As they say, as soon as one door shuts……….. So, its more than a little ironic that on the weekend we relinquished our women’s national indoor league title, winners for the last four times it was held, we captured the National Intermediate Cross Country Championships. The record shows that we last won this title in 1987 when Frances Murphy (Cliona’s aunt) was first and led home Ann Browne, Susan Jenkins and Olivia Clinton to victory with 29 points. On this occasion we traveled to Castlelyons, Co Cork (population 211). This was farmland, not hilly but following recent rain clinging mud that sapped energy. No place to be for track athletes. None the less we persevered and excellent runs all round were produced.From the gun Lauren and Celine were to the fore and at the end of the first 1000M lap Edel lay 3rd, Alison 6th, Silje 10th, Sinead 20th and Ellen 30th. Alison lost a shoe at this stage but bravely continued nonplussed. Over the next lap of 2000M Lauren and Celine were running together and had created a healthy lead over their pursuers. Edel was now 6th, Alison 9th, Silje 12th, Sinead 25th and Ellen 35th. Going out into the country on the final lap Lauren moved away and came home a comfortable winner from Celine who had a great run remembering she is straight out of the junior ranks.
Edel fought hard to hold on to 7th and Alison, still missing a shoe announced her return to really good form with an excellent 8th place. Not since Cinderella’s dash from the ball have such heroics been seen. Silje found the muddy conditions quite challenging but held on to a creditable 13th place. Behind this some great running was taking place with Sinead picking up places all around the last lap to finish in 17th position, certainly her best run this year. Likewise Ellen worked hard on the final 2000M to deliver 27th place which reestablished her form following a few difficult months due to COVID 19.
Winning national championships is not easy, you have to take your opportunity when it presents itself and today we did just that both as individuals and as a team. We produced a record low score of 18 points and the great thing is that we will have a strong team again next year with Sinead, Ellen, Aoife Ni, Aislinn, Eimear, Jodie, Silje, Aoife D, Noelle and Aoife C all eligible for this championships.
The curtain now come down on the domestic championship season and looking back we will remember 2021/22 fondly