British and Irish Junior Mountain Running Championships 2021
A squad of 19 Junior athletes took part in the British and Irish Junior Mountain Running Championships, held in Newcastle, Co. Down on September 3rd.
The athletes came from a variety of club and running backgrounds, many of them taking part in an International mountain running race for the first time. Coming out of the last two years with very limited racing and training options on the hills, we were delighted to be able to provide these athletes with an opportunity to participate and race at this level.
The race route, a clockwise loop, starting from Happy Valley, and summiting Slieve Meelbeg (702m), was just under 4 km long, with 380 m elevation. The route was tough, on open mountain, with a very technical descent off the summit. The weather conditions were very good with clear visibility and dry conditions underfoot.
We had some very strong individual performances with Claragh Keane (DMP AC) coming 9th in the U20 girls race and Luke Duffy (Tullamore Harriors AC) coming 8th in the U17 boys race. Overall Ireland came 4th in the U20 girls race and the U17 boys race and 5th in the U20 boys race and the U17 girls race. While there were no medals for the squad this year, there are very promising signs of development potential which we plan to build on with this group. Most of the squad will still be in age next year for these championships, due to be held in Ambleside, the Lake District, hosted by England.
The event, hosted by Northern Ireland, was excellently organised and the feedback from all those that represented Ireland was very positive with great experiences, both on and off the field, for all those that travelled north.