National Masters XC:
The National Masters XC was held quite locally on Sunday in nearby Castlelyons. As a club most travel farther to the East Cork XC races, so this was a treat to have a national championships at our doorstep! A credit to St Nicks for organising such a large event so well.
Home advantage certainly played a part in a wonderful day for the club. We won two gold individual medals and we were silver M35 team. Tim led the charge with another dominating performance to add to the National Masters M35 title to his CV. Tim broke from the field after about 3k and Michael was the only person brave enough to go with him, leaving some big names back in the chasing pack. Tim kept turning the screw however and proved just a bit too strong on the day winning by 22 seconds from old foe Sergio Ciobanu. Michael battled valiantly on tried legs for the final 2k and finished 6th overall and first M40, a super performance for a man who is on the comeback from a long spell out. Fingers crossed this is a springboard for him to have a big summer of racing.
James was next home for the team with a strong finish over the final 500m to pick off a few Rathfarnham athletes and finish 16th. Donal and Graham had a big battle for the final spot on the team. Donal got a gap and came through in the final 2k to get a few very important places in the final 100m to finish 47th for the team. We were 2nd only on countback to arch rivals Leevale so every place mattered more than normal! Graham was just behind in 56th. Stephen O'Brien also on the way back from injury had a solid run in 94th and Ollie Smiddy should some great game finishing in 136th and is improving at a rapid rate. Tim and Michael also scored on the gold medal 35 Cork team.
Niamh and Eibhlin ran in the ladies race. Niamh was 57th overall and Eibhlin was 131st. Well done to all, It is always a big moment representing the club at the highest levels and taking medals home is a bonus. Long may it continue!
Frank O'Brien has been racing away for his college St Marys throughout the year but togged out at the Podium 5k on Friday night in Battersea Park at a very high caliber race. He was 138th in the race with a time of 15.15. A sub 15 is surely not far away.
In Little Island on Sunday morning we had two of our masters that must have taken a wrong turn to Castlelyons running in the BHAA 6k. Kenneth was 4th overall (3rd man) in 19.48. Eric was first O45 home in 23.27.
In other non racing news training last Saturday at Welchtown was taken over by a Wilderhen. The less said about it the better but a picture paints a thousand words.