Linda Byrne and Eddie McGinley are the new Woodies DIY Inter Club Cross Country champions after ‘start to finish’ victories in today’s final events.
In the senior women’s race , Linda Byrne (Dundrum South Dublin AC), the strong pre-race favourite, moved to the front from the gun and maintained that place right through the race to win comfortably. The London based runner Una English (Dublin City Harriers) chased Byrne for the whole race and was just 22 seconds in arrears at the line. Ava Hutchinson (Dundrum South Dublin AC) was third, with DSD winning the team title on 34 points from North Belfast Harriers on 39 and Clonliffe Harriers on 53. Both Byrne and Hutchinson have achieved the Marathon Olympic time. Byrne said after the race that: “ I found the underfoot tough going after all the road racing, I plan to have two weeks easy and then get back into my Marathon Training”.
Eddie McGinley (Annadale Striders) was another to lead from the start in the senior men’s race. He had a trio of Clonliffe Harriers runners in attendance from early on – Sergiu Ciobanu, Gary O’Hanlon and Brian McMahon. As the race progressed they gradually dropped off the pace, with Ciobanu the last of them to drop away to leave McGinley a clear winner with 15 seconds to spare. This was just his second medal at national level having won a bronze on the road last year. Speaking after the race he said “ I know I would be in the mix but I never believed I could win”. He went on to say “Today was just my day” . Clonliffe Harriers won the team title with 25 points ahead of Raheny Shamrock with 45 and DSD on 78.
The first race was the junior women’s race with Siofra Cleirigh Buttner (Dundrum South Dublin AC) the strong pre-race favourite. The reigning champion did go to the front from the start but was joined by a newcomer to the Irish racing scene Sarah Mary Collins (Finn Valley AC). Both raced together for much of the race but it was Collins who proved the stronger in the closing stages to race away for a well-deserved victory. Both Collins parents are from Cork, but she is based in Basle Switzerland where her father works. Next weekend she races in the Swiss national championships. Clare McCarthy (Dundrum South Dublin AC) was third and DSD won the team competition with 14 points from Raheny in 45.
The junior men’s race provided another head to head with Kevin Dooney (Raheny Shamrock AC) and Stephen Kerr (Armagh AC) battled for the lead for a long while, but Dooney was the stronger and he showed his strength on the last lap to race away from his rival for a good win. Jake O’Regan (St. John’s AC Clare) was third, while Raheny Shamrocks won the team with 41 points from Clonliffe Harriers on the same mark leaving the places to be deceided by the fourth finishers on both teams with DSD in third with 56.