It was hard to believe that, after all the storms we have endured, the sun shone on the biggest Festival of Cross-Country races in Ireland yesterday at Abbotstown. There were races for all category of runners, Juvenile, Masters, U.20 and Senior, and a large turnout of spectators enjoyed the event.
D.S.D’s latest recruit from Ethiopia, Hiko Tonosa, showed what a force he will be in the upcoming season, as he was in the lead group in the International Senior race from the gun. This was a 5 x 15000 lap race, and the pace was fast and furious from the start. As the race progressed three athletes forged to the front, into the last lap Gideon Kipsang Kimsop Kenya/Letterkenny; Adam Kirk-Smith England/Derry and Hiko D.S.D., broke clear ofthe chasing group. Hiko, looking like a re-born Haile Gebreselassie, changed gear on the last hill and he was able to ease down as he approached the finish line to win by three seconds.
The women’s International race was also top class competition for our home brigade, with visitors from Scotland and Wales. Shona Heaslip (Riócht A.C) repeated her win of last year from Mhairi MacLennan (Scotland). Just off the leading group early on, Meghan Ryan D.S.D., and her training companion Fiona Clinton D.S.D., were having their best races to date and maintained a top pace to the finish line. They can both be very pleased with their performances, as can the third D.S.D., runner Bethanie Murray, who ensured that D.S.D., were the top club on the day.
Most impressive winner of the day was Abbie Taylor, who won the U.18 Girls race by an incredible 1 min 30 seconds, and she is now looking forward to the trip to Milton Keynes in two week’s time to take on the top English girls in her age group. The other golden girl from D.S.D. was Eimear Maher, who raced home to a great victory in the U.16 Girls race.
In the team competition our U.18 girls; Abbie Taylor; Roseanne McCullough; Grace Dervan and Sadhbh OLoan, took gold, andthere was also a first win for our U.10 boys Adam, Cian, Matthew and Johnny. Silver medals were achieved by our U.14 Girls; Isabella, Christine, Ella, Gracie; supported by Ciara, Niamh, Anna and Kate.
U.16 Girls also won silver; Eimear 1st; Corinne 3rd; Eabha 15th, Sophie 22nd, Emily 23rd.
Despite a fall Morgan Clarkson finished 6th, with Adam 12th and Richard 23rd.
Aaron Donnelly impressed in the U.18 Boys finishing 5th with James 11th; Brian 13th and Liam 15th.
Well done to all!