IRELAND DOMINATE FIVE NATIONS XC
To cap a magnificent year for Irish Master Athletes, the British & Irish Masters CC Champs, hosted by the IMAA in Santry Demesne last Saturday turned into an athletics historical day, as both Women & Men won the team titles & captured the overall award for the very first time in the 33rd hosting of this Championships.
First race of the day M&W65 plus, saw multi record holder Alastair Walker M65 of Scotland stamp his class on the race from the gun coming home with a 2 minute plus winning gap. Intriguing race for other placings, with Joe Gough, just shy of turning 70 in a few weeks’ time, finding the conditions to his liking and sprinted clear for 2nd overall M65. Together with Eugene Moynihan in 4th & Martin McDonald 11th, first team win of the day was secured. Both the M70s & M75s secured bronze team medals. In the Women’s race, Pauline Moran F65 also lead from the gun & led the F65 team home to silver place. Eileen Kenny F70 also capped off a tremendous season taking victory in the F70s followed closely home by Margaret Glavey in silver position & with Mary Lynch 4th, another team victory was secured.
Race 2 saw F35 to F60 face the starter. Trial winner from Abbottstown, Sinead O’Connor F35 was the overall race winner, followed closely home by teammate Fiona Santry & with Laura McDonnell 4thanother team victory was secured. In F40s Dympna Ryan took ind bronze, with team securing silver. Natasha Adams F45 took ind gold & lead team home to gold. Previous overall race winner Annette Kealy, who had won this race when last held in Santry in 2015, won F50s & with Breda Gaffney 3rdoverall & backed up by Carmel Crowley in 6thanother team gold was secured. F55s & F60s also won team bronze, with Niamh O’Sullivan another previous overall race winner just 1 second behind F60 winner, Scotland’s Fiona Matheson.
Race 3 M50 – M60s had another Irish winner, with wildcard selection, Shane O’Neill,M50 easing across the line with an 8 second cushion over England’s Tim Hartley. M50s team took silver same as M55s & M60s. Pauric McKinney M55 won individual gold with a 5 second margin over Jon Leach of England and Kevin Griffin also took ind bronze in the M60.
Final championship race of the day saw M35 - M45s toe the line. Positions here were keenly contested with the large group gradually whittled down to 7-8 athletes, with a very noticeable move through the field by another previous overall race winner Brian Maher M45. Going out onto the final lap, Brian appeared to be getting detached, but turned in a phenomenal performance only giving way to overall race winner Steven McAlary M35 of Northern Ireland who turned the screw & came home with a 9 second margin. Steven had the added pleasure of leading Northern Ireland ahead of Rep Ireland to team gold. Great packing by the M40s saw ind medals for Paul Moloney, silver & Niall Shanahan, bronze leading the team to gold. With Brian winning the M45 title & with Declan Reed securing ind silver, another team gold was secured.
To summarize, 7 golds, 6 silvers & 4 bronzes across all the team age categories. Individual medals broken down as follows, 8 gold, 7 silvers 4 bronze. On behalf of the IMAA, I would like to extend a huge congratulations to all the athletes who put in tremendous performances throughout. Full results now available from the link below;