North West Cross Country race to get rescheduled in New Year

North West Cross Country organiser Noel McMonagle is hoping the event will be rescheduled in the coming months.

Race organiser Noel McMonagle is hopeful the NW Cross Country race will return in the New Year.
Race organiser Noel McMonagle is hopeful the NW Cross Country race will return in the New Year.

Unfortunately the ice conditions meant that Saturday's NW Cross Country meeting at Gransha had to be cancelled, but McMonagle is hopeful the race can be pencilled in again in either January or February.

McMonagle also confirmed that the local organisers will hold talks with Athletics NI to ensure the fixture gets rescheduled.

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"We're now looking at possibly pushing it into one of the spare weekends in January or February," he stated.

"The fixtures are very congested and when all the Championship races start to come in during January and February that's going to put pressure on us, but we're hoping that we'll get a weekend in January, but we just have to take stock, see when we can reschedule and then put it out there again.

"We'll sit down this week with Athletics NI and hopefully organise a new date in the New Year."

The City of Derry Spartans man also admitted the frosty conditions at the weekend meant some parts of the Gransha course were ‘dangerous’ and the race had to be postponed.

"There wasn't a mission we could have held the race and been confident that it would have been safe for people to run on," he insisted.

"The frosty conditions meant that some parts of the course were dangerous and were just sheets of ice and if someone fell on that they would have broken something, because that's how bad the ground was in parts of the course.

"On Friday, whenever we had the course set-up it was fine, parts were a wee bit frosty. We knew that there was a breeze coming in on Saturday, but we didn't expect the way the rain fell and how frosty it got, so there was nothing we could do.

"We even looked at trying to move around the course and move onto parts of the ground less icy, but one of the major parts of the course was just a sheet of ice the whole way across, so there was no way you could have split it without actually going over that ice, so we had to call it off.

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"Cross Country races very rarely get cancelled, but as I said we're looking to reschedule it, we’ll have to take stock, look at the fixtures and talk to the federation.

"We don't want to lose the fixture and we even talked about postponing it until today (Sunday) but that wasn't going to work for a lot of people, because of the nature of people's Christmas nights out and stuff like that, so having the race on Sunday, was a non-starter.

"For Saturday's race we had 400 odd people registered and entered and we would be confident of getting most of them runners back again.

"Plus the kids races which we had organised is vital that we keep those races going, because that's what the kids look forward to and that keeps them in the sport.

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"I would say 90 per cent of the time we're travelling and the North West Cross Country is a home fixture for us, so we want to try and make sure that we keep that fixture going."