The race was ran over eight 1200m laps of a tough course on the side of a hill overlooking Lough Gill in Sligo. It was a fabulous location for a cross-country race, which was held in perfect weather conditions. The race was won by Sligo athlete Patrick Brennan, who put in strong run to move well clear of his competitors, finishing with his trademark sprint finish at a pace that Paul Hession would have been proud of.
Johnny Lane tucked in behind Ultan McNasser of Sligo, hanging doggedly onto the Sligo athlete on each lap. The course layout was such that there was a long tough uphill for about 500m and a gradual downhill for the other 700m with no interruptions to the ascent/descent in between.
Still behind the Sligo athlete as the final lap began, the Craughwell athlete moved clear as they reached the top of the hill and put in a blistering pace down the hill for the remaining 700m of the race to open a large gap of close to 100m and claim the silver medal. Fantastic running! Johnny's form is improving race after race and it won't be long before we see him breaking 36 minutes for a 10k.
In the Masters race (5 laps of the same course), the club had hoped to field a strong team but a number of withdrawals due to injuries and other commitments left Diarmuid Quill as the club's sole representative. Diarmuid enthusiastically took to the field but a strong early pace (U19 greyhounds in the same race!) left him suffering as the race progressed and he had to withdraw half way around. But a good example to the rest of us to dust down our spikes for these occasions - a jog on the hill overlooking Lough Gill seems a very pleasant proposition (after the race of course!).
A seperate report will follow on the juvenile races where the club had a large contingent in action with some great results.