Conna was the venue for the Munster Junior and Senior Cross-Country Championships where conditions were dry and cold, the underfoot was good for the majority of the route and well done to the promoting Club for a well organised event. In the Junior men’s race we had Evan Fitzgerald competing. The race over 3 laps of 2k was strong from the start and soon a group of four got away including Evan. Going out on the 2nd lap Evan was still adrift of 3rd spot and the gap was widening, however, on the upward part of the course Evan closed the gap and going out on the 3rd lap there was very little between 2nd and 4th places with all three athletes in full flight. When they came through the last gap with 600m to go Evan had moved into 3rd place and he maintained that strong pace to win the Junior Men’s bronze medal, brilliant running. The Silver medal was won by Frank O Brien of Midleton and if I can ramble back to the early 1980s, the popular Nationalist 10K took place in Clonmel for a number of years and there was many a battle between a certain Liam O Brien and John Fitzgerald, the apple doesn’t fall far from …….
Then we had the Senior Women’s 6k and here we lost Kealey Tideswell before the race due to the flu, we wish her a speedy recovery. Still our team did the Club proud in what was a very competitive race. Courtney McGuire, making her debut at this level ran a brilliant race when finishing 13th and 2nd athletes on the County team that won the Bronze medals. Another athlete who had a brilliant performance was Sareen Walsh, Sareen has been competing well in the Cross-Country races so far but for me this was her best performance so far for 2019. Right from the start she went out steady and as the race unfolded over the 3 laps she moved through the field and going out on the final lap she was vying for the final spot on the County team with two other athletes and she put in a brilliant effort over the final km uphill to finish 21st and the final spot on the County team that won the Bronze medals, brilliant. Then we had Nicola Maunsell also running very well when finishing strongly in 25th. Rachel Lonergan made her Club debut last Sunday and she ran a brilliant race when finishing 28th and in the process helped the Club team to 5th Club in Munster, brilliant.
In the Men’s race we also saw a very competitive event as the pace was strong from the start of the 5 laps. Jimmy Boland ran very well when finishing 31st and the 4th scorer on the County team that won Bronze, great running. Then we had Joey Feery also running very well when finishing 39th while we also had good runs from both Paul Minogue 44th and Anthony Bowen 45th respectively with the Club finishing 7th, great running all round.