Some encouraging performances from Irish athletes at this weekend’s ‘ BUPA’ IAAF Cross Country Challenge in the hilly snow covered course in the surrounds of Holyrood House in Edinburgh
Joe Sweeney (Dundrum South Dublin AC) finished in a very respectable 10th position in the Men’s International team challenge where as a member of the ‘Europe’ team he helped his team to a three points winning margin over United States with much fancied Great Britain in 3rd place.
The tall and determined Dubliner finished ahead of some quality international runners in the three-way team challenge event, clocking 26:29 behind the African born, British winner Mo Farah, who came away in second part of the race of the 8.2 K course to win comfortably in 25:41.
Galen Rupp of the USA was second in 25:50, Ayad Lamdassam of Spain third in 25:55, with reigning European champion Sergey Lebid of the Ukraine back in fourth position in 25:59.
In such exalted company – particularly taking into account his injury and setbacks this was a highly commendable effort
From the Dundrum athlete . This was arguably Sweeney’s most impressive run yet and marked another fine achievement when he won the Woodie’s DIY National Inter-Counties Championship in the snow of Derry in November, and then finished 2010 with a notable 21st finish in the European Cross Country Championship in December.
Sweeney helped Europe to the team victory prize by three points over the USA, with Britain third, and he will now be looking towards building on this encouraging performance in the coming months building up to the Woodie’s DIY Inter Clubs Cross Country Championships next month.
The short course 4.2k event was won impressively by 26 year old multi-talented Eliad Kipchoge of Kenya in 13:10, from the Olympic 1500m champion Asbel Kiprop of Kenya.
Michael Mulhare from Portlaoise, one of the key U23 winning team members in last month’s Euro Cross, put in another highly creditable run to finish the best of the Irish in 9th place in 13:42, and his brother Dan also ran well to finish close behind in 11th position in 13:52. Both of the capable Laois athletes will be looking to build on their performances in the coming months.
BUPA IAAF Grand Challenge Cross-country Challenge, Edinburgh
Men’s International Team Challenge 8K
1 Mo Farah GBR 25:41
2 Galen Rupp USA 25:50
3 Ayad Lamdassam EUROPE 25:55
4 Sergey Lebid EUROPE 26:00
5 Andy Vernon GBR 26:14
6 Bobby Mack USA 26:15
7 Scott Bauhs USA 26:16
8Abdellatif Meftah EUROPE 26:18
9 Stephen Furst USA 26:24
10 Joe Sweeney EUROPE 26:29
GBR U23/U20 163
1 Eliud Kipchoge KEN 13:12
2 Asbel Kiprop KEN 13:18
3 Brimin Kipruto KEN 13:19
4 Steve Vernon Stockport Harriers GBR 13:21
9 Michael Mulhare IRE 13:42
12 Dan Mulhare Inverclyde IRE 13:52
22 Alex Flynn Aldershot Farnham & District IRE 15:10