On Sunday last, members of DSD A.C headed up to the Battle of the Boyne site to compete in the annual Rás na hÉireann cross country event. It was a typical February day; drizzly and cold, which made for authentic cross-country race conditions. It was a good day out for DSD with a number of medals coming back to Dublin.
The ladies race was up first, 4000m and for some of the DSD ladies, it was a debut cross country event and the speed of the event came as something of a surprise, with everyone taking off quickly right from the start line. Claire McGovern slotted herself in nicely up towards the front of the pack, and was in 3rd place for some time. The first lap was 1k in length, and was a flat beginning to the race. Lap 2 came around quickly and the field started to stretch out quite a bit, with the first attack at the hill, followed by plenty of mud patches! Down the other end of the hill, trying not to fall, and starting Lap 3, with great shouts of encouragement from fellow DSD club mates and the local volunteers. Once more up the hill, then pushing to finish fast in the final stretch to have DSD Ladies place 3rd in the team event.
Final DSD positions:
Claire McGovern 9TH
Clare Flanagan 19th
Irene Gonzalez 20th
Joyce Tracey 24th (4th in age category)
Valerie Gorman 27th
Thanks to a really well-run event, the men didn’t have to wait long to start their 6000m race. The lucky lads had to do 4 ‘bigger’ laps (1.5km each) which meant hitting the dreaded hill 4 times.
As with the ladies’ event, they all shot off from the start line, full of enthusiasm. This race appeared to separate into a few groups very early on, with the field stretching out a lot before they even got to the downhill of the 1st lap. Colin Murphy and Garrett Banahan were running strong at the front end of the field. Lap 2 of the difficult track, and the men were all still running strong, as we cheered them up towards the hill for the second time. The lead runner and eventual winner started to lap several runners before getting to his 3rd lap, and tired legs on some of the competitors were now beginning to show. The reward for completing lap 3 was to head around one last time and give that hill one last push! Strong finishes from the DSD men meant that they also claimed a 3rd place team prize.
Final DSD positions:
Colin Murphy 10th (3rd in age category)
Garrett Banahan 12th
Stephen Judge 28th (1st in age category)
Simon Cotter 62nd