They comprised the Irish team in the newly added International Mixed 2 x 1KM Relay. The pair finished in a very creditable 8th place, in 7m.00s, in the event in Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park, the scene of the 2008 World Cross Country Championship.
In the fairly recent past, finding road races in Donegal between the start of the year and St Patrick’s Day was a diffficult proposition. However, starting with the ‘Black and Amber’ 5 miler’ on Sunday January 4th, there are 13 races officially listed in the County until the middle of March.
One of these, the St Johnston 5K, took place today, the East Donegal village being the setting for the 1st of the 3 race Lifford AC 5K series. The race was run in wet, windy conditions, with Omagh Harriers’ Paul Barbour emerging as the winner in a time of 16.28. He was 30 seconds ahead of 2nd placed Martin Cox, in a race which underlined the strength of running in Donegal by attracting more than 300 participants on a morning of adverse weather conditions.
LAC’s top performer was Garvin Walker, in 19.10, with his club mate, Mark Diver, a mere 2 seconds behind him. Barry Mackey ran an excellent time of 20.49, gaining him 2nd place in the 50-54 Category. As the prizes are based on the overall results of the 3 races, Barry is well placed in his age group. Likewise, big Kerryman, Richard Raymond, who ran 22.19, will be hopeful of a good overall finish in the 60+ Category when the prizes are distributed after the third and final event.
The woman’s race was won by the host club’s Claire McGuigan, in 19.04, with LAC’s Ruth McCrudden and Jackie Ireland (2nd Female 50-54) having good runs. The 2nd race in the Lifford series will be the Raphoe 5K on Sunday January 25th.
Cross country action returns on Sunday, with the Northern Ireland and Ulster Intermediate and Masters’ XC Championship. The venue is Coleraine and LAC hopes to field strong teams in all the events.