Weekend Preview North West and National Championships
13 December 2019
It’s all systems go for this Saturday's North West Cross Country meeting in the Gransha Park grounds with several hundred runners from Primary school age to 70+ set to defy the wintery weather in the four race programme at the popular City of Derry Spartans annual event.
The U12 age group race kicks off the action at 11:35am and is followed by the U14's at 11:45am and the U16's at 12 noon with the 6K Open race at 12:30pm concluding the competitive action.
As ever the Open 6K is a Athletics NI XC League scoring race and this, and the proven pedigree of the event, should ensure a field of both quantity and quality with last year's individual winners, the Derry based Rachel Gibson of North Down AC and Springwell Running Club’s Neill Johnston expected to be back to defend their titles.
Leading local athletes Declan Reed and Scott Rankin will be among those seeking to topple Johnston with JP Williamson a dark horse and Allan Bogle, a former winner, probably looking to make the most of the expected sticky underfoot conditions.
Letterkenny duo Anne Marie McGlynn and Nakita Burke, who was runner up to Gibson last year, are other tips for the female crown and we could see a return to XC by the promoting club's Catherine Whoriskey.
The race HQ has moved to Oakgrove Integrated College, about five minutes jog from the usual Start/Finish at the U3A Foyle premises and race registration, changing, showers and the post-race presentations and complimentary refreshments are all available in the Oakgrove facilities.
All entries are taken on the day from 10:15am in Oakgrove's Assembly Hall.
Written by Gerry Lynch
Junior athletes from across Northern Ireland and Ulster will be travelling to the Irish Life Health National Novice and Juvenile Uneven Cross Country Championships at the Cow Park, Dunboyne on Sunday 15th December. The event always delivers a great day of sport and will round out the junior cross country racing season for 2019.
The runners charging en-masse in the juvenile and novice races creates a special atmosphere – even wet and cold weather can’t dampen the spirits.
There’s no doubting there will be some mud and challenges along the way with action getting underway with Girls U11 1500m at 11:30am with 12 races in total. Meath Athletics hosted a very successful championships in Navan last year so another great day of action is in store.
Full entry list: