The last cross country event of the season, the long awaited Rás na hÉireann and by far the toughest in the wettest, coldest and muddiest of days. Our hats off to all our athletes, juveniles and adults alike who braved the wintery conditions and a special thanks to Dunleer Athleticclub and all the organisers who looked after us.
The day began with our Juveniles taking to the course and up first was newcomer Elise Dardis, what an achievement for this young lady who came 13th in a field of 31 U9 girls in the 500m. She was quickly followed by our U9 boys Gerard Thornton, Charlie Malone, Louis Quinn Finegan and Patrick Callan all running up an age to finish 5th as a team.Up next were our giddy U11 girls and boys, both running 1000m. Super running from Rhona Keenan, Evelyn Thornton, Tess Maguire, Evie Corcoran, Lexie McKenny, Evie Quinn Finegan, Molly Clinton and the determined newcomer Michaela Sweeney with Rhona, Evelyn, Tess and Evie taking home the 2nd place team medal. Our U11 boys, Frank Sands, Sachin Chanda, Alfie O’Sullivan, Dáire Halpenny, Sean McCormack and Charlie Butler were equally as impressive with Frank, Sachin, Alfie and Dáire taking home the 3rd place team medal.The ground began to get muddier and slippy as our U13s took to the 1500m course with a supper effort from Alicia Lane, Lily Maguire, Sarah Callaghan and Aoibhe Reid who finished 7th as a team in a huge field of 60 and equally giving their all in the U13 boys race were Daniel Cirdei, TomJoe McCormack and Max O’Sullivan.Just as the weather took a turn for the worst our U15 girls took to the 2500m course just missing out on a team medal coming 4th, well done to Molly Keenan, Aoife Pentony, Emma Boyle and Charlotte O’Shea who were soon followed by the equally determined Liam McGahon in a very fast U15 boys race.Finishing the day for our Juveniles were Charlie Sands and Jack McCarron in the U17 3000m both of these young men held their ground to finish impressively in the top ten with Jack coming 9th and Charlie taking home a 6th place medal. Well done to all our brave and gutsy juveniles.
Now it was the turn of our adults and representing our club in the Ladies 4000m were Yvonne Callan, Bernie Balfe, Martha Maksimowicz, Bernie O’Mahony, Ashling O’Malley, Amanda McElroy and Regina MeElroy. Running cross country was a first experience for Martha, Bernie O, Ashling, Amanda and Regina and what a day to give it a go! Super running with a 3rd place team medal for Yvonne, Bernie B, Martha and Bernie O and equally three fantastic individual medals; 3rd place for Bernie B in the O40s, 2nd place for Yvonne in the O45s and an impressive 3rd place for ‘new to cross country’ Bernie O in the O50s.The men of the club, giving their all finished the day running 6000m as the wind picked up and the temperature dropped, well done to Tony Finegan, Danny Cirdei, Peter Carolan, Ronan O’Sullivan, Gerard Clinton, Leo Farrell and David Tyhuis and a super 2nd place for Tony in the O50s.Congratulations to each and every one of our athletes we are extremely proud of all their personal achievements.