Fast going at the races in The Curragh

THE National Novice Cross Country Championships were held in Curragh, Co Kildare last Sunday and drew a huge crowd from all parts of the country. It is a race that is traditionally renowned for its big numbers and depth of quality. This year was no exception and indeed it could said that they were the most competitive Novice races for years.

THE National Novice Cross Country Championships were held in Curragh, Co Kildare last Sunday and drew a huge crowd from all parts of the country. It is a race that is traditionally renowned for its big numbers and depth of quality. This year was no exception and indeed it could said that they were the most competitive Novice races for years.

The Women’s race was run over 3000 metres with over 160 runners lining up for the start. Michelle Mullaney ran a fine race and was the first Tullamore runner home in 44th place in 12.35. She was followed home by Nita McLoughlin in 107th, Mary Daly 133rd, Mags Grennan 144th and Charlotte in 148th.

Almost 300 runners lined up for the Men’s 6000 metre race. Ferbane athlete Paul Buckley was the first Offaly man to finish, when coming home in 28th place. He was closely followed by Declan Fahey, who had a great run to finish 37th. Fahey was closely followed by Catch Grennan in 52nd place and John Harkin in 57th. David Fox completed the scoring for the Tullamore team in 76th place, which gave the club 7th place in the team competition. Eddie Garry was placed 96th and completed the scoring six runners for Offaly who finished in 6th place.

Full Results: Novice Men- 6000 metres 28 Paul Buckley ( Ferbane AC.) 21.21 ; 37 Declan Fahey 21.33 ; 52 Catch Grennan 21.45 ; 57 John Harkin 21.49 ; 76 David Fox ; 96 Eddie Garry ; 101 Mark Serviss ; 113 Stephen McTagiue ( Ferbane AC.) ; 126 Richie Galvin ; 147 Mick Murphy ; 188 Brendan Abbott 23.48 ; 214 Conor Mooney. Tullamore 7th Club, Offaly 6th County.

Novice Women 3000 metres: 44 Michelle Mullaney 12.35 ; 107 Nita McLoughlin 13.33 ; 133 Mary Daly 14.07 ; 144 Mags Grennan 14.57 ; 148 Charlotte Abbott 15.23. Tullamore 15th Club, Offaly 12th County.

Liam Brady Competes in European Cross Country Championships: Tullamore Harriers athlete, Liam Brady had the honour of representing his country in the European Junior Cross Country Championships held in Slovenia last Sunday. It was a day of celebration for Ireland with the magnificent gold medal performance of Wicklow woman Fionnula Britton in the Senior Women’s race the undoubted highlight.

It was a different story for Brady who had his preparation for these championships derailed with a bout of tonsillitis last week which saw him on antiobitics for the week.

As he lined up for the start of his 6000 metre race, Liam hoped that maybe he was over his illness and that things would go well. However when the going got tough , there was nothing in the tank and though he battled manfully to the end, he had to settle for 96th place in a race where he had hopes of much better things. Liam however can be proud of his run and no doubt he will benefit from the experience of running in a major championships which will stand to him in good stead in the future.

Goal Mile: The Goal Mile will take place on Christmas Day between 10 and 12 noon on the Tullamore Harriers tartan track. It is a great social occasion with a real festive atmosphere and it also works up an appetite for the Christmas dinner. All you have to do is turn up, run or walk a mile and make a donation to Goal. For anyone feeling particularly energetic there will be a competitive mile at 11am.

Fixtures: December 20 Grand National 5K handicap race at 7pm, Tullamore Harriers. December 25 Goal Mile in Tullamore Harriers track 10am to 12.00 noon.

Training: Tuesday and Thursday at 6.30pm, Sunday morning at 8.30am Except on a race day. New members always welcome.

With the dark evenings now here it is important to be seen on the roads so reflective gear must be worn while training on the roads