Mud, sweat and tears were shed on the Trinity Sports grounds in Santry on Saturday, March 3rd, at the annual IUAA Cross Country Championships, an event not for those faint of heart (or leg). Trinity’s own DUHAC were the hosts of the day, which turned out to be an astounding success for all involved, with over 150 athletes from all over Ireland taking part, despite the last minute rescheduling due to the unorthodox fall of snow the previous week.
The day itself was not the only aspect that ran smoothly, with many impressive performances from DUHAC athletes taking the challenging conditions literally in their stride.
Perhaps the most noteworthy is the result of the women’s team, who secured a hard-fought bronze medal in a very competitive race over 5K. The last time a women’s team medalled was gold in 2014, and since then have narrowly missed out each year, so needless to say there was great celebration in the female camp.
The winning team consisted of the first four Trinity athletes across the finish line, starting with the small but speedy ‘Wind from the West’ Sorcha McAllister taking 4th place, a remarkable achievement for her first Intervarsity Cross Country. Close on her heels was DUHAC Ladies Captain Clíona Murphy in 7th place, who is having a very impressive season this year.
Ex-captain Bláithín Sheil followed in 20th place, returning in a blaze of glory to the racing scene after a long struggle with injury. The final member of the winning team was Lydia S McCabe (S standing for Shin Splinted) in 22nd place. There were also a number of fine runs from other DUHAC women pushing up through the ranks.
The men’s team finished the day in 5th place, a commendable achievement in a very tough 8K race, through a course rendered even more rugged by the women’s trampling through it. Crossing the line first for Trinity with not a lock of hair out of place, was Ulster’s Donal Farren in an impressive 17th place at his first intervarsity, followed closely by the seasoned athlete John Moroney, a DUHAC stalwart in 28th position. Cillian Doherty paced a great race finishing in 37th place, followed by DUHAC’s resident Frenchman Louis Catteau in 39th place despite picking up a back injury early on in the race.
Even though many athletes may have felt that they left both their souls and soles on the course that day, in true DUHAC fashion, a magnificent banquet in Wynn’s hotel took place that evening for all the colleges, where all fatigue was forgotten once feet touched the dance floor, and not a speck of mud in sight.
A veritable success by all accounts with Trinity coming 3rd overall in the rankings, a success made possible by all the friends, families and Irish mammies who helped the DUHAC committee out on the day. Onwards and upwards to the IUAA Outdoor Track and Field up in Belfast!