In Liverpool on saturday, Declan O’Connell lined up to represent Ireland and Clarin College Athenry in the SIAB International Schools Cross Country. Declan’s strong team of eight stood against the best of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales.
The course was pancake flat and relatively dry which some people might think means “easy” but experienced cross coutnry runners will know it brings its own challenges – namely speed and leg turnover!. There is no such thing as an easy cross country course! Declan ran off the back of the leading group, starting out at a blazing 2:50/km but settling after 400m or so. As the laps went by in the nearly 6km route Declan got a stitch but bravely managed to keep going hard to finish as second Irishman and 15th overall, helping his team to Bronze behind very strong English and Scottish outfits. Declan has another year to run in this category as do 3 of his international teammates, so they are already eyeing up next year!
Watch Declan’s race from the youtube below: