This was never going to be a weekend packed with running events as we get into the festive season, but we might not have expected the weather to be a challenging factor for those that were scheduled. However, with the big freeze that has hit the country since Friday, this was particularly true for the parkruns, most of which were cancelled on Saturday morning, owing to the treacherous conditions on many footpaths around the parks of Ireland. However, despite an initial stutter, arising from a last-minute change of venue, the first BHAA XC race to be sponsored by BNP Paribas, the French bank, did successfully go ahead and was much appreciated by all who took part.
The race was originally due to take place in Dodder Valley Park. However, with only a day or so to go, South Dublin County Council withdrew its permit for that venue, concerned about damage to the grass in the park. Nevertheless, the council was prepared to offer up an alternative and into the breach stepped Kiltipper Park. The BHAA was also able to secure the support of Tallaght Town AFC for the use of their clubhouse for registration and post-race activity. From the photos and various reports, it was a challenging event, held in snowy conditions on a course involving a big undulating lap of 1.8k (negotiated 3 times) along with a smaller loop to an uphill finish. There were at least 4 climbs of 15m or so throughout the laps. At least, it was an otherwise calm day.
The event was won in a photo finish by Ieuan Hopkins in 21:13 just ahead of national marathon champion Martin Hoare (same time). The winner of the women’s race in the mixed field of 113 was Laura McDonnell in 9th place overall and a time of 23:41, so no surprises there, as she has won practically all the BHAA races she has run recently.
Never a man to have enough of racing, Joe McDermott led our contingent home in 16th place in a time of 24:16 and he was followed by Clare Sullivan, making a welcome return to the world of competition, who placed 45th and 5th (as well as first F35) in a time of 27:57. Another runner infrequently seen in recent races was Suzanne Martin who enjoyed a super race to place 56th and 10th in 28:58. Suzanne also won her F40 age category. Suzanne was followed by Pat Quill, who is possibly going to experience similar conditions at some point in the near future when he takes on an ultra-race, crossing the breadth of northern England. Pat ran 30:41 for 69th place and he was followed by Robbie Moore (70th in 30:43), Neil Brown (72nd and 3rd M50 in 30:50), Anthony Hackett (78th in 31:57) and Patrick Needham (89th in 33:17). Apologies if anyone has been missed.
Many of us would have been glued to the livestream coming from Turin on Sunday morning, watching the European XC championships on a phenomenally challenging course and seeing our national U20 men winning both individual (Nick Griggs and Dean Casey running out of their skins to earn silver and bronze) and team medals (silver), the men’s U23 team winning bronze and the women’s senior team also doing the country proud with an excellent run (particularly from Eilish and Roisin Flanagan) to earn team bronze. This was apparently a record total of medals for Ireland, helping the country to place 2nd overall in the table.
Along with the Arctic weather and the distraction to stay indoors, it is perhaps not surprising that the fields for the Dublin intermediate XC championships held in Tymon Park on Sunday afternoon had relatively small fields (of 25 women and 58 men) and, in fact, we fielded only one runner on the day. Peter O’Toole valiantly turned out to run in the 8k men’s race where he placed 13th in a time 30:28. The race winner was Portmarnock’s Graham Gilshenan in 28:39, winning on an undulating and slushy course with which many of us will be familiar at the southern end of Tymon Park and with its finish line near the National Basketball Arena.
Luke Davis reported that he took part in an unusual fitness event, known as Hyrox, in Frankfurt on Saturday morning. Luke had been preparing for some time for the challenge which involved alternate runs, sled pushes, burpees, rowing, famer's carry and medicine ball throwing. Luke's overall time was 1:15:11 meaning he placed 92nd overall and 15th in his age category. On Sunday, we had 3 of our clubmates take part in the half and full marathons in Malaga, Spain. In rainy conditions and a temperature of about 14 degrees Celsius and little wind, Enda Currid and Mairead Cashman took on the half, with its early and only real climb (of about 15m) but was otherwise largely flat, with Enda running 1:36:36 and Mairead, 2:07:35. Lukasz Batruch ran the full marathon where he finished in a super time of 3:24:02, with a negative split of nearly 8 minutes, on a twisty but largely flat course.
We could find only one parkrun in Ireland in which a Crusader featured. It was quite a challenge to find an event that had not been cancelled. At least, Malahide went ahead, with a field of 186 participants, among them Darina Scully who placed 68th overall and 11th female finisher in a time of 24:06. We have to look to Germany for another parkrun in which we featured. Ali May Hann actually placed 12th and 1st female finisher in the 39-strong field in Volksgarten in Dusseldorf. Her winning time was 25:02.
As usual, please let us know if we have accidentally missed any results or made a mistake in reporting them.
BHAA BNP Paribas 6k XC (113)
Overall place Name Cat. Place Guntime
1 Ieuan Hopkins 1 00:21:13
9 Laura McDonnell 1 00:23:41
Crusaders AC runners
16 Joe McDermott 00:24:16
45 Clare Sullivan 00:27:57 (5)
56 Suzanne Martin 00:28:58 (10)
69 Pat Quill 00:30:41
70 Robbie Moore 00:30:43
72 Neil Brown 00:30:50
78 Anthony Hackett 00:31:57
89 Patrick Needham 00:33:17
Full results here: https://acrobat.adobe.com/link/review?uri=urn%3Aaaid%3Ascds%3AUS%3A5aafc370-0b51-3355-adc1-2b772ebff6ac&fbclid=IwAR0tg8imOLA7z9N4OLiB_t1iSIMUvVwJXV3asEOwwe4J9G8mHiOUwcA4Bwg
Dublin Intermediates Men’s 8k XC (58)
Overall place Name Guntime
1 Graham Gilshinan 00:28:39
Crusaders AC runner
13 Peter O’Toole 00:30:28
Full results here: https://www.myrunresults.com/events/dublin_intermediate_xc_championships/4659/results
Malahide Parkrun (186)
Overall place Name Cat. Place Guntime
1 Owen Fletcher 1 00:18:39
12 Cecile Ollagnier 1 00:21:02
Crusaders AC runner
68 Darina Scully 00:24:06 (11)