pace and went clear again, going on to win her first senior cross country title.
At halfway in the men’s race there was a lead group consisting of Alan McCormack, Gary Murray, Mark Hanrahan, Mick Clohissey and Mark Christie.
Going out the third of the five laps the order changed dramatically as McCormack sprinted clear with Christie and Murray a safe distance behind.
Those two laps belonged to McCormack as he raced clear to win his first senior title, with Christie winning the battle for second.
According to his coach Eddie McDonagh, who has been coaching his for twelve years since the age of 12, this win gave him more satisfaction that any achievement by any of the athletes he coached in the past.
Sara Treacy had a close battle with Charlotte Ffrench O’Carroll, but proved the stronger in the last half lap and raced away to record a fine win.
Craig Murphy lost a spike shortly after the start of the junior men’s race and stopped to put it on again. He didn’t succeed and spent the first lap moving from last to join the leaders. By halfway it was Murphy and Michael Mulhare who dominated the race, moving clear of the rest.
However, with less than 1k to go Murphy made a move that proved decisive as he added to his All Ireland schools cross country title won earlier this year.