To cap a magnificent year for Irish Master Athletes, the British & Irish Masters CC Champs, hosted by the IMAA in Santry Demesne last Saturday turned into an athletics historical day, as both Women & Men won the team titles & captured the overall award for the very first time in the 33rd hosting of this Championships.
First race of the day M&W65 plus, saw multi record holder Alastair Walker M65 of Scotland stamp his class on the race from the gun coming home with a 2 minute plus winning gap. Intriguing race for other placings, with Joe Gough, just shy of turning 70 in a few weeks’ time, finding the conditions to his liking and sprinted clear for 2nd overall M65. Together with Eugene Moynihan in 4th & Martin McDonald 11th, first team win of the day was secured. Both the M70s & M75s secured bronze team medals. In the Women’s race, Pauline Moran F65 also lead from the gun & led the F65 team home to silver place. Eileen Kenny F70 also capped off a tremendous season taking victory in the F70s followed closely home by Margaret Glavey in silver position & with Mary Lynch 4th, another team victory was secured.
Race 2 saw F35 to F60 face the starter. Trial winner from Abbottstown, Sinead O’Connor F35 was the overall race winner, followed closely home by teammate Fiona Santry & with Laura McDonnell 4thanother team victory was secured. In F40s Dympna Ryan took ind bronze, with team securing silver. Natasha Adams F45 took ind gold & lead team home to gold. Previous overall race winner Annette Kealy, who had won this race when last held in Santry in 2015, won F50s & with Breda Gaffney 3rdoverall & backed up by Carmel Crowley in 6thanother team gold was secured. F55s & F60s also won team bronze, with Niamh O’Sullivan another previous overall race winner just 1 second behind F60 winner, Scotland’s Fiona Matheson.
Race 3 M50 – M60s had another Irish winner, with wildcard selection, Shane O’Neill,M50 easing across the line with an 8 second cushion over England’s Tim Hartley. M50s team took silver same as M55s & M60s. Pauric McKinney M55 won individual gold with a 5 second margin over Jon Leach of England and Kevin Griffin also took ind bronze in the M60.
Final championship race of the day saw M35 - M45s toe the line. Positions here were keenly contested with the large group gradually whittled down to 7-8 athletes, with a very noticeable move through the field by another previous overall race winner Brian Maher M45. Going out onto the final lap, Brian appeared to be getting detached, but turned in a phenomenal performance only giving way to overall race winner Steven McAlary M35 of Northern Ireland who turned the screw & came home with a 9 second margin. Steven had the added pleasure of leading Northern Ireland ahead of Rep Ireland to team gold. Great packing by the M40s saw ind medals for Paul Moloney, silver & Niall Shanahan, bronze leading the team to gold. With Brian winning the M45 title & with Declan Reed securing ind silver, another team gold was secured.
To summarize, 7 golds, 6 silvers & 4 bronzes across all the team age categories. Individual medals broken down as follows, 8 gold, 7 silvers 4 bronze. On behalf of the IMAA, I would like to extend a huge congratulations to all the athletes who put in tremendous performances throughout. Full results now available from the link below;
I would also like to thank the very many Volunteers & Officials who turned up at Santry first light Saturday morning, to lay out the course, steward, record plus perform many other tasks throughout the day. Without you so freely giving your time, this event would not have been possible & thankfully with your assistance all went smoothly throughout the day.
The mantle of hosting 2023 edition now falls upon Scottish Masters who have already set Nov 11thwith the Championships taking place in Tollcross Park in Glasgow, where we will face the difficult task of defending this title.