Adam Kirk-Smith Secures Podium Spot at Autumn Open International XC
22 October 2017
Northern Ireland international Adam Kirk-Smith (Derry Track Club) secured a podium place in the feature senior men’s event as local athletes performed well at the Autumn Open International Cross Country Festival (Sunday 22nd October 2017).
Held at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus in Abbotstown, the programme of races offered junior, senior and master’s athletes an opportunity to kick off, or continue their cross country campaign.
Adam Kirk-Smith followed on from his win at the Metropolitan League XC in London last weekend with a quality performance. The Steeplechase specialist took 3rd place behind winner Hiko Tonosa (DSD AC) and NI based Kenyan Gideon Kipsang (Derry Track Club). Hiko covered the 7,500m in 22:58 (1st place), with Gideon crossing the line three seconds later in 23:01 (2nd place) – Adam completed the top three in 23:06 (3rd place). Glaslough Harriers’ Conor Duffy also secured a top ten place in 23:53 (10th place).
Northern Ireland competitors Paddy Hamilton (Slieve Gullion Runners) and Declan Reed (City of Derry AC) claimed the top two positions in the Masters Men’s 7,500m event. Paddy led the field home in 24:00, winning the M35 title, while Declan followed in 24:08 to secure the M40 top prize.
In the Masters Ladies 6,000m race, which was won by Claire McCarthy (Leevale AC) in 21:33 (1st place), Cathy McCourt (Unattached) sealed 9th place in 23:17.
Former NI & Ulster Senior XC Champion Teresa Doherty (Finn Valley AC) recorded 21:38 for 9th place in the Senior Ladies 6,000m race - Breege Connolly (City of Derry AC) narrowly missed a top ten place, crossing the line in 21:56 for 11th place. The race was won by Shona Heaslip (An Riocht AC) in 20:36 (1st place).
North Down AC’s Craig McMeechan and Newcastle AC’s Patrick McNiff ran well in the Under 20 Men’s 6,000m race, with Craig taking 6th place in 19:30 and Patrick 7th place in 19:36. The race was won by Darragh McElhinney (Bantry AC) in 18:48 (1st place).
Elsewhere this weekend…
In Belfast, master’s athletes from across the province battled it out at the Northern Ireland Masters Athletic Association (NIMAA) XC (Saturday 21st October 2017) for places on the Northern Ireland team for the upcoming British & Irish Masters International XC next month (November).
In what were competitive races, Allan Bogle (City of Derry AC) and Catherine Diver (Beechmount Harriers) led the way in their respective races.
In the Mourne Mountains, a plethora of talent from around the globe took on the 4th annual Garmin Mourne Skyline Mountain-Trail Race (Saturday 21st October 2017), the final race of the 2017 Skyrunning UK National Series.
In testing conditions, athletes covered 35k in distance, incorporating a brutal 3,370m of ascent. It was local athletes who impressed most – Ian Bailey (Newcastle AC) won the men’s race in 3:57:18 (1st place), while Shileen O’Kane (Lagan Valley AC) led the ladies home in 4:56:43 (1st place).