The Dublin Novice is a difficult championship to defend because all of last years medalists render themselves ineligible and therefore a whole new team has to be gathered. It was in that light that we assembled back at the foot of the Hellfire Club with confidence tinged with caution. The weather turned very windy with plenty of rain in the hour or so just before the start.
Coach Fitzpatrick had laid out clear instructions as to how to approach the race and the dye was set with Faye, Lucy and Orla making their team competitive debuts in the Blue singlet. Summer who is too young this year for the Novice ran well in the under 19 race.
From the off Faye and Lucy were in the leading group with Eimear not far behind. Christelle was in the first fifteen, Aoife in the first 25, with Sarah running together within the first fifty.
These positions were held more or less throughout the second lap with Lucy and Faye running together in the lead. With a full 1400M lap to go Lucy made a break for home and ran hard up the hill opening a gap with Faye in pursuit. Over the course of that final lap Faye gradually closed up and with a strong last 800M ran home a winner. Lucy having spent a lot of energy in her quest to win hung on for third with Eimear running very strongly got up to fourth place. Christelle fought off a large group to finish twelfth with Aoife improving by twenty five places from last year for 30th. Sarah closed in in 49th and Orla 52nd.
These were excellent individual results all round and our team score of 20 points was actually less than last year. So the first cross country championships has come and gone and its off to the Leinsters in Dundalk in two weeks time, to race in a championship we have never won.