Conna, Co.Cork, Sunday Dec 4th 2022
They say all good things come to an end and in all probability this is true but for us not quite yet.
Following our trip to Donegal for the senior championships two weeks ago we set out to the other end of the country today in search of the Novice Cross Country Championships, a title we last won in 2019 although we did finish third last year and second in 2014.
Conna, located some 15km east of Fermoy presented a tough hilly, typical farmland course with a muddy surface and several switchback turns on a 2km lap. Both the start and especially the finish were uphill. The run in to the finish was at least 400m long and included two switchbacks.
The large field of 109 runners, including 16 teams set off in bright conditions with a slight coldish breeze blowing. Claire was prominent in the top ten from the outset with Sorcha maintaining a position within the top fifteen. Eimear and Aislinn were next in or around twenty fifth with Sinead and Ellen making steady progress. Aoife C and Aoife D were gaining places as the race progressed.
The second lap saw some significant changes in our positions. Claire maintained her position in the top six, but Sorcha struggled with the conditions and lost some ground. Eimear was gaining places and immediately behind her Sinead, despite lack of training and having discomfort from injury was having a brilliant run. Equally, Ellen was having the race of her life and chased Eimear and Sinead to the finish. Sorcha managed to steady the ship and finish just ahead of Aislinn with the two Aoifes also finishing strongly. Our finishing places were Claire 6th, Eimear 18th, Sinead 21st, Ellen 23rd, Sorcha 35th, Aislinn 36th, Aoife C 54th and Aoife D 65th.
We closed in our four scoring runners on 68 points and won the championships by a handsome margin.
There are nine championships available each year at County, Provincial and National level therefore in the calendar it stands at eight down with one more to go. The Dublin Intermediate is next on the list on December 11th which will present a considerable challenge for us.
Anyway what better way to celebrate a major win but with a Big Mac and chips at Junction eight. Worrying about next weekend can wait a few days.
So far so good.