Monday 23 October 2017

The masters of cross-country

Mary Leech winning the Masters 3k cross country race
Mary Leech winning the Masters 3k cross country race

All the young guns rested up for the weekend as Sunday saw the turn of those 'mature' runners over the age of 35 taking part in the Louth Masters Cross-Country.

Long-standing and valued member of Drogheda & District AC, Jim McEvoy, facilitated the Athletics Louth championships in his great field in Termonfeckin and once again Drogheda & District had a great turnout.

First up were the ladies who had 3km of the hilly course to contend with, and Drogheda's very own Mary Leech was cheered home to victory in a super time of 11:59. She was followed closely by Nicola Welsh in 12:03. Yasmin Canning took the bronze in 12:09 and Maureen Harbison competed strongly to finish in 12:24.

Mary McGreehan and Bernadette Matthews both showed a return to form, clocking 12:47 and 12:51 respectively, while Ciara O'Reilly marked her comeback by finishing strongly in 13:05.

Drogheda & District took first and third team prizes, showing their strength in the county.

Next up was the men's 5km course. Brian McCluskey of North East Runners was the first man past the post in a swift 16:52. Paul Smith was first of Drogheda & District's men to finish, coming third in a speedy 17:43. He was followed very closely by his club-mate Patrick O'Grady just three seconds behind, while Robert Maher and Niall Donnelly also put in top performances in this competitive field, finishing in 18:00 and 18:05 respectively. Danny Skeffington also featured highly in the results, running 18:13.

Club captain Aonghus O'Connor just came in ahead of clubmate Gareth Curran in 19:29 and 19:36 respectively and Drogheda & District took second team prize on the day behind North East Runners.

From cross-country to road races Drogheda & District were well represented across the country at the weekend.

In Castleblaney, for example, the eponymous 5km saw both David Walsh and Paul Filipiak putting in great performances over the distance in 18:21 and 19:48.

Elsewhere, Gerry Mullins returned to his home county Waterford to compete in one of the best-value and best-organised half marathons in the country. Gerry finished the Waterford Half in 1:37:40. He was joined by clubmate Liam Farrell who achieved a time of 1:41:53.

Drogheda Independent