Destination Dundalk for National Cross Country hopefuls

Defending National male Masters champion Declan Reed, is hopeful of retaining his title in Dundalk on Sunday.
Defending National male Masters champion Declan Reed, is hopeful of retaining his title in Dundalk on Sunday.

Most local attention this weekend will be on Dundalk where on Sunday the National Masters & Intermediate Cross Country championships will see several local hopefuls challenge the best in the country for the honours and plaudits across a wide range of age groups.

There will also be action closer to home with the Sperrin Harriers Winter League 10K in Drum Manor and on Sunday the North West Tri Club stage their latest Winter 5K series race out of the Sports Complex.

The grounds of the Dundalk IT will host several local runners who travel in search of National Cross Country honours on Sunday, led by defending male Masters champion Declan Reed, fresh from his good run last Saturday at the Antrim International Cross Country and primed to successfully defend his title this weekend.

The Spartan took the honours last year and also won the NI & Ulster Masters and Senior individual gold medals in a superb triple 2015 success story.

Although the opposition will be very tough, the expectation is that the reigning champion will do it again this weekend! Let’s hope so!

His clubmate Catherine Whoriskey goes in the Intermediate women’s championship and the talented local impressed many with her excellent run in the NI vest at last weekend’s Antrim International Cross Country.

She also had an excellent 2015 producing significant 5K PB’s on both road and track and wining the Waterside Half Marathon and looks set to step up another level and seriously challenge for a podium place this Sunday.

Roisin Lynch F65 and Gerry Lynch M70 were both medal winners at last November’s International Cross Country in Dublin and both will be gunning to add to their National age group medals tally this weekend.

Declan McCarthy leads a City of Derry Spartans M50 squad who with Springwell duo, Gerry O’Doherty and Bryan Edgar, will mount a challenge in the Inter County competition.

Anne Paul and Hannah Shields front the female Spartans F50 squad while Colin Roberts M45 and Peter Lilburn M60 will be worth watching as well.

Inishowen AC legend Pauric McKinney goes for his first M50 national Cross Country title after amassing a wealth of M35, M40 and M45 golds, and the Buncrana teacher should be a banker in his new age group on Sunday.