Saturday’s British & Irish Masters Cross-Country international in Dubiln saw several local runners contribute significantly across the age groups to bring home six individual and 11 team medals from the 28th staging of this prestigious annual event.
Inishowen AC’s Pauric McKinney ran a brilliant tactical race to win the individual M50 race and led his Irish squad to team silver behind a strong English outfit. Letterkenny AC produced all three scorers in the victorious Irish F35 squad, impressive individual winner Anne Marie McGlynn, runner up Natasha Adams and fourth placer Fionnuala Diver while City of Derry Spartans duo Declan Reed and Gerry Lynch claimed individual silver medals and team gold and bronze medals in their respective M40 and M70 races.
Female Spartans Jackie McGinley (F45) and Roisin Lynch (F65) were on their respective NI silver and Irish gold medal winning teams while the Spartans’ Dermot McElhinney and Derry City Track Club’s Cathal McLaughlin helped bump their N.I. M45 squad to team silver as another Letterkenny AC man Ciaran Doherty took the M40 bronze medal behind Reed and also a team gold with the winning Irish squad.
In the opening Women and Male 65, 70 and 75 6k race, Anne Marie McGlynn swept aside the huge field to post a comprehensive victory on her Masters age group debut and with equally strong runs from club mates Natasha Adams and Fionnoula Diver, it gave the Irish F35 squad a handsome victory.
McKinney took pole position in race two, the Male 50, 55 and 60 8K, a master class in running down the two long term front runners on the last lap, giving him the win on his M50 debut at this level.
A potential North West winning treble was now on but Reed found English No. 1 Christopher Greenwood too hot to handle in the third race, the Male 35, 40 and 45 8K. The gritty Spartan however was a clear runner up for his M40 individual silver with Doherty chasing him home to lay the foundations of the Irish M40 team success. Reed will go again at the same venue this Sunday in the National senior Inter Clubs championship with his City of Derry squad.
Earlier in race one, Gerry Lynch had a stormer, grabbing a much coveted podium place in the M70 age group. The Spartan overhauled defending M70 champion Martin Ford of England in the long finish straight to nick the runners up spot, both men given the same time, as another Englishman Peter Giles took the win 16 seconds clear. Lynch also led the N.I. M70 squad to a well deserved team bronze with his effort.
F65 Roisin Lynch had a big run and helped her Irish squad to a rare team success over favourites England as Jackie McGinley too played her part in her F35 NI squad grabbing team silver behind Ireland but ahead of the English quartet.
Dermot McElhinney made his Masters Cross Country International debut a memorable one as, with Cathal McLaughlin, he helped push the NI M45 team up into the silver medal position behind the winners England and ahead of the Irish squad.
An excellent medal return for the local contingent who also included M35 Chris McGuinness, M60 Peter Lilburn, F50s Hannah Shields, Claire Connor and Bridgeen Byrne who was also the NI Women’s team Manager and F55 Una Gavin.
GRANSHA IS 2017 VENUE!
Next year’s Masters International is set for Tollcross Park in Glasgow and believe it or not in November 2017 the N.I. location will be our very own Gransha Park!
This great news was announced to a packed attendance in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Dublin at Saturday night’s Awards Presentation and was warmly welcomed by the English, Scots, Welsh and all the Irish athletes and officials present.
With around 500 runners plus officials, friends, families and spectators in attendance this will be a major athletics event for the City and district.