Connacht Cross Country
Often regarded as the purest form of running, cross-country is a true test of strength and the Connacht Championships in Drumshanbo on Sunday last provided as proper a cross-country challenge as one might get. Great credit to all that ran on the day on the muddy, undulating course.
The club was well represented and the highlight came with victory for Fiona Gettings in the women’s Over-35 4000m winning a provincial gold medal to add to her array of sporting achievements. It was also good preparation ahead of this Saturday when Fiona will wear the Irish singlet at the British & Irish Masters Championships in Dublin. We wish Fiona well in the event in what is a tremendous achievement to run for Ireland in an international competition.
The day’s action in Drumshanbo began with the Juvenile Even Ages races and the Under-12 2000m with Jessica Neary, Julie Taitt, Sarah Taitt, Leah Waters and Sophia Smith all running very well in the soft underfoot conditions. Jessica’s excellent 10th place finish secured a qualifier spot for the All-Ireland finals. The boys team of John Fitzpatrick, Eoin Grehan, Conor Brennan and Evan Maher were next to take on the hilly course and each ran strongly over the two laps.
A high-quality Under-14 girls 3000m followed with Sophia Carey placing 6th ensuring National qualification with another strong performance. There was an impressive run also by Alisha Manning finishing soon after while Daniel Higgins paced it well for a top-20 placing in the boys race against many boys a year older than him.
Emma Brennan was 4th in the Under-16 girls 4000m achieving All-Irelands qualification and showed good form ahead of the U15 race in Roscommon next weekend. Ben Quinn, taking part in his first cross-country race, ran in the Under-18 boys 6000m and showed his strength with an excellent run for a 10th place finish over the six energy-sapping laps. Well done to all. Good luck to our 30 club members taking part at the cross-country in Roscommon this Sunday.